Reporter Dennis Yusko Leaves Times Union Newspaper

Dennis Yusko has left the Times Union after twenty-five years.  Friday was his last day and he is now the communications director for the Albany County Legislature.

Dennis was just a great reporter.  As the Times Union cut back on its resources his beat got bigger and bigger.  In spite of that he did a phenomenal job covering Saratoga Springs.  He was fearless in his  reporting and he was also thorough and professional.  He is also one helluva nice person.  Wec an only hope that whoever replaces him will be of the same caliber.

I know I speak for many here in Saratoga Springs in wishing him all the best in his new job.

Here is a link to his facebook page.

Link To Facebook




4 thoughts on “Reporter Dennis Yusko Leaves Times Union Newspaper”

  1. Thank you John, Dennis will be missed, he was a true investigative reporter. Here is the very last story he reported on before he left:

    Financial questions ahead of High Rock vote in Saratoga Springs
    Garage projections differ for Saratoga City Center
    By Dennis Yusko | April 3, 2016

    The Saratoga Springs City Center Authority revised revenue estimates for its proposed paid-parking garage after a study it commissioned showed the facility would lose money for years due, in part, to free parking downtown.

    Produced last year by a consultant but made public only last month, the study analyzed the city’s parking inventory and revenue potential of the City Center’s proposed 480-space parking structure for a city-owned parking lot on High Rock Avenue near Broadway. The City Center needs to lease 1.6 acres of the 2.6-acre site from the city to build the project. In return, it would pay the city at least $50,000 a year, plus a percentage of parking revenue profits, for 25 years.

    But the City Center’s two financial reports for the $10.5 million parking structure — both of which forecast red ink — have raised additional questions about the project ahead of the City Council’s likely Tuesday vote on the lease.

    “It’s not a good lease for the city,” Jennifer Leidig of Saratoga Springs said. “This is a money-loser, not a money-maker.”

    In an interview Thursday, City Center Authority President Mark Baker said that while the existence of free parking was an issue, the garage would still draw enough paying customers for the City Center to meet its lease payments to the city. He said the viability of the proposed structure would not depend on the city implementing paid parking elsewhere in the city.

    Conventioneers “are now looking for a much better inventory of parking for them to continue to come to Saratoga,” Baker said.

    The City Center had proposed leasing the High Rock site for 20 years before turning the parking structure over to the city, but recently changed that to 25 years. Using the 20-year lease model, the consultant’s report, known as the Walker study, projected the parking garage could lose more than $300,000 a year for at least several years. It determined there is a 263-spot deficit of available public parking in a surrounding 19-block area, but “the amount of free parking in the study area will pose a challenge to the financial feasibility of the proposed parking garage.” The 2015 report wasn’t given to Mayor Joanne Yepsen or made public until March.
    Baker said the Walker study was “an intra-agency working document.” The Times Union obtained and published it on its website March 14. The next day, Baker presented another report with an updated — and rosier — financial picture of the garage to the City Council, saying it would run a deficit of between $133,000 to $143,000 its first five years. Baker said the study, which cost the City Center nearly $30,000, was too conservative with revenue projections, and the shortfall amount forecasted by the City Center could be covered by appropriating hotel room-occupancy taxes it receives.
    Leidig says the City Center’s decision to not share the Walker numbers raises questions about if it’s hiding something. She pointed out the parking garage was not the council’s only option for the High Rock parcel, which was recently appraised at $2.9 million.

    Two private bidders have proposed building on the entire property. Hyman Hemispheric/Sequence Development’s $80 million project would build 656 parking spaces, offices, housing and shops at the site. It offered $2.6 million to buy the parcel, and has won the support of a High Rock citizens group formed last year.
    Paramount Realty Group LLC/The Community Builders’ $77 million Highrock Village would also build parking, housing and shops at the site. It seeks to lease the property. Both private plans would generate about $1.9 million a year in taxes.
    The City Center would borrow $6.5 million toward the proposed garage and using $4 million of its reserves. Parking in the staffed-garage would cost $1 per hour, with the first hour free; $5 per event; and $10 overnight.
    The Saratoga Springs Downtown Business Association recently endorsed the lease deal, saying it would re-energize the economic engine that is the City Center. A pending lawsuit filed by the Mouzon House, a restaurant located near the High Rock lot, seeks to block the City Center project.
    Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan, who is negotiating the lease for the city, supports it.

    “I have reviewed the City Center’s financial plan for the parking structure,” Madigan said, “and am confident in the numbers and Mark Baker’s abilities to ensure a successful project,” Madigan said.


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