Project: ‘Affordable’ is already here

No one in Dunkirk-Fredonia is against economic development, especially when it is in an area that is highly commercial and will bring in jobs.

But the Dunkirk Meadows “affordable housing” project – other than bringing construction work – was not about economic development. It was, ultimately, about poor use of taxpayer dollars.

In December 2011, as part of a major economic development funding announcement by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Dunkirk Meadows project became public though some town officials were privy to the project. It was not embraced by the community, due to the fact the region already has some of the most affordable housing in the nation.

“During the site plan process Mr. Regan made extraordinary efforts to address the concerns of the planning board which included a diligent search for suitable alternatives and/or additional property along with significant additional technical and engineering analyses,” said Town Clerk Jean Crane in regard to the letter sent by Regan Development on pulling out of the plan.

It is unfortunate. But look around. Dunkirk-Fredonia has plenty of housing already available due to some of the highest taxes in the nation. Those high taxes, by the way, bring property values down due to a lack of private investment.

Affordable housing? This area has it – for all the wrong reasons.