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Investor Makes Case for Maranatha Change

Written By Editor on 11/12/13 | 11/12/13

Interest in the Town of Richmondville's special board meeting on Maranatha and the potential for a new investor to come in reached such levels yesterday afternoon that the Town Court exceeded its occupancy level of 46 people and proceedings were moved to the Fire Department less then a half mile down Main Street to accommodate the approximately 75 residents that were in attendance.
With substantial debts including electric and water bills, an unpaid consultant and a roughly $20,000 equipment audit facing whomever acquires Maranatha, potential investor Da-Lai Wu said that it was a "no brainer" that all outstanding bills would have to be paid in advance of his New York City investment firm's potential takeover.
Mr. Wu, who addressed the audience of residents and politicians, told the crowd that in the future he needs assurance that the Town of Richmondville wouldn't continue what he summarized as a business unfriendly attitude towards the project he is seeking to acquire. Saying that if he wanted to expand Maranatha to include a tennis court or other buildings under his potential ownership that he should be able to do so without hindrance.
However, with the original project dependent on millions in state grants, and the strings that are attached, nothing can occur unless all parties involved are on board for a waiver by Empire State Development, which will need the cooperation of the thus far skeptical Town of Richmondville to be considered.
Stella McKenna, who currently owns Maranatha and is operating out of her secondary location in Cobleskill for the time being, said that "this needs to happen now" and that we "can't wait another week." State Senator Jim Seward concurred, stating that "if nothing happens, it remains an empty building."

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Unknown said...

The potential investor, Mr. Wu made no direct commitment to repay the outstanding debts incurred by Maranatha and admitted that he has thus far invested zero money in Maranatha. Further, he wants additional delays in conducting a required audit (with an audit being the only way to follow the path of disappearing money that has been thrown at Maranatha). For her part, developer McKenna again begged the community to save the business despite the fact that the taxpayers have already contributed millions of dollars. Ms. McKenna claimed to have invested large sums of money herself in the business which is not supported by the facts. Public records indicate her cash investment so far has been less than 1% of the total financing, with the remaining 99% coming from the taxpayers and the banks. Investor Wu did not endear himself to those in attendance with his aggressive insistence that the Town provide concessions and his heart-rendering tale about how much he pays to park his car on the lower east side of Manhattan.
The Richmondville Town Board and Town Attorney conducted themselves admirably, insisting that the tax payers be protected. Let’s hope they stand their ground in the face of pressure from Mr. Wu and Senator Seward who seems oblivious to the true cost of this boondoggle to taxpayers of his State.

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