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City Asks Computing Center To Pay Up

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB) – The data servers inside the new Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center are worth a whopping $170 million, and that’s just why Mayor Alex Morse is asking them to financially contribute to the city in the new year.

“As mayor, it’s my job to think of creative and innovative ways to raise revenue,” Mayor Morse said.

The Computing Center is tax exempt. In a letter sent Monday, Morse asks the Center to pay about 25% of what they would normally pay in taxes. He even laid out a staggered payment schedule for them, starting with $500,000 this year and continuing on up to $1.5 million over the next nine years.

“Negotiations¬†will be negotiations, so we don’t anticipate it getting negative,” Morse said. “We’ll do everything we can to keep it positive, and keep it cordial. We will no doubt come to an agreement that will satisfy both sides.”

City Councilor James Leahy says considering the center is green and gets its’ electricity from the Holyoke Dam, it’s not much to ask.

“We are looking for them to chip in their share, they are getting the same police protection, fire protection as every other citizen, every other business owner,” Leahy said.

Morse says the city will be asking other non-profits to contribute as well, and already have made contact with ISO New England, Holyoke Gas and Electric, and Holyoke Medical Center and hopes to add Holyoke’s newest development to the list.

“I thought it was appropriate that we move forward in that vein, make sure we’re protecting the people here in the City of Holyoke, like all cities,” Morse said. “We have a tight budget. We’re always looking for ways to increase revenue to prevent taxes from going up.”

The Computing Center said they had no comment when asked if they planned to give the city any money at all. By law, it’s their call to how much they want to pay, if anything.

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