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Letter to the Editor: Minortown Road Open Space Acquisition Raises Questions

A Woodbury resident is not opposed to the Minortown Road acquisition but asks: What's the hurry?

 

To the Editor:

In a democracy, "sunshine is the best disinfectant."

Some have been following the proposed Minortown Road open space acquisition by attending meetings, a public hearing and participating in a property walk. 

Many have not.

On the surface the proposed acquisition appears to be a good move for the town. However, there are some serious questions/concerns that the Town has not adequately addressed about this property. These include:

  • Why wasn’t a more current appraisal of the property conducted? There were two appraisals completed in 2010, but one was thrown out by the DEEP grantors. The remaining 2010 appraisal is $275,000 for 21.4 acres, which amounts to $12,850 per acre. That seems like a high price for land that is in a flood plain.
  • Has there been an environmental study conducted? There are various reports of dumping on the property, such as construction debris, piles of tires, etc. To avoid liability to the town in the future, an environmental study would be a prudent move.
  • There is a concern about the information disseminated about this proposed purchase. One town mailer states that the various town boards/commissions have "approved" it. Quite the contrary. Upon inspection of town board/commission meeting records, no board/commission has moved to approve the acquisition. For example, the Board of Finance moved only to take the question to a town meeting. 

For the record, I am not opposed to acquiring the Minortown Road property to preserve the aquifer and provide passive recreation for the public. But, what’s the hurry? The grant is not going away. The responsible thing for the town is to conduct due diligence before rushing to purchase this property.

Sharon Sherman
Woodbury

Sean M May 14, 2012 at 09:11 PM
First, people should know that Sharon is a member of the Democrat town committee in Woodbury. Secondly, I do not recall Sharon even attending the public hearing. Her issues here were addressed at the public hearing. The appraisal was done in the latter part of 2010. As was discussed by former State Senator Lou Deluca at the public hearing, the DEEP has already approved this and going to do another appraisal will screw up the entire process. It is not feasible. When you get a mortgage for a home, do you ask the bank after the approval to do another appraisal. The flood plain issue was covered at the public hearing. Flooding is a non-issue. The environmental study situation was also addressed. Another non-issue The board and commission comment was also discussed. Bob Travers, chairman of the Planning Commission, brought this up and Jerry addressed it twice. Another non-issue. Sharon should show up to the public hearings if she has issues or even better, ask her fellow Democrats who were there taking notes what was going on. There were at least 4 Democrat Town Committee members there who asked these questions and they were answered. This is the new Democrat strategy: make up stuff. They lose election after election because they do not offer a positive message. Please stop the politics and game playing. It is a complete waste of our elected official's time. It takes a lot of energy and time away from doing the important stuff.
Don Sherman May 17, 2012 at 03:09 AM
How long are comments available before they are removed? Is the practice standard policy?
Jaimie Cura (Editor) May 17, 2012 at 04:07 AM
Hi Don. Comments will remain in perpetuity unless they are either removed by the author of said comment, flagged enough times by readers as inappropriate or removed by a local editor because they have violated the terms and conditions.

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