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Thursday, July 16, 2009

In the year 2011...

We just stumbled upon a copy of the Official Statement for serial bonds totalling $24,918,859 that were recently sold by New Hartford Central School to finance the $25.7 million renovation project approved by district voters on March 13, 2007. According to the bottom of page 19 of the Statement - Future Construction Plans:
"The School District anticipates a future capital improvement project for the Fall of 2011. Potential capital improvement items will focus on infrastructure and a bus repair and storage facility."
Looks like New Hartford Central School taxpayers will have another bond vote to consider in a couple of years.

A bus repair and storage facility...that must be the project planned for the 17 acres of land donated to the school by Larry Adler. On February 9, 2009, Oneida-Herkimer-Madison BOCES, the New Hartford Central School District, the Town of New Hartford/Village of New Hartford and the Village of New York Mills submitted a Shared Services grant application to NYS Dept. of State requesting $50,000 to study the feasibility of constructing a shared transportation facility near the BOCES complex on the land donated by Mr. Adler.

The future capital improvement...could that be the Higby Park...er..we mean Romano Park?

Concerned Citizens FOILed all available documentation in conjunction with the park:
There is the school board resolution [bottom of first page under New Business] that states that the school will reimburse the Foundation for all expenses related to acquiring the property and gives Superintendent Nole the authority to enter into a Naming Rights Agreement.
Then there is the Naming Rights Agreement. Interesting to say the least!
There is Exhibit A - park plans.
There is Exhibit B - Naming Opportunities.
There is Exhibit C - Signage.
There is the list of sponsors.
And finally, the letter sent to donors.
We gotta tell you, we found it interesting that according to page 21 of the Official Statement, under "...professional advisors of the school district", bond counsel for New Hartford Central School is Bond, Schoeneck and King, i.e. Linda Romano, the main push behind the purchase of the Hubbell property and whose family name will grace the entrance of the park. Also, the school's architect, King & King Architects, LLP out of Syracuse, just happens to be a donor to the Higby Park and appears to have "naming rights". Wonder if the school has a Procurement Policy and ever goes out to bid for these professional services as outlined in General Municipal Law.

By the way, we received an anonymous tip that the school has recently been investigating zoning regulations as it relates to wind energy in New Hartford. According to a couple of Observer Dispatch articles back in 2006, the school was looking at putting wind mills on property between Higby Road School and Perry Junior High. Wow...that sounds like the Hubbell property. Is that one of the ways they think they are going to finance the development of Romano Park?

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I DONT GET IT....DO WE REALLY NEED THIS FOR THE "CHILDREN"???? when were we taxpayers suppose to find out about this foolishness???LAST BUT NOT LEAST WHY IS THE SCHOOL DISTRICT INVOLVED IN THIS AT ALL??? Thanks for all the gold digging u do to keep us informed''''''

Anonymous said...

The NH school board and superintendent are as dishonest and secrtetive as the NH town board . It's time to replace them ALL.We ,the taxpyers, are guilty by association for continuing to elect these same worn out people with the same mindsets.

Anonymous said...

Great report on the Park. Whether you are for or against it, it boggles the mind that this information hasn't been made public by the school district for no other reason as to keep the citizen abreast of developments. The town and the school district are in desperate need of a public relations person. Why are they so inept at communicating with the public???

New Hartford, N.Y. Online said...

We agree, it should have been made public a long time ago.

If you read some of the documentation, there are still a lot of questions that need to be answered.

We looked up the deed transfer and the property appears to be held in a trust at this point. Why?

Why does the school foundation refuse to release any of their documentation (bylaws, tax exempt ruling, etc.) that the IRS says is supposed to be made available to anyone who asks?

Why are they saying that this was a donation to the school foundation when in fact it is apparent that school personnel were taking the lead on this purchase?

Also, if they do plan on putting windmills on school property in a residential area, why are they keeping quiet about it?

Anonymous said...

The school district should be getting out of the bus business instead of building a bigger kingdom.

Anonymous said...

So in other words the donated land is not so free after all.And the school relinquishes all other rights.Gee what a deal! The land could not be developed so the school gets it as a gift. Kind of like getting a Christmas present and a bill for it at the same time.