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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

MY TAKE - Council rejects sale of Legion building

So here are the details from last night’s Town Council meeting on the subject.

The full story can be read from the article in the Record Journal.

Councilor John Le Tourneau put an item on the agenda – the proposed sale of the American Legion Building – up for another vote.

With three new members on the council there was some hope that the town could take some action on the property other than going to court.

The vote went down 5-4 to not endorse the sale of the building.

The motion was made to sell and the YES votes were

Vincent Testa
John Sullivan
John LeTourneau
Jerry Farrell, Jr.


The remaining councilors below voted NO

Nichnolas Economopoulos
Robert Parisi
Rosemary Rascati
Vincent Cervoni
Craig Fishbein


So from here we will spend time and money to fight our stance in court that we should keep the property for an expansion of Town Hall that will never happen.

The Mayor will not put any money into the building so it will slowly become more of an eyesore as it falls into further disrepair. (By the way, if you or I owned this property and allowed it to become an eyesore we’d get hit with the blight ordinance.)

We may lose the court fight after spending the time and the money and have to put money into it to do something with it.

Or we might win and then we get the benefit of the expenditure to tear it down.

We already own the parking we sought to own with the original purchase of the building.

If we could sell the building and just the footprint that it sits on why wouldn’t we want to get some badly needed money AND put a building back onto the tax rolls?

We had two interested buyers in the past 12 months with the higher of the two offers in the $60,000.00 range. It might not seem like a big offer but all they would be getting is the building; there is no real property being transferred and no parking other than shared municipal parking to the rear of the building.

Additionally, there has been no heat in the building for the better part of the last decade and a ton of weather damage. Estimates to repair the building to a useful function would be two to four times the purchase offer price. 

If we ever needed to expand Town Hall it would be backwards off the existing building into the parking area in the rear (when facing the building from the front) and not off to the right onto the American Legion property.

Well – the council is in charge of property matters and this one is now settled; we’re off to court on the 20th.

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