Thursday, 22 February 2024 13:26

Moreau Moratorium Status Unclear as Business Leaders Voice Opposition

MOREAU — A proposed moratorium that would temporarily prohibit building commercial, industrial, and manufacturing properties in the Town of Moreau has met fierce opposition from local business leaders, one of whom said the idea has already been dropped by the town supervisor.

Sam Wahnon, a Moreau commercial property owner, said that Moreau Town Supervisor Jesse A. Fish, Jr. came to his office after a town board meeting. “He said that he met with the rest of the town board members and they decided to not do a commercial ban on building,” Wahnon said. “‘No moratorium on commercial property’ is what he told me.”

In the town board meeting, Wahnon expressed his opposition to the proposed moratorium. “I addressed the board and told them that what they were doing was a terrible thing and un-American and that if they do it, I’m going to get very angry and if I get very angry, then they’re going to get very angry and it’s going to end up in a situation,” Wahnon said.

Wahnon said Supervisor Fish “decided it wouldn’t be right to put a commercial moratorium on commercial property in the town of Moreau just because of another problem. He didn’t specify what that problem was but I think we all know.” 

The temporary moratorium is widely seen as an attempt to prevent Saratoga Biochar from building a facility in the Moreau Industrial Park.

As of press time, Supervisor Fish had not responded to multiple requests for comment.

On Wednesday, the Saratoga Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) released a letter to Supervisor Fish encouraging him to drop the moratorium, stating that “the enforcement action you propose would be contrary to reasonable and responsible efforts to expand Moreau’s tax base, create investment opportunities, and add and retain full-time jobs.” The letter was signed by SEDC President and CEO J. Gregory Connors.

The proposed moratorium, known as Local Law No. 2, would temporarily prohibit “the review, approval of applications, and granting of building and other municipal permits for land use approvals in the commercial, industrial, and manufacturing zoning districts within the Town of Moreau.”

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