Future of Sherman's

 

This winter the Town of Caroga acquired the old Sherman's Amusement Park.  An announcement of a Town Board meeting to discuss the future of this landmark received strong and divergent reactions from the membership of the CLCA.  This page attempts to collect these responses.  Hopefully this will help not only the CLCA membership to have a good discussion about this issue but that it will be helpful for the Caroga Town Board in their deliberations.  Please send your responses to: farberas@oneonta.edu.

Announcements:

For the NYS Environmental Protection Fund Parks Grant application that was submitted by the Town to the State at the end of July: click here to see Part 1; click here to see Part 2.

Proposal for Sherman's Center for Collaborative Arts and Education: click here.

Barbara Lee of Caroga Lake while taking a particular stance has written a useful summary of the Sherman's situation: click here

May 9, 2015 Daily Gazette article by Kyle Adams, "Town Rejects Land Donor's Terms; Plan for former Sherman's Amusement Park still unclear: click here

May 8, 2015 Leader Herald article by John Borgolini, "Town voids Sherman's deal, Caroga will retain ownership:" click here.  If you can not see the complete article, see the CLPA Facebook page: click here.

May 6,2015 Fulton County Express article by Levi Pascher:  Committee files Article 78 challenging town board decision: click here.

April 30, 2015 Leader Herald article: John Borgolini, "Group sues to block Sherman's Deal" : click here.  If you can not see the complete article, see the CLPA Facebook page: click here.

On April 28, 2015, an Article 78 Petition against the Town of Caroga Supervisor and Council Members was filed in the Fulton County Supreme Court.  Article 78 is a means to challenge an administrative decision by a governmental body or agency.  

Letter of April 20, 2015 from the Adirondack Park Association to George Abdella and Supervisor Ottuso regarding the failure to acquire the necessary APA permit to subdivide the Sherman's Property: click here

Petition calling for a referendum concerning the Town's Acquisition of the Sherman's property was accepted and validated on April 21 by Linda Gilbert, Town Clerk.  The Town Board must set a date for the vote.

Minutes of the March 11 Caroga Town Board Meeting: click here  

The Petition Calling for a Referendum to Repeal the Town Board's resolution to accept the Donation Agreement for Sherman's: We, the undersigned electors and legal voters of the Town of Caroga, New York, qualified to vote at the next general or special election, respectfully petition that there be submitted to the electors of the Town of Caroga, for their approval or rejection at a referendum held for that purpose, the repeal of the Town Board Resolution on March 11, 2015, by which the Town Board voted to accept the Donation Agreement between the Town of Caroga and George Abdella, President of Balboaa Land Development. 

Eric Manning's Report on the Status of the Sherman's Septic System: click here

WAMC Report on the Sherman's Acquisition and Petition for the Referendum: click here

Letter from Barbara Lee to Caroga Lake residents concerning the Town's Acquisition of the Sherman's Propoerty: click here

Daily Gazette March 27, 2015: Not so fast, some say about accepting Caroga amusement part: click here.

Report on theTown Board Meeting, Wednesday, March 11: The Town Board voted unanimously to approve the transfer agreement for Sherman's Amusement Park from the Abdella family to the town of Caroga.  The report prepared by the citizens committee charged with reviewing the process and terms of the agreement was submitted to the Abdellas for their consideration.  Click here for the Leader Herald article. Click here to see also an article in The Fulton County Express of March 12 by Levi Pascher.  Click here for an article in the Daily Gazette.

Report on the Tuesday, Feb. 24 Meeting of the Sherman's Review Committee: 

The Review Committee met for the second time on Tuesday to discuss any additional information gathered in the past week pertaining to the Donation Agreement between the Town of Caroga and the Balboaa Land Development.   The committee reviewed their findings with those present, including Town Board Supervisor, Ralph Ottuso.  The committee also sought to answer questions raised at the last meeting, such as the current insurance coverage on the donated property, whether the Town had its own appraisal of the donated property, and the legal process by which the Town acquired the property.  Additionally, the language of the document, primarily as it pertains to the conditions of the Donation Agreement, the inconsistencies between the deed, survey and the Donation Agreement and the implications of the subdivision of parcels in terms of town zoning laws were among other topics the committee attempted to clarify. The committee plans to present its findings and discuss recommendations which will then be presented to the Town Board at the next monthly meeting.
 
The next committee meeting will be 7pm Thursday, March 5th at the Town Hall. --reported by Merryn Byrnes
 

Report on the Tuesday, Feb. 17 Meeting of the Sherman's Review Committee: 

The Review Committee met last Tuesday. The committee consists of Kent Kirch, Merryn Byrnes, Shirley Holliday, Barbara Lee and myself. Discussed were issues pertaining to the language of the Donation Agreement, specifically, the many conditions of the agreement and their potential implications to the Town. Additionally, questions were raised regarding the insurance costs/coverage related to the property and the current zoning as it relates to the lands acquired (for example, are these legal subdivisions by current local zoning law?).  We are also trying to obtain a copy of the Town's appraisal of the property-- which, at the last Board meeting, was said to have existed-- as we are hoping to confirm the accuracy of the appraised value of the donated property as indicated by the agreement. Finally, several inconsistencies between the deed, contract and survey were identified and we seek to bring these to the attention of the Board in order to further clarify exactly which parcels are being donated and which are being retained by Balboaa Land Development. 
 
The next meeting will be 6pm Tuesday, Feb 24th at the Town Hall. --reported by Jeremy Manning
 

Minutes of the Febrruary 11 Town Board Meeting: Click here.


Major Documents Pertaining to the Acquisition of the Sherman's Property:

Donation agreement between Balboaa Land Development and the Town of Caroga: Click here to see a PDF

Letter of March 8, 2015 from Barbara Lee raising important questions about the transfer of ownership agreement. Click here to see a PDF

Letter from the Attorney Barbara Lee commenting on the donation agreement.  Click here to see a PDF.

Click here to see Survey Map of the Sherman's Property


 

2011 Town of Caroga Comprehensive Plan  --Click here

As part of this Comprehensive Plan a Town Center Plan Map was created -- Click here

Minutes of the January 22, 2015, Town Board Work Session -- Click here

For a recording of the January 22, 2015 Caroga Lake Town Board meeting discussing the future of Sherman's, click here  (Thanks to Dick Arthur for making this recording)

CLPA President Lois Miller's report on the January 22, 2015 meeting --Click here

Caroga Lake resident, Judy Simon's proposal for the creation of Sherman's Adirondack Arts Center -- Click here


 

 

Survey of the  Membership about the possible uses of the Sherman's Property:  

The Town Board is looking for community input to help plan for the future uses of the Sherman's property.  To get a sense of the  membership's opinions, we have created a survey.  Click here to participate.  You will need to log on to participate in the survey.  Click here to login. If you need help, contact Allen Farber (farberas@oneonta.edu).

Click here to see the results of the survey.

Written responses to the survey: 

Most important, I disagree with the idea that "tourism" is the foundation of the area economy.  The foundation is vacation homes, quite a different concept.  Owners of vacation homes make up the great bulk of the  Town  tax base and any Sherman's development should be compatible with quality of life and environment for these owners. The tourism vision leads in a direction that most residents would not like -motels, restaurants (all empty in the winter), traffic, large numbers of transients coming for short stays.

The history of Sherman's was as a day-trip for visitors and a recreation spot for lake residents, not as a destination resort, and I am for keeping it at that.
 
My  few  development ideas to throw into the planning mix, intended to be compatible with a town center  , not cost much to construct or maintain, and be attractive to the residents of the Town:

1)  A good playground for toddlers and  young kids.  These are  family - favorable ,   and immensely popular with parents/babysitters, (as I learned last summer in Maine with my grandson Finn).
"Good"  means  multiple  high quality play structures, swings, jungle Gyms,slides etc. Parents like to hang out with their kids at playgrounds, let kids burn off energy, meet other parents and get away from the TV.

2) A lakeside picnic ground with limited quantity seating and fireplaces.  Could use some trees planted to create indivdual spaces.

3) Skateboard pavilion and basketball court  (or half-court) for older kids

4) A lakeside restaurant like Lanzi's would be nice if you could get them

I am opposed to, among perhaps other things : casino,  bingo parlor, (another) public boat launch,  theme park, and paintball ranch. --Mike Kane
 
 
The survey consists of several potentially good ideas of what to do, but does not address the more broad aspect of what we (the town and it's residents) want to accomplish, the 'objectives or goals'  I would like to see/read/hear/achieve a consensus of just what we would like to achieve and then having done that, debate how to accomplish it, e.g. the details of the implementation. 
 
     Along this line of thought, here are a few starter ideas for objectives:
1.  Improve the tourism attractiveness and fiscal climate of Caroga Lake and surroundings.
2.  Create a facility to provide residents entertainment and access to the lake.
  and some things we want to avoid:
3.   Not be a financial burden or financial risk for the taxpayers.
4.  Not be in direct competition with existing businesses in the community.
5.  Not degrade the quality of life for the neighbors.-- Charles Thompson

Since there are so many uncertainties about the legalities of this whole deal.....I think this exploration of the future of Shermans is premature.  As it stands now, if the buildings are not shoveled, soon, there won't be any Shermans and the Abdellas will sue the town for not abiding by their "donation agreement!"  We have a cash cow on our hands.  Congratulations Caroga Lake!! --Val Scribner

I have a comment on the survey which is that the ferris wheel and carousel should be separated out.  I would be strongly interested in maintaining the carousel but have little interest in maintaining the ferris wheel, which in my opinion should be torn down at this point.  It’s a safety hazard.--Alison Mitchell 

 


 

Responses from CLPA Members about the future of Sherman's 

Re Sherman's: My two Cents

I think everyone should gather up all reliable information and make a decision that comports with their vision of the Town's future and their values. If I were an artist, I could paint for you the vision in my mind if this were handled properly. The Town center has sidewalks, and greenspaces leading to Sherman's Town Park, where the the Caroga music festival is tuning up in July with vendors open for business. Kids are on the swings, and families are in the water climbing and diving off docks. "Cronin's on the lake" is doing a brisk business and Caroga has spawned a number of adirondack gateway businesses including kayak and paddle board rentals that take advantage of a non-motorized boat launch. The Caroga garden club has outdone itself again, and the flowers are beauiftul. The uptik in values has resulted in increased revenue and the Caroga Local Development Corporation makes sure the Town's controversial investment back in 2015 is worthwhile and is now seen as a critical turning point for the Town. The Town's dedicated staff take great pride in their upkeep of the Town park. Winter is now a busy time of year, thanks to the winter friendly parking and facilities that make snowmobiling a lifeline business once again and non- motorized winter sports utilizing Caroga's fantastic network of dedicated trails keep local hotels busy. Local businesses benefit from the gateway effect and stops by travelers on their way North. The State has partnered with the LDC to make Sherman's one of the only state financed museum's in the Southern Adirondacks, featuring the regions rich and interesting history in the leather industry and amusement psarks. Families are moving back and people can hardly remember when the Town was on the brink of becoming a Ghost Town and residents let fear, diivision, and distrust nearly derail this historical opportunity.
********
Better, in my mind, to have tried - and even failed - in a spirit of good faith and optimism than to never have tried at all. --Linda Clark


There are probably two things that most people can agree on:

1) Sherman’s is an asset to the Town of Caroga, both as a historical site and as a tourist attraction. And

2) Sherman’s should not be a financial liability to the Town.  

 

The redevelopment of the site for commercial and public use utilizing the guidelines of historic preservation could be a successful strategy to achieve both of these.

 

The standards for “historic places” are set by the US Dept. of Interior which administers the register listing them.  Sherman’s fits best into the category of a site that “embody the distinctive characteristics of a type”.  Sherman’s is a great example of a small, privately owned seasonal amusement park.  It still has key structures that exemplify this type, the Ferris wheel, the merry-go-round, and an enclosed entertainment venue.  It is in the same type as the amusement park that was once at Pine Lake, and Storyland which was on Lake George.  Similar to larger and more well know parks such as Coney Island or Rye Playland, Sherman’s was a family entertainment destination that drew tourist to locations often otherwise remote from the city. 

 

As an example of this type there is a recognized value to preserving the site along acceptable standards as a cultural asset for the Town, the State of New York, and the country.   This would not prevent its rehabilitation as a functioning attraction or some other compatible use.  To the contrary, the financial incentives that exist for historic preservation are based on a viable and sustainable use while maintaining the defining characteristics of the site. 

 

The approach of maintaining the historic structures and developing the site as a commercial enterprise provides a strategy that would be more viable than either approach taken independently. So it becomes important that expert advice from both areas should be solicited and used to create a coordinated development strategy. 

 

It is sometimes assumed that historic preservation is a prohibitively expensive approach to rehabilitate a derelict facility but this is short sighted and often wrong*.  Historic preservation values those aspects of a facility that make it special and historically interesting, but it acknowledges the requirements for contemporary use and provides a useful basis for considering each compromise beyond utility and cost.  The result is a facility that maintains a tangible value and general attraction to the public because of the preservation. 

 

It should be noted that this approach is inherently more difficult than simply using the functional parts of the facility as is and demolishing the rest.  There are undoubtedly more minimal uses of the property that would require less effort.  This has largely been the approach of previous owners, reasonably trying to balance the cost of maintaining the facility or improving it against the potential revenue.  But the Town is not a typical property owner.   The Town has a vested interest in seeing the facility become a successful attraction both for the added revenue from tourist dollars and from increased property values as the town center gains strength and appeal. 

 

I would recommend the Town identify and select a development advisor with demonstrated experience in accredited historic preservation who would provide a preliminary report identifying the defining characteristics of the property, it’s probably qualifications as a historically registered place, and a conceptual proforma for the financial implications for proceeding so the Town can be well informed to decide how best to proceed.

 

Chris Milford, AIA

Architect, Historic Preservation Consultant

Milford & Ford Associates

Owner, 131 Hutchinson Rd., Canada Lake, NY

*See the work of Donavan Rypkema, The Economics of Historic Preservation: A Community Leader’s Guide (2005) and Measuring Economic Impacts of Historic Preservation (2011) Donovan Rypkema: Economic Benefits of Preservation, 2013 Lecture at the University of Oklahoma.

[Wikipedia article on National Register of Historic Places]

 

Caroga Lake's 2011 Comprehensive Plan, with the development of an ambitious Town Center at its core, seems well thought-out and thorough. It's a bold and uplifting view of what the future might be. At the same time it feels a bit like a "hail mary" pass, exciting if it happens but hard to complete. The Plan for a Town Center around  Shermans  has many attractive parts, the problem is that most of the parts don't yet exist. One wonders how we get from here to there?

Before considering that question, let's back up a bit. The Comprehensive Plan says the town's lakes are its most important asset, and identifies three other "centers of importance"...the campsite, Royal Mt, and the Nick Stoner Golf Course. The plan emphasizes the critical importance of protecting water quality. Bottom line, the town's economy is tourism. Period.

Tourists want scenery, recreational activities, food and drink, retail and lodging. Caroga Lake is lagging in all of those right now.

The Town Center idea does touch just about all the bases but it's the "hail mary" aspect of it that's worrisome. Rather than struggling to make the whole thing happen it might be better to break it into chunks and combine those with other steps to improve the town's appeal to tourists. Sort of a "walk before you run" approach to building momentum. Lots of good ideas for the Shermans property have already been circulated....
*Events...music especially
*Lessons and instruction
*Gardens
*Restaurants, food service
*Parties
*Festivals
*Amusements and rides
*Swimming
*Farmers' market
*Flea markets

All seem do-able with smart planning and committed participation. But by who? The biggest question is how to blend public and private activity. Somehow the town needs to enable, and then benefit from, private initiatives and entrepreneurs. If decent profit opportunities can be created by the town, there are people out there who will step up. Probably best to start slowly. Two or three modest sized concerts in year one, with some food vending included. Perhaps create a multi-day festival to add to the mix in year two, something that can endure and grow into a key part of the town calendar and identity. 
Test-drive farmers markets and flea markets. Gardens are an attraction and a community participation opportunity. Start small, see how it goes.
Maybe get the ice cream stand open and something in the pavilion and that's about enough for year one. Just bring the property back to life a bit and get some experience in how best to mesh town and private sector activity.
Build momentum for the Town Center with small successes.

The Town Center/ Shermans plan is just one piece of the puzzle though. One of the other "centers of importance" in the town's Comprehensive Plan, the Nick Stoner Golf Course, is a fantastic resource that needs revitalization. The demise of the Inn has hurt the course and town significantly. It's worth noting that whenever someone makes even a modest effort to get the Inn or 19th Hole going again people flock to it. There's a strong bank of support to see them succeed. The town should do everything possible to help incentivize private ownership to restore the Nick Stoner Inn. It's a crucial part of the heritage and tourism potential of Caroga Lake. Today it's a very forlorn looking shell of what it was. Visuals are really important to tourism.

The golf course itself is a jewel. Steve Jennings does a great job with the resources allocated to it but more support is needed. The clubhouse needs an upgrade and the course needs better funded maintenance. Steve and his staff provide incredible efficiency with the dollars spent, but more are needed.
With a reasonably restored Inn and a modestly tuned up golf facility the town's tourism image and revenues would get a major shot in the arm.

There may be economic development grants and incentives available from the state or county to backstop all or some of this. Perhaps an enterprise zone could be created for the benefit of all businesses within it. Every stone should be overturned.
Tourists, like all customers, respond to well-run businesses. Look at the Canada Lake Store and the Lake Effect Cafe. Shermans may be an opportunity to make that same sort of connection with consumers. The Nick Stoner Inn and the golf course certainly are.
 
Momentum takes on a force of its own, in either direction. Right now Caroga feels like a town that's slipping, but there's a huge reservoir of desire to turn it the other way. One way to do that is to get people committed to take small, smart steps that add up over time.

One final thought, the Caroga Historical Museum should also get attention as a "center of importance". Its board and supporters are passionate and active and it runs a busy calendar of summertime events. The Museum should be tied into the Shermans efforts and the overall plan.

Thank you to those in town who took the time and effort to create the Comprehensive Plan. --Chris Rohrs

As members of the Caroga Historical Museum, we feel strongly that Caroga’s history should be taught and preserved. Sherman’s Amusement Park was a “gem” within the Adirondacks and should always be remembered. 
The present Caroga Comprehensive Plan suggests that the aquisition of the Sherman Park land would provide a symbol for our town as well as an excellent setting for the Town Center. The acquisition of the wastewater treatment facility, if large enough, and potable water would help revitalize the downtown. It could attract small businesses and restaurants. It could be a place where groups of people could congregate for classes and social interaction. The beach and picnic areas could attract tourists. There is much potential here, however there are also points that must be considered.
Maintaining a swimming area with lifeguards, ground water wells, wastewater treatment, carousel, old buildings with contents, and grounds to meet present building codes could place our community in financial debt. Insurance alone could be very costly.
After reading the Donation Agreement Contract, (dated Dec. 29, 2014) there are  some concerns that need answers. The Town is acquiring use of the land, but there are many stipulations that could become costly for the town and its residents. The agreement states:
  1. The Town will protect and preserve in perpetuity this landmark.
  2. The Town shall maintain the buildings and grounds in the same high standards as the previous Donor.
  3. The Town of Caroga may in the future have to increase wastewater treatment, electrical facilities and the ground water well as needed by the Donor for future development of two parcels owned by the Donor.
Maintaining the buildings in good repair is one thing, but having to add expenses for the Donor’s business could become costly. This could become a liability to the Town and the taxpayers. It seems that the Donor has been protected but the same is not true for theTown. The Supervisor and Town Board needs to negotiate a more Caroga friendly agreement. There is no opportunity or option for possible future development on the land. (This is assuming the Agreement has not already been signed!)
It is necessary to hire a person who is knowledgeable in grant writing to help manage the project and is also solely working on income for the project. A general manager is needed to oversee all plans. Better communication for permanent Town residents and summer residents is very important. We may have an excellent opportunity with this acquisition but careful thought and guidance is necessary to avoid failure. --Doug and Judy Smith


 The town taking on the management of Sherman's is an interesting situation. I think the focus should be on activities that attract people from outside the town. The beach is certainly one and possibly some food service etc to go with it. I suspect the town might be wise to hire consultants to look at possibilities and do a market feasibility analysis. Insurance costs will be an important issue so how insurance companies look at various options will be important. Such consultants will cost money up front but in the long run they could help  develop a plan that will bring in money rather than loose money.

The plan should avoid concessions that compete with existing businesses in the Town.

The dance hall is great and I think the Abdellas put money into it. Music groups are big attractors, so if Sherman's  would attract and advertise concerts etc. this could make the place a destination. This will require people who are capable of running this kind of operation.

Keeping the place looking well is very important. The Town Hall often looks awful. The room where the CLPA has its annual meeting can be a mess. The town board must be aware that this is important.
 

 So the town must be prepared to spend money to make money. These upfront costs may not be popular with many in the electorate.  --Jim Hays

I hope it was well thought out and the expenses of such an "opportunity" fully investigated. Would love a decent restaurant in town and more retail but not if it has a negative influence on taxes.   --Paul Degen

I think the Town should restore the entire facility which was Sherman's and re-invent the decades of the 30's, 40's and 50's as a theme park and dance hall. --John Snyder 

It would be great if part of Sherman's could be a decent restaurant.  We would love to have a decent place to eat out!  Rumor was that the Lanzi's people wanted to purchase Sherman's a while ago but couldn't meet the price.  Maybe they might still be interested in running a restaurant at Sherman's, maybe on a lease basis?  We really like Lanzi's on Sacandaga Lake and if they did something at Sherman's maybe it too could be a destination.  Just a thought. --Robert Silvernail

 am still in shock hearing the news that the Town accepted this “donation.”  
 
We have no business being landlords over such a boondoggle.   I do not believe the Town has the resources nor the expertise in land development or amusement park operation.  The risk of financial and liability loss is too great a burden to place on the Town.
 
If the Town’s Land Use Law doesn’t already allow for a Planned Unit Development I would suggest it be added.  This planning tool would pave the way for the facility to be razed or adapted by a private developer creating a mixed-use residential, recreational and commercial property that would add to the tax base and improve the character of a dying “down town” Caroga.  A newly-revitalized multi-season, lakeside resort destination and community would by far improve Caroga and its surrounding communities and businesses. -Howard Michaels

I would love to see a Farmer's Mkt and a Flea Mkt every Saturday at Sherman's....the town could charge a fee of say $25.00 for a certain space....I think the town would attract customers from Stoner, Pine, Green,Peck and Canada lakes....--Phyllis Sandford

I'm still stewing on what I'd recommend, but for starters I'd:
 
- determine what exactly is included in the "Sherman's" property.  I think there was a lot of acreage involved at one point (well over 100 acres I heard at one time).  Perhaps there are some parcels that could generate income (I'm thinking logging if they are wooded).  Other property might be sold if judged to be non core to the main property to generate some working capital.
- have studies already been done on what might be possible with the property?  If so, what do they suggest?  If a serious study has not been made, we should look into who does such things and what we might learn from doing one.
- we need to see how the change in Shermans ownership impacts the town plan.  I suspect this is a game changer.  Does the plan need a major revision?
- A restaurant on the waterfront (like Lanzi's on Sacandaga) could be a regional draw and could be the phase 1 spark to redevelop other parts of the Sherman tract over time.  Part of the property could be leased to make this possible (how this is done would need to be very carefully planned to protect the town's interests). --Dave Graves

I think the beach should be open to the public, it would be nice if there was a public boat launch, sell the rest so the town won’t lose the tax base. I don’t want my taxes going up to support something I will never use!! I don’t think the town was thinking when they took the park.  --Donald Dopp

We are pleased that the Town has acquired the Sherman's site, as it has been closed for many years, we have missed the opportunity to bring friends and family to this historical amusement park, and ride the carousel, which we did at all ages.  In addition, the events including music and dance in the main building attracted many visitors and local residents. My suggestion is to put this out and offer a concessionaire the opportunity to run the Sherman's Amusement Park, with revenues to the Town, allowing for profit to the vendor.  This is similar to the amusement park in Rye, NY owned by the county of Westchester, where the amusements also include an ice skating rink, very popular in winter months.  I had hoped that Fulton County would also contribute to the preservation and use of Sherman's since it is a big draw for visitors to the region, perhaps they can share in some of the costs of upkeep, or grants can be identified for restoration. The opportunity for swimming at the lakefront is also a feature of this property, which could be explored.
Last year's events by the Chamber of Commerce and the parade were also well received by the community. --Rosemary Lee and John Leonforte

I hated seeing that property lifeless and unused,  I hope we come up with a way to bring it back to life.  A trip to Sherman's was always an important part of our summer fun.--Susan Parkhurst

My first question  would be why did town do this without any kind of a public hearing to get input from the residents.
Why would the town want to take on the liability of the buildings and property.
Who is going to maintain the buildings, do the repairs, maintain the lawns, the parking and maintain the beach. How much beach front does the town actually own. What is the lost tax revenue and I'm assuming that we, the taxpayers, will be paying the county part of the tax bill. Do you really think someone is going to rent that place as a restaurant? The town can't live in the past.  It will never be what it once was.  I can't imagine that that old building would pass a fire inspection. What is the insurance going to cost us to insure those old firetraps. Does his "gift" include the property across the street which houses the septic system that the town has been anxious to get. Abdella tried for 8 years to sell it and couldn't so now he gets a $3.1 million tax write off...Not bad
Tear it down and sell the property for condos.   (well...you asked) --Mike Manning

I strongly support the re creation of Sherman's....  It was a lovely venue at its high point in life.  Obviously, the town is well aware of the Sherman's building at the museum, but it might be something for them to think about tying together in maybe marketing a package to school trips and the like of being able to see both the present form and what it was like historically.  Let us know if there is something which the CLPA members individually can to do assist this project.  --Carole Fisher

My suggestion would be to voice the fact the these meetings should be happening in June , July and August  because that is when the majority of tax payers will be in resident.
 
The implications of the town accepting the gift is huge. The insurance alone will be pretty costly. If the town owns the beach and opens it does that mean that they are now going to hire lifeguards? Who will maintain the beach and the buildings? These structures are old and in need of repair what is the budget? --Maureen Sasscer
 

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