It has been real quiet regarding the New Hartford Central School $25.7 million bond plan up for a vote on Tuesday, March 13, 2007. The only thing that we have heard about is how they finally spent the 2002 bond money about 2 months ago. Now if we were really concerned about “the children” and “making sure they are ready for the future” wouldn’t we have spent that technology money sooner? Why does it take 4 years to buy laptops?
Guess we needed to make sure that we fixed the football field first; however, apparently the field didn’t get fixed properly because now the school board and Mr. Gilligan are saying that “poor drainage” is the reason they need to put another $2,250,000 into the field--Delaney Construction seems to have done extensive work that should have fixed the poor drainage and we are still paying for that bond. According to an email I received from a town resident, they looked at putting in artificial turf back then, but they were advised that because there are sewer pipes and water pipes for Sanger Avenue that run under the football field, putting in artificial turf would not be a wise choice because of the possibility of the sewer or water pipes needing to be dug up to repair them. Mr. Gilligan stated that they plan to move the sewer pipes, but they cannot move the Sanger Ave. water pipes. However, Mr. Gilligan felt that the chance of repairs needed to the water pipes in the near future was slim.
And almost $16 million for a Community Performing Arts Theatre. Are we competing with the one at Clinton Central School? Clearly the auditorium needs work. We don't believe that anyone could deny that fact. We are just not convinced that we need something that elaborate.
Now that the Tibbitts Road property is not part of this bond vote, it will be interesting to see if the $25.7 million bond is passed. Don’t get too comfortable though--remember, Mr. Gilligan said they are putting the land purchase aside for the time being. According to Mr. Gilligan, the school has an option to buy the Tibbitts Road property until October 2007. Rumors are that there are very definite plans for that land and it is not just the school that is involved.
Speaking of Tibbitts Road, we recently submitted a Freedom of Information request to the Town Clerk requesting any information regarding Hartgen Archaeological Associates, Inc. A few months ago, we were informed by a resident on Tibbitts Road that someone from Hartgen had been on the Tibbitts Road property that the school has their eye on. The Tibbitts Road resident walked out to the field to speak to the gentleman and to try to find out what was going on. The gentleman said he was from Hartgen, Inc. and that he was there because the Town of New Hartford had retained them to do some work on the property. He was looking near the old iron ore mine that is on the Keaveney property. The Tibbitts Road resident tried a couple of times to ascertain whether it was the New Hartford School or the Town of New Hartford that actually had retained the company, but each time the gentleman said they were hired by the Town of New Hartford.
Funny, though we just heard back from the Town Clerk regarding our Freedom of Information request. Not one person in town government admits to any knowledge of Hartgen Archaeological Associates being contacted or hired. The only thing that the bookkeeper could find was a letter from Hartgen to Harza Engineering for a proposal to subcontract on the Bleachery Ave bridge - in 2000. Well, one would have to at least surmise that Hartgen at least does know Town Highway Superintendent Roger Cleveland since we are pretty sure he would have been involved in the Bleachery Ave. bridge project. The town bookkeeper said there is not an invoice or bill on file for Hartgen though.
A search of Google shows that Hartgen does a lot of work for the NYS Dept. of Transportation and several towns. But if no one in town knows anything about it, perhaps the gentlemen from Hartgen Archaeological Associates, Inc. who gave the Tibbitts Road resident his business card was confused as to why he was there and who hired his company to do some work—-he was merely a “lost” soul.
Only time will tell!