WXXI AM News

Imagine Monroe OKs tax breaks for Midtown Athletic Club

Sep 17, 2019

The Imagine Monroe board meets at Ogden Town Hall.
Credit James Brown WXXI

An upscale athletic club is getting tax breaks in part to add an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Imagine Monroe, the economic development board formerly known as COMIDA, invests taxpayer money and tax breaks into projects across Monroe County. On Tuesday, in a 5-1 vote, the board gave more than $500,000 in tax breaks to Midtown Athletic Club.

The club’s fees start around $174 per month for one person and nearly $300 for two. Without the tax breaks, Midtown’s general manager, Glenn William, said that they’d have to scale back their $10 million expansion project by cutting its plans to build a seven-lane Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Jeff Adair, the executive director of Imagine Monroe, said that helping companies like Midtown is one thing development agencies should be doing.

“What an IDA (industrial development agency) should be doing is always trying to improve the quality of life, whether it’s like workforce development, we should be doing funding for training, whether it’s companies like Midtown and frankly, it’s a very, very nice club to be at,” said Adair. “That becomes part of the quality of life of Monroe County, and I think that’s as important as anything else that we do. As the executive director, I feel very comfortable that this project was a good one.”

In exchange for paying less taxes, Imagine Monroe will receive a guarantee that the club will hire 30 local people. Ten of those jobs would be part time.