To the Readers' Forum:
As a Lakewood and Town of Busti taxpayer, I commend the Town of Busti Board for at least allowing a public meeting to be held on Wednesday at 6:45 p.m. in the Town Office. Why was a public meeting demanded by local citizens? They had heard rumors the Town Board planned to sell the current Town Office building at 121 Chautauqua Ave., a former "bank" building. At the same time, they also heard the town planned to purchase property at 125-7 Chautauqua Ave, the "Tordella" building. Here are some questions I believe taxpayers deserve the answers to hear on Wednesday:
1) What is the selling price of the "bank", the town's current offices?
2) What is purchase price of the "Tordella" building, the proposed site for new a town office, recreation center and court?
3) What are the estimated lost tax revenues to the village, town, county and SWCS district over the next 30 years with the town's purchase of the "Tordella" building? What are the estimated gains in tax revenues to these same local governments by selling the "bank" and returning it to private business?
4) What are the estimated future costs of moving into and renovating the" Tordella" building? Are there actual engineering plans/architect drawings for such renovations and can the public review them? How much square footage will be renovated? How much space will be left over for potential future use? What square foot renovation cost estimates will the town use in their re-development?
4) What will the Town Board do with the current "Rec. Center" building in Lakewood? What are their estimated costs to maintain, remodel or even demolish this structure?
5) Why will the Town Board not accept the village of Lakewood's offer to share office space in the Caprino Village Hall, even temporarily? Why does the Town Board refuse to even consider submitting CFA forms, along with the village, for New York state grant monies to remodel the Caprino or Rec. Center sites?
6) I understand the need to move quickly to sell the "bank" but why the rush to purchase some of the best retail space on Chautauqua Avenue? How much in tax revenues has been lost to local governments in the past thirty years when the former "Bank" became public property and Town offices? Does the Town Board really want to continue its tradition of eliminating prime private business locations in the village?
I'm sure many more questions will be asked by other town of Busti taxpayers. Hopefully taxpayers will be allowed the time to ask all of their questions and hear factual, open and honest answers from their elected representatives.
Dr. Rudy Mueller