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Letter to the Editor: Wu Questions Rville's Maranatha Priorities

Written By Editor on 6/4/14 | 6/4/14


"Richmondville officials are demanding that Stella McKenna tell them about plans to sell her closed Maranatha gym in Warnerville."

What gall they have, to "demand", that Maranatha be sold, when in fact, it was they who stopped the gym from being sold, open for business, and from all debts, both to the local government and all B2Bs, being paid in full. With that said, before all of the 'Good Ole Boys', as well as their rable-rouser cohorts, start claiming that I neither had the capital nor a business plan to bail the club out, please let it be known that the investment that I made purchasing fitness equipment in my Sharon Springs location is both more advanced, as well as more costly and greater in both quality and quantity than what was in Maranatha, and, that I also paid for all of it up-front, so there is zero debt. In addition, not only am I renting a commercial location in Sharon Springs, I have also been paying bills on a domicile in Cobleskill for the past year, as well as paying for a residence in Sharon Springs for my whole family since April, since, they are now managing the that location. Lastly, I recently had a code review on the Grand Union building in Middleburgh done by a well-known architect from the city, Jim Lagone, specifically, to open my second location, as I was denied the opportunity to open a club in the Maranatha building. At least in Middleburgh, the mayor of that village--who was the one who invited me to so--and the supervisor of that town, both have the foresight to provide something beneficial for all of their constituents.


Everyone in the county needs to watch Schopeg or access the Richmondville town board minutes for December. They spent 45 minutes discussing asking the state for a waiver of the recapture agreement for the $2.3 million dollar grant, which is the same EXACT waiver which I asked them to ask the state for in September, October, and November, to which they refused each time, even though the state told them many times to ask for it as well. In fact, the state became so exasperated with the whole situation, that they asked them to only write one sentence, and one sentence only: "Please waive the recapture clause of the grant agreement so that Da-lai Wu can invest in, and re-open, the Maranatha Fitness Center". Simple...no? However, they would not ask for said waiver, which, totally protects only them and their constituents, since, after receiving the waiver, the state can never come after them for any part of the $2.3 million dollars. So how do they say 'no'? 

Please be advised that now that the town has the waiver, the club's founder can sell the building and the property to anyone, and does not have to notify anyone about anything. The town's 'demand' can, and should be, ignored. So why did the town turn down the opportunity to have their water bill and audit fees paid, as well as the village's electricity bill? Why did they turn down free office space on the undeveloped second floor of the club's building, which they could have built to their specifications, preferring to assume that the state would give them a grant for their offices, which they were subsequently denied last month? How is it that they believed that the waiver that the state and I both asked them to ask for, was different from that which they themselves asked for and received in December, and after the business model was already totally untenable--not to mention the fact that without a plan, carte blanche with regards to selling the property became a reality?

I lived though this past winter here in Cobleskill, and there is not a lot of things to do besides hibernate, nor, many places to recreate, even though, our state taxes pay for a huge facility in Cobleskill. However, we cannot access the gym, pool, fitness center, nor indoor tennis courts, which is a standard perk at other institutions where they rent facilities to the community at large to earn revenue for their own in-house community, and by doing so, they make real money, hand-over-fist. So what is up with the mentality in these two towns? Why does no one want to receive additional revenue, no strings attached, and to have all arrears paid in full? Why does no one there wish to provide for their neighbors in the community? And why, do residents even allow this situation to occur? 

IMPO, it's time to act. It's time to put the pedal to the metal, and make these 'Good Ole Boys' in both towns, act responsibly, and for the benefit for all. What do you think???

Da-lai Wu
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