If you missed the articles in the Observer Dispatch yesterday, here are links:
Good deal gone bad: Business park developer runs into obstacles over stoplight plan
Investment in the future: Millions on business park
Deal gone sour – The developer and the apple farmers
The fact that the Town Board made "behind the scene deals", "wink and nod" promises, and spent our tax dollars without our approval is bad enough. However, the fact that they are continuing to make these backroom deals is disturbing.
For instance, on this Wednesday night's town board meeting agenda (agenda will be online later today):
Local Gov't Efficiency Grant Program 20008-09; Planning Grant for Shared Transportation FacilityThat would be the Shared Transportation Facility the town and school want to build on the 17 acres that Larry Adler "donated" [qui pro quo?] to the New Hartford Central School. The school, like the hotel and doctors' office building, "needs" that 840 intersection in order to gain entrance to the landlocked land. That is why Dan Gilligan was so much in favor of the business park. Dan Gilligan who never lived in the Town of New Hartford in the first place [he lived in Sauquoit] and who has since moved to Arizona. Dan Gilligan who in reality "has a dream" that he will never have to pay for...will this be called the Daniel Gilligan Shared Transportation Facility? Who is going to pay for this Shared Transportation Facility? When will taxpayers be given a chance to voice their opinion? After the money is spent?
Then there is the purchase of 19 Campion Road for $1.7 million dollars. According to Joe Yagey, the purchase price is $1.5 million with the other $200,000 going for inside renovations. Concerned Citizens FOILed the appraisal done by Donato Real Estate, date of valuation February 25, 2008...almost a year ago. Of course, we all know that a year old appraisal would still be good today because nothing has changed in the real estate market, right?
The year-old appraisal actually came in at $1,275,000 [less than the $1.5 million the town is willing to pay] and it is subject to completion of the proposed renovations and additions. The building has sat unoccupied since it was purchased from Judge Virkler in 2005. Residents who attended the meeting at New York Mills High School last year were told that the "proposed renovations and additions" are to be completed by the present owner in accordance with town plans. That, friends, is to avoid the bidding process. If the town were to hire a company to renovate the inside of the building, the town board would first have to advertise for bids. Also gives the owner(s) a chance to reward their "family and friends" and it brings up an interesting question, is Judge Virkler still "connected" with the owners of that building?
The vote to approve the $1.7 purchase was tentatively set for sometime in March; however, nothing has been said in recent town board meetings and when Concerned Citizens foiled information relating to the purchase of 19 Campion Road a couple of weeks ago, we were told no Dept. Head or elected official has anything...the town attorney has yet to answer our FOIL.
What other "deals" are they planning that no one knows about yet? How many other promises were made to Larry Adler? How many promises were made to New Hartford Central School regarding the Shared Transportation Facility? Did the New Hartford Central School send out another memo to their staff like they did for the last Town bond vote in March 2007 reminding them to vote at a town election? Makes one wonder why the school wasted taxpayer dollars to send out a memo regarding a town vote, doesn't it?
Anyone who believes Earle Reeds "bullying tactics" that he will not raise taxes if they vote 'yes' needs to think about it some more.
This Town Board needs a wake-up call...VOTE "NO" and save them from themselves and save us from them.