> The town needs to grow a set and say this is the price and this is the building
> take it or leave it's really that simple. Just saying
... and that has been successful during the last several years, how?
I think the Town is trying to make the property more attractive to prospective buyers. Some states / cities / towns lure companies by offering them a tax-free period. This really isn't much different when it comes to the bottom line.
All that said, I'm still unhappy that the town closed the building and ignored a study that said the building's best use would be as a school. I'm wondering how much money we have actually saved over time, if you were to take into account the number of students who left the system when the building was shut down. This comes full circle to the contingent on the SC who may or may not be responsible for several Superintendents departure over the years. Are we in a better place than we were back then?
"Town sells the bldg for $50,000 town puts $25,000 in for repairs for the potential buyer, town makes profit of $25,000. WOW what a bargain. We might as well have put the money into the bldg repairs and left the school open."
Not to mention all the children who would not have choiced out, or even choiced in, at a gain to the town of $5,000 or so per kid per year. Not that any of us brought any of this up at the time, of course...
Town sells the bldg for $50,000 town puts $25,000 in for repairs for the potential buyer, town makes profit of $25,000. WOW what a bargain. We might as well have put the money into the bldg repairs and left the school open. Art Gilmore
Lithium, the town meeting article in question states that the $25K is for installing a new water main so that the bldg can be sprinklered and for removing an oil tank. Nothing about removing the furnace. I'm going to assume that the oil tank is in the ground and may be leaking or abandoned or about to start leaking. In-ground tanks are an environmental hazard and no longer legal (I think).
It seems that both of these upgrades to the building will make it more saleable no matter who the buyer is. That being said, I also tend to agree with Mark that it makes sense to see if the developer's plan passes muster with the zoning boards and that the water main and oil tank are made part of the purchase and sale agreement as items to be completed before the property changes hands and not done prematurely.
I am a TM member from precinct 1 and I am not going to be on this year's ballot for reelection. One of the reasons is that these special town meetings tend to come up on weekday nights when I have other meetings scheduled. For instance, I won't be able to make it to the April 4th meeting. I hope someone with healthy curiosity and an open mind decides to put his/her name on the ballot to fill the empty seat.
As for the school building, I do think it's a shame that we're not seeing a school going back in there. Short of that, some kind of mixed community use would be wonderful, were the funds available and the town not in such dire need of additional tax revenue. I do hate to see one of our public spaces being converted to private use. New buildings cost millions, witness the police station, and here we're about to give one away for a net of $25,000. It's a shame, really.
Also, say this passes and we have the furnace removed but then the plan falls through.
The Town has had to dump funds into this property yearly because the DPW has said it's "too hard" to drain "every last drop" of water out of all the pipes and the plaster walls must be kept at a consistent environment. So we remove the furnace and now theres no heat? That makes sense.
So in this week's Reporter we see that the proposal for the real estate development at the Montague Center School has ballooned from 15 apartments to 25, "depending."
And the special town meeting is being asked to pony up tens of thousands of dollars on an unapproved and increasingly slippery project to pin down.
WHY are we putting money into a project that hasn't even come before the zoning board, where there will surely be a lot of hard questions about dropping 25 units of housing on one small parcel in a rural village.
I urge all town meeting members to vote down ANY spending on behalf of this developer until his plan has passed muster.