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Caroga News Flash

From the Town Board

Highlights of the October 9th, 2019 Town Board Meeting

To enhance communications with residents, the Town Board will distribute this newsletter with the “headlines” from the board meetings. Detailed meeting minutes will be posted on the Town website (TownOfCaroga.com).

This was a regular monthly Town Board meeting that lasted approximately two hours.

Resolutions/Local Laws Passed:

  1. Golf Course – Approved the purchase of two new mowers to replace existing mowers that are both about 15 years old. The $17,118.72 for the new mowers is in the current budget.

  2. Highway Department – Approved the bond for the purchase of a new plow truck. The bond will be at a 2.4% interest rate over three years. The truck will be delivered later this month.

  3. Sexual Harassment Policy – Adopted the recommended policy from our Insurance company. Many Town employees participated in a training session on the policy on Tuesday. A copy of the policy will be issued to all Town employees.

  4. Budget Transfers – Approved the transfer of $150 to the cemetery account from the refuse & garbage account to cover mowing expenses and balance the budget.

  5. Budget Adjustment – Reduced the expected Town sales tax revenue by $100,000 and added a line item to the Highway Department with expected revenue of $100,000. This just changes where the revenue is placed. The expected amount of sales tax to the town has not changed.

  6. Board of Assessment Review – Appointed Mark Ford to a new five year term starting Oct 1st.

  7. Approved– a special board statement and a summary of the key elements of the CAC purchase agreement for distribution.

  8. Budget Meeting – Scheduled a budget meeting for Wednesday, October 16th at 7PM.

  9. Meeting Minutes – Approved the meeting minutes from September 11th and 25th.

  10. Halloween – Scheduled the Town Trick or Treat for 6-8PM on Thursday, October 31st.

  11. Health Insurance – Approved reimbursement up to $500 to a Town employee due to a coverage issue with 2019 dental benefits. Due to the coverage issue, the Town has already made up the cost of this reimbursement due to lower premium costs.

The following topics were also discussed:

Upcoming Meetings:

Town Board Special Statement

The voters will decide if the sale of Sherman’s to the Caroga Arts Collective (CAC) proceeds when they vote on November 5th. A great deal of time and work by the Board and many town residents has led up this decision. A citizen committee tasked by a prior Town Board to solicit, evaluate and recommend a solution for Sherman’s recommended the CAC proposal. The committee included local community leaders, local business owners, a county economic development leader and the county tourism director. The CAC has submitted a purchase agreement for the Sherman’s property. In addition, Balboaa Land Development Inc. owned by George Abdella has filed a lawsuit against the town claiming breach of contract related to the Donation Agreement. This lawsuit will be withdrawn if the voters approve the sale on November 5th.

The vote on Sherman’s was called by the Town Board so residents could make this important decision. The majority of the Board support this sale because we believe it is the best option for the Town today and will be a strong generator of economic development for the Town in the future. Given the legal issues with the Sherman’s property donation and the likely wastewater issues with other types of development, the ability of other options be successful is questionable. We encourage residents to join us in moving forward by focusing on what is best for the Town in the long-term when casting their vote on November 5th.

Important Reasons to Accept the CAC Offer for Sherman’s

  1. Avoid costly and time consuming litigation with George Abdella

  2. Recover the entire cost of Sherman’s to the Town over 5 years - about $50,000

  3. Eliminate ongoing Town costs and responsibilities for Sherman’s

  4. Receive the Town’s share of property tax on Sherman’s from CAC going forward

  5. Eliminate the Town obligation to provide sewage disposal for future uses of Balboaa Land Development property (RV park, etc.), per the Donation Agreement

  6. Avoid the likely issues with the septic system at Sherman’s with other options

  7. Keep Sherman’s open to the public and available for events

  8. Generate economic development with new residents, jobs and visitors

  9. Increase sales tax revenues that make up a large portion of the Town budget

  10. Let the Town focus on other important issues like roads and the golf course

  11. Allow the CAC to develop Sherman’s into a community/cultural arts center

  12. Let everyone “move on” and help unify the Town

Purchase Agreement Summary
CAC offer for Sherman’s on June 14, 2019
Key Points

  1. Property

    The entire Sherman’s property and buildings of approximately 8.56 acres on both sides of New York State Route 10. Everything is sold in “as is” condition. This includes the Carousel and Ferris Wheel.

  2. Purchase Price

    $50,000 cash (no financing) This amount is intended to more than cover all of the expenses (including legal fees) the Town has incurred since the property was donated nearly five years ago.

  3. General Release & Waiver

    Balboaa Land Development Inc. owned by George Abdella has signed a General Release & Waiver allowing the sale to the CAC to proceed and giving up all rights to sue to the Town related to the Donation Agreement dated December 9, 2014 if the sale is completed.

  4. First Right of Refusal

    The Town has been provided First Right of Refusal for three years from the closing date. If the CAC decides to sell the property, the Town would have the right to buy back the property if the Town Board were to make that decision.

Note: The full documentation of the Purchase Offer, General Release & Waiver and Donation Agreement are available to the public on the Sherman’s Page of TownOfCaroga.com.

Issue #16 - 2019

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