Last night the BOC voted 3-1 (Brown against, Conrad absent) to subdivide the Kratzer Farm. If you are new to this issue here is an overview.
1. There is no reason to rush to sell any portion of the farm. Working one time potential revenue into a budget calculation then seemingly counting on it…. is just wildly irresponsible. There is no guarantee it sells at all yet alone a reasonable price close to the estimate. I think a high school personal financial management student would recognize that. This practice is amplified during a time when a property tax is on the table. How on Earth could anyone think relying on the one selling of assets is good long term financial planning? It’s akin to burying your head in the sand. Does nothing to address long term issues.
*Note right now, the property is generating revenue. The Parks board investigated this at their last meeting. The property is not costing us a dime. In fact you can say renting the house pays for a portion of maintenance on the rest of the property.
2. Solicitor Somach brought up an alternative option to advertise the house for sale before spending even more money on engineering. This way we can see if there even is a market for the house before we spend more money. We’ve already spent over 13,000 on engineering costs, appraisals ect. I thought this made sense. Why spend more money until we see if there is even a market?
3. Brian Higgins and I are both on record supporting waiting until the results of the parks plan before moving forward. This was the near unanimous recommendation from membership of not only the parks board but also the EAC and planning commission. Doug Brown is supportive of that. Ryan Conrad has been warm to the idea. So basically we have two lame ducks who are driving an unpopular decision. That is not right and is a blatant waste of money for no reason. They should understand that in a transition period you need to acknowledge a new board might go in a new direction.
Lastly, there was an agreement to wait which now seems to have just been tossed aside. This was the understanding of the Parks Board, planning commission and EAC. In fact the Parks board devoted a significant amount just one week ago working on studying the house. If they had known the board was going to plow ahead they wouldn’t have wasted their time or staff’s time.
Here is the letter the PR board sent. It contains an overview of some of the information they gathered about the house. They have done more public investigation of the pro’s and con’s of selling then I’ve seen in over a year from the BOC. That’s a problem. I attended budget workshops last year when this was discussed. I can sum it up in one sentence: “Shall we sell Kratzer? Yes, it’s a continuation of our policy.” . . . . .