By: Tammy Daniels On: 12:12AM / Monday August 08, 2011
WCW has been in a dispute with the town of Hoosick, N.Y., over the value of its property on Mechanic Street. The county has brought foreclosure action against the mattress maker, which is now looking to move its operations.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A New York manufacturer considering relocating to the city is facing foreclosure in Hoosick Falls for failing to pay property taxes.
WCW Inc., a mattress manufacturer, owes Rensselaer County more than $1.4 million in back taxes and penalties dating back more than four years, the Eastwick Press, a local paper covering eastern Rensselaer, reported Friday. The company has been appealing the valuation of its One Mechanic St. property set in 2007 by the town of Hoosick and the village of Hoosick Falls.
North Adams and the state Office of Business Development have been working with the WCW to craft a tax incentive package to encourage owner John Wilkinson to move his operations — and 100 jobs — into the former Sprague Electric building in the Hardman Industrial Park.
Mayor Richard Alcombright said he and state officials were aware of what he described as a "long running dispute" between Wilkinson and Hoosick over assessments.
"He did talk to me about it," Alcombright said when reached Sunday night. "One of the reasons he did want to locate here is because he and the town of Hoosick could not come to an agreement. ... I don't know all the details. [The article] bears out what he told me."
According to Eastwick Press, the company's realty arm, J.W. Realty Co., purchased properties on Mechanic Street in Hoosick Falls for $400,000 in 2006. The purchase was described as "a sale of distress" while the properties were assessed at about $10.4 million; the company filed a grievance, which resulted in the valuation being dropped to $1.74 million (it has since jumped to $2.08 million). WCW apparently balked at that number as well and negotiations between the company and officials failed to resolve the issue.
WCW also owns another site on Route 22 and operates a call center in Bennington, Vt. Wilkinson told Eastwick Press on Wednesday he could not speak to the company's future in Hoosick Falls until next week.
On Wednesday, the North Adams Finance Committee voted to recommend to the City Council a tax incentive that would give WCW property tax breaks over the next five years and designate the Sprague property as an economic development area, allowing the mattress maker to apply for state incentives as well.
Alcombright said he planned to talk further with Wilkinson on Monday about the news reports. However, he was not "overly concerned" about WCW's dispute with Hoosick.
"The fact that he's planning on buying the building, not leasing, tells me his finances are strong and his credit is good," he said. The Sprague building is assessed at $2.2 million and Wilkinson is reportedly in negotiations to buy it. Based on that assessment, the company would get about $177,000 in tax breaks from the city.
The Rensselaer County attorney told Eastwick Press he expects a summary judgement on foreclosure in 30 to 45 days. WCW is looking to relocate all three of its operations by the end of this year, either in North Adams or to another site being looked at in Manchester, Vt.
:: Preliminary Election: Deadline to register is Wednesday, Sept. 7. (Office open from 8 to 8.)
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Registration can be completed at the city clerk's office at City Hall.
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