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Showing posts with label Richmondville. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Richmondville. Show all posts

RVES Ambulance Corps Closing in October

Written By Editor on 9/23/16 | 9/23/16

The membership of RVES regretfully announces after months of hard work and discussion with Town and Village officials that RVES will cease operations on 31 October 2016 at 23.59 after 38 years of service to the community due to financial reasons.

The Town worked diligently to find funds to sustain the ambulance service.  Sadly the $12,800 is less than one half of what is needed when other fund raising and insurance reimbursements are added in.

Some of the larger items in our budget include:  Worker's Compensation Insurance:  $15,000, mortgage $14,000, building, vehicle and malpractice insurance $7,000.  Added on to those costs are: utilities, diesel fuel,  medical supplies, uniforms, equipment plus a thirteen year old ambulance and you can see how expensive running an ambulance service is.  In a small town losing population survival without without government help and support is not possible.

The membership felt it would be irresponsible to accept tax dollars and still have to close our doors in a few months time due to the help being "too little, too late".

At this point in time the membership, while still committed and dedicated to helping people in need, see no route forward without a substantial commitment of public funds.

The Schoharie News will follow up on this story as it develops.

Borst, Neary Win Re-Election Unopposed

Written By Cicero on 3/20/15 | 3/20/15

Residents of the Villages of Richmondville and Schoharie headed to the polls on Wednesday to send their communities respective Mayors back to office for another term. 


With 28 total ballots cast, nine-term incumbent Mayor Kevin Neary was able to receive twenty-seven of them and secure a tenth term in office. Also running unopposed, Village Trustee Natasha Foote was reelected with 26 votes, and newcomer David Hotzler won with 25.


Long-time Mayor John Borst received all eighty-nine votes cast to earn himself another term as the shepherd of the county's seat in the valley. Trustee Larry Caza was re-elected with 80 votes, while Trustee John Balliett gained another term on the back of 42 write in votes.

Village Justice Fred Kennedy was also re-elected with sixty-seven votes, and all candidates ran unopposed.

Borst, Neary to Seek Re-Election

Written By Cicero on 2/25/15 | 2/25/15

SCHOHARIE - Schoharie County's two longest serving Mayors are set to extend their time in office next month, when residents of the Villages of Richmondville and Schoharie head to the polls on Wednesday, March 18th. 

Filing the necessary petitions to seek re-election as mayor of their respective municipalities, both Kevin Neary of Richmondville and John Borst are all but assured victory with no declared opponents to their candidacies. 

Now concluding his eighteenth year in office, Mr. Neary has overseen the administration of the county's only self-sustaining municipal operated electric company, Richmondville Power and Light at low cost to citizens.  

Mr. Borst on the other hand, has obtained minor fame from appearing several times on the David Letterman Show, but is primarily recognized for his work in leading recovery efforts in Schoharie following the devastation of Irene. 

In addition to the mayoral campaigns, village residents in Richmondville will be electing two Trustees; neither of whom are opposed, while voters in Schoharie are set to also elect two Trustees as well as one Justice. 

Following Neary and Borst as the longest serving mayors is Matthew Avitabile of Middleburgh, Doug Plummer of Sharon, Linda Holmes of Cobleskill, and most recently, Charles Johnston of Esperance. 

Letter to the Editor: R'Ville Planning Board in Disarray

Dear Editor:

Last week’s Times-Journal reported that the Town of Richmondville was claiming that it had difficulty finding people to serve on its Planning Board. That could not be further from the truth. The Town has steadfastly refused to advertise vacant positions on the board, refused to conduct public interviews of people willing to serve (something other towns do) and repeatedly rejected qualified candidates, some of whom have extensive planning and zoning experience. The Town has not had difficulty finding qualified candidates, only difficulty finding individuals willing to pretend that local land use and environmental regulations don’t apply to political cronies and that the role of the Planning Board is to rubber stamp proposals from local developers.
The Town of Richmondville Planning Board has a notorious history that includes taking just a few minutes to issue a slap dash environmental approval of the proposed Maranatha facility, ignoring a voluminous archeological report warning that the proposed facility would have a significant negative impacts and then being forced to withdraw that approval only to reissue a second and then a third approval after each was challenged. The Planning Board ultimately admitted, in a letter signed by their secretary, that the environmental approval was given for the sole purpose of allowing the developer to gain access to tax payer funded grant monies. We all know how that turned out.
The same Planning Board acted with such disregard for standards of behavior that it was issued a letter of admonishment by the Town Board and Town Attorney regarding conflicts of interest and the appearance of impropriety, which they subsequently ignored.
The Planning Board is led by a chairman who, despite years in the position, often appears to struggle with even a basic understanding of local zoning regulations, requiring the Board secretary to repeatedly remind him of the process that must be followed. That same chairman erroneously advised his board that they could quickly issue a permit for a proposed massive pipeline staging area along Route 7 without a site plan review and environmental assessment. It is unclear if a total lack of understanding of the law or some other factor motivated his misstatements. Certainly the fact that his family later received nearly $70,000 in payments from the pipeline company does not help the public perception. After the Center for Sustainable Rural Communities stepped in, the Planning Board was advised by the Town Attorney to conduct the appropriate reviews before issuing permits for the pipeline staging area.
Observing the actions of the Town of Richmondville Planning Board at any monthly meeting is an eye opening experience. They careen through the approval process basing their decisions on irrelevant anecdotes and preconceived notions instead of facts and reach their conclusions with a shocking lack of thoroughness.
Unfortunately, the Town Planning Board deliberations will likely continue to be some of the most dysfunctional in the region because under Supervisor Lape’s stewardship the Town Board is not willing to do anything about it.
But there is hope for change. The Village Trustees and Mayor Neary can refuse to sink to the Town’s level and insist that a Joint Planning Board reject political cronyism, incompetence and conflicts of interest and conduct itself in a manner that respects the residents of Richmondville as well as the planning and zoning process. If the Village can’t secure those assurances they should stay as far away from the Town Planning Board as possible so as not to be party to the embarrassing spectacle that poses as governance in the Town of Richmondville.
Bob Nied
Board of Directors
Center for Sustainable Rural Communities

Richmondville to Receive Grant for Water Main Replacement

Written By Editor on 12/14/14 | 12/14/14

The Village of Richmondville will be receiving over a half million dollars to replace much of its water system. A NYS Homes and Community Renewal grant approved last week will bring $535,000 to undertake water improvements in the Village.

Town of Richmondville Passes Fracking Ban

It may have taken three years, but the Town of Richmondville has banned fracking. The vote was unanimous and came after efforts from David Slottje, Shane Nickle and others to ban the practice. This follows bans from many municipalities, most recently the Town of Middleburgh.

Fracking Likely to Dominate R'ville Public Hearing

Written By Editor on 7/17/14 | 7/17/14

The Richmondville Town Board will be holding its regular board meeting for the month of July tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the Richmondville Volunteer Emergency Squad building located on Route 7 near the outskirts of the Village. It was rescheduled to this evening due to the Ethington hearings that were held last week.

In addition to the regular agenda, members of the board and general public will have the opportunity to comment during a public hearing on the new proposed Zoning Law, which has been under review and rewrite for several years, and can be viewed on the municipality's website here

One potential point of contention within the proposed law is language viewed as hostile to fracking interests, which was promoted by members of the community concerned with the controversial natural gas practice of extraction, and has become a hot button topic of discussion in the Town of Richmondville. 

The Center for Sustainable Rural Communities, which favors stringent language against fracking and other industry related activities in Richmondville, sent an email to supporters Wednesday afternoon urging area residents to attend tonight's meeting and stand for the proposed environmental protections. 

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". 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

Comptroller's Office: Town of Richmondville "Failed in Certain Key Areas" on Maranatha

Written By Editor on 5/14/14 | 5/14/14

The New York State Comptroller's Office has released its' official report on the Town of Richmondville's administration and handling of state grants in the construction of the $5.6 million Maranatha Family Center, located on Route 7 in the Town of Richmondville.

Its' contents were not favorable to the town, as it slighted elected officials for not properly overseeing the use of approximately $3 million in Restore NY and CDBG state grants, summarily concluding that although they properly administered some aspects of the grants, the town "failed in certain key areas." 

Failures that stemmed from the town's inadequate supervision of various consultants and grant fund allotments, which in one instance led to a duplicate payment of $75,000 being made that the town had to resolve this past spring with the Empire State Development Corporation. 

Additionally, the report slammed the town's lack of oversight into ensuring the project stayed within the original $3.8 million construction budget, as costs overran initial estimates by $450,000 or 12%. Furthermore, the town is likely to be saddled with $20,000 in costs to pay for a required audit the developer has yet to satisfy. 

Overall, after taking into account the project's current state of foreclosure and the facility's inactivity, the report surmised that, "with the facility closed, the local community is receiving no benefit from the grant moneys spent, and other projects throughout the State could have benefited more from these moneys."

The report can be viewed in its entirety here.

Local Villages Elect New Trustees Amid Low Turnout

Written By Editor on 3/20/14 | 3/20/14

With turnout failing to reach fifty in either local community, a small number of residents in the Villages of Middleburgh and Richmondville came out Tuesday afternoon to vote in their respective municipality's unopposed trustee elections.

Village of Middleburgh

Lillian Bruno - 44
Sheryl Adams* - 43
Write-in votes - 1

Village of Richmondville

Milan Jackson* - 29
Stephen Shore - 26

Neither Village Board is expected to be significantly altered, as both political newcomers (Bruno, Shore) have already served their respective communities in various ways, while the incumbents (Adams, Jackson) were both appointed to fill vacancies by the existing board's before seeking the position in their own right.

*- Denotes incumbent

Middleburgh, Richmondville Set for Quiet Village Elections

Written By Editor on 3/18/14 | 3/18/14

Residents in the Villages of Middleburgh and Richmondville are expected to turn out in small numbers this afternoon, as their respective communities head to the polls to vote in a slew of uncontested Village Trustee elections. Citizens will have the opportunity to vote in both municipalities from noon until nine tonight.


Two candidates are seeking two four year terms on the Middleburgh Village Board. Both seats are uncontested and their terms will expire in March 2018.
  • Sheryl Adams is an incumbent Village Board member who was originally appointed to fill Mayor Matthew Avitabile's unexpired term in 2012 and was then subsequently elected in her own right last March. 
  • Lillian Bruno has held no public office before, but she has represented the Village of Middleburgh on the NY Rising CRP Committee since the summer and is employed as a planner by Schoharie County. 

Two candidates are seeking two two year terms on the Richmondville Village Board. Both seats are uncontested and their terms will expire in March 2016. 
  • Milan Jackson is an incumbent Village Trustee who was appointed to the position in September 2013 following a board member's resignation. 
  • Stephen Shore has held no elected office to this point, but he has served as Chairman of the Village of Richmondville's Planning Board since 2011.

Two Seek Village Board in Richmondville

Written By Editor on 3/14/14 | 3/14/14

Milan Jackson and Stephen Shore, two residents in the Village of Richmondville, are seeking election to the municipality's Board of Trustees in next week's local races. Both are running unopposed for the two two year seats on the small community's governing body.

Neither candidate is new to local government, as Mr. Jackson was appointed to the Board of Trustees last September to fill a vacancy caused by Trustee Vincent Massarotti's resignation, while Mr. Young has served as Chairman of the Village Planning Board since 2011. 

The election will be held on Tuesday, March 18th from noon until nine at the Radez Elementary School on 319 Main Street. Citizens will also be heading to the polls in the Village of Middleburgh, where they too will have only two choices for two open seats on the ballot. 

Richmondville Town Board Unanimously Approves Maranatha Waiver Request, Wu Keeps Options Open

Written By Editor on 12/18/13 | 12/18/13

Just weeks after negotiations broke down between the Town of Richmondville and potential Maranatha investor Da-Lai Wu due to the municipality's stringent requirements that Mr. Wu had to meet in order for Town Supervisor Richard Lape to sign a waiver request to Empire State Development, it appears a deal may occur after all.

Despite publicly announcing that he was taking a step back from the project, Mr. Wu continued to pursue a potential deal - reaching out to local banks and state officials - while the facility's owner, Stella McKenna, was served with notice of foreclosure and seizure of equipment following years of tax delinquency and a chronic failure to regularly pay bills.

The result of which was a unanimous vote last Thursday evening by the Richmondville Town Board, on recommendation of Town Attorney Marvin Parshall Jr., to authorize Supervisor Lape to sign the necessary waiver request that both satisfies the Restore New York grant requirements and paves the way for Mr. Wu to take ownership of the $5.3 million project.

However, it still remains to be seen whether Ms. McKenna, who Mr. Wu has offered a deal to in exchange for her sub-leasing the property, decides to step aside now and allow Maranatha to reopen in a matter of one to two weeks, or if she will ride the storm to the inevitable end result - delaying any potential opening until mid-2014 at the earliest estimates.

Mr. Wu, who has planned a series of renovations upon his potential ownership - including the installation of hardwood floors on the dance and exercise room floors, plastic grid non-slip floors in the shower area and the addition of TRX and boxing equipment in the weight room - told the Schoharie News that he expects everything to be completed within the next week, or else he is scrapping all current plans and putting a down payment on a property in Middleburgh.

But with the Christmas holiday fast approaching, which Mr. Wu plans to spend working on opening a training facility somewhere within the county, gym members and residents alike in Richmondville might receive the gift of an occupied and operational Maranatha Family Center, allaying fears of another failed Guilford Mills and restoring a pivotal business in the Town's financial framework if all works out.

Poll: Mixed Results on Richmondville's Decision Regarding Maranatha

Written By Editor on 12/3/13 | 12/3/13

The latest Schoharie News poll shows sharp disagreement over the Town of Richmondville's recent actions regarding the Maranatha Family Center. The decision to block the efforts of potential investor Da-Lai Wu have caused a deep rift both within the Town and out.

The most recent poll has a narrow plurality supporting the Town's actions.

Do You Agree with the Town of Richmondville's Actions Regarding Maranatha?

Yes- 80: 48%
No- 66: 40%
Too early to tell- 19: 12%

The division will likely continue as talks have slowed down and the building sits vacant.

Town of Richmondville Conducting Survey to Address Broadband Availability

Written By Editor on 12/2/13 | 12/2/13

Members of the Town of Richmondville Board are currently going door to door delivering a 13 question survey, with return envelope included, in partnership with the Middleburgh Telephone Company (or MIDTEL) to gather the necessary information that will address the lack of broadband availability in the Town of Richmondville.
The survey is being completed as part of the process for MIDTEL to complete a grant application for the project, which would provide greater access to broadband in the Town of Richmondville - where many homes are still reliant on ineffective dial-up or overly priced satellite coverage for their internet access.
Broadband coverage is a major concern across the County, particularly in the sparsely populated and remote areas, but if the Town of Richmondville-MIDTEL partnership can acquire the necessary funds then perhaps one more municipality can scratch it off of its to do list and be an example to neighboring towns of how to address this important matter for their own residents.

Vote in Our New Poll: Was Richmondville Right Dealing with Maranatha?

Written By Editor on 11/25/13 | 11/25/13

Here is a chance for our readers to weigh in on the controversy surrounding the Maranatha project in Warnerville. Do you feel that the Town of Richmondville's actions were justified? Why or why not? The new poll is on the sidebar.

Community Pipeline Meeting on Monday December 2, 2013 at 7PM inside of the Radez Elementary School Gym located on 319 Main Street, Richmondville, NY. The latest information on the proposed Constitution Pipeline from threats of eminent domain and legal efforts to landowner resistance and the pipeline company's safety record will be provided to the public. This advertisement is sponsored by the Center for Sustainable Rural Communities and the Stop the Pipeline Schoharie Action Committee

Maranatha EXCLUSIVE: Wu Backs Out of Project, Says Richmondville "Should be Ashamed"

After months of negotiations between the Town of Richmondville and New York City entrepreneur Da-Lai Wu concerning the $5 million Maranatha project, which current owner Stella McKenna was recently served notice of foreclosure on by the New York Business Development Corporation, it was decided Friday evening by Mr. Wu to end his perusal of the shuttered physical fitness center. 
Mr. Wu, who is the CEO and Director of Player Management with RUSH-N-CRUSH, originally came to the area to investigate the possibility of working in partnership with SUNY Cobleskill on developing local tennis programming by updating and using their tennis facilities based on his knowledge in the sport from both being a professional player and coach the past three decades. After estimating the college could repair their poor quality courts to U.S. Open standards with a price tag of $105,000, Mr. Wu expanded his horizons to visit neighboring facilities and to see if there was interest in the area for a tennis program when he discovered Maranatha in August.

Describing the troubled training facility's staff members as "awesome," while adding they are "people with the highest integrity," Mr. Wu soon learned of their plight and took an interest in Maranatha's troubles, which would reach critical mass when unpaid electric bills forced its initial closure, and would lead to Mr. Wu beginning his considerations of taking over the program with plans for extensive expansion of the project.

However, he immediately hit a brick wall - that being the Town of Richmondville government - with its public officials compiling a nine-point list of demands they expected Mr. Wu to meet before they agreed to sign a waiver request allowing his acquisition of the project, due because of the requirements attached to a $650,000 state grant Maranatha received.  
During this time he met with town officials over the extension of a $20,000 equipment audit, which he wanted to push back from next April to July, because he didn't want "all the debts to take capital" away from his investment during what he called the "critical market time for a fitness center," but the town wouldn't budge. And because of this, Mr. Wu estimated he lost anywhere from $120-150,000 in potential revenue because he could not open in October as he was originally planning and that he would now have to come up with approximately $250,000 to just "keep the place from sinking."
But that wouldn't be the end of it for Mr. Wu, who in an attempt to salvage the project, placed a request for a public meeting in October with the Town of Richmondville to discuss his proposed takeover of the facility. However, according to his account, Mr. Wu alleges that Richmondville Town Supervisor Richard Lape's response was that if he wanted a public meeting that he would have to be pay $15,000 first, presumably as collateral against one of Maranatha's outstanding debts, and then they would give him his meeting.
Shocked by the request, Mr. Wu contacted New York State Senator James Seward and after the legislator directly called the Richmondville Supervisor concerning the unusual $15,000 requirement for a meeting that it "disappeared," although a public hearing still wouldn't be held for three more weeks until the Tuesday after election day.
In the end, the "Town [of Richmondville] should be ashamed," said Mr. Wu as we concluded our comprehensive interview "because the whole community losses out." Despite his disappointment with how Maranatha turned out, Mr. Wu is currently involved in discussions with SUNY Cobleskill's PACE program to start a class in which he would instruct continuing education participants  on how to teach tennis for certification while additionally working to expand the college's program in the sport of his passion.  

The future of Maranatha is less certain now that Mr. Wu is out of the project and Ms. McKenna was served with foreclosure papers almost two weeks ago, leaving the Town of Richmondville with a $5 million building that could sit vacant for years while legal proceedings drag out and residents of both the Village and Town governments on the hook for over $50,000 worth of unpaid debts that they may very well have to pick up the tab for.

Richmondville Sets Steep Requirements For Potential Maranatha Investor

Written By Editor on 11/14/13 | 11/14/13

New York City investor Da-Lai Wu made his case to the Town of Richmondville Tuesday morning on why he should be the man to turn around Maranatha and takeover the $5.3 million publicly funded facility that is currently sitting unoccupied on Route 7.
However, in order for any of that to occur, Mr. Wu needs Empire State Development to grant a waiver due to the regulations attached to the Restore New York grant the project received but that cannot happen until Mr. Wu meets nine requirements set by the Town of Richmondville, which holds the final say on whether a waiver request will be submitted or not.
The Schoharie News received a copy of the nine requirements earlier this afternoon in an e-mail from a concerned resident. In order for the Town of Richmondville to sign off on a waiver request, Mr. Wu must meet the following stipulations:
1. Approval from: a) all lenders; b) NYS Business Dev. Corp. c) SBA d) Co. IDA
2. Written consent and guarantee on all secondary grant disbursement agreements with the Town, and the Town's related security agreements.
3. Assurance of no damage to the building, equipment; and is ready for immediate operation.
4. $20,000 deposit to be held in escrow by the town for a mandated federal audit of the Community Development Block Grant of $650,000.
5. Payment of town's expense for hiring Orion Management Co. (currently $5,500; expected additional $5,000)
6. Payment of unpaid water bill to the town.
7. Power bill - to be handled by the Village of Richmondville.
8. Compliance with Orion Management Co.'s demands in preparing and submitting required employment records to meet federal regulations pertaining to the CDBG.
9. Compliance with Orion Management Co.'s demands in furnishing complete records pertaining to the expenditure of $75,000 for the purchase of the adjacent Chichester land, to meet the regulations of the RestoreNY grant.
It remains to be seen if Mr. Wu will be able to overcome the obstacles constructed by the Town of Richmondville and acquire Maranatha, obstacles he described as business unfriendly at Tuesday's meeting, but regardless the situation involving the multi-million dollar project and future ownership will continue to remain fluid.

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."

Town of Richmondville Board to Meet November 12th on Maranatha

Written By Editor on 11/10/13 | 11/10/13

The Richmondville Town Board will be holding a special meeting on Tuesday, November 12th at 10:00 am to discuss the Maranatha Project and other town business. The meeting will be held at the Town Court and comes after months of public scrutiny over the process leading up to and after the project was shut down due to accumulating energy debts owed to Richmondville Power and Light.

Residents have raised concerns on Maranatha for a variety of reasons ranging from the project's misuse of state grants, which is currently under investigation by the Office of the State Comptroller, to its six month backlog of electric bills that despite the Village of Richmondville's best efforts could not be met under a budget plan.
For two months the publicly funded $5 million facility on Route 7 has sat in the dark, forcing Maranatha to resume activities in their old offices in Cobleskill while frustrating both customers and residents alike over the costly project's shuttered doors and faulty fiscal mismanagement, which might be leading to organizational changes within.
According to the project's official facebook page on Tuesday, November 5th: "We are still working with an investor and new management." Adding that "There are certain legal precedents that must be processed in order for the investor to come on board. Once the paperwork is finalized, a date for reopening will be set."
One can only assume that the content of Tuesday's board meeting will cover recent developments concerning a new investor and management team at Maranatha, which may or may not lead to the facility's eventual reopening. But whatever the case, there are still many unanswered questions that the public has the right to know on the project's series of financial missteps, fiscal mismanagement and questionable adherence to state grants.

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