I am researching this and will post more about this. The information sent to me from a usually reliable source said both she and Jim D'Onofrio abstained from the vote claiming they did not have enough information.
There are two possibilities here; one of them is my information is wrong. If so, I will correct what I wrote before about her vote, but still hold the rest of what I wrote as a lesson to future law makers: When items of consequence such as a tall tower are being considered, inform your residents, hold public meetings and look for viable alternatives.
That did not happen on Mrs. Pratt's watch.
Now for Mrs. Pratt's other claim that I did not help the Willowvale firemen:
In 2003-2004, the Willowvale Fire Company was looking to build a new firehouse. They had a site, they had plans and were in the process of borrowing money to get it built. This is done via the bond process. They talked with financiers and were offered a rate. I knew the municipal rate was lower and asked if there was a way we could allow the fire company to borrow at our favorable (tax exempt) rate. Bond counsel came back with the answer: Yes, we could help them through the TEFRA process (and I have no idea what that is an acronym for). So I took it to the board and worked it up for action, and here is the section of the April 2003 official town board minutes reflecting how the Willowvale Fire Company was helped by Town Board action which I initiated:
- REGULAR TOWN BOARD MEETING
April 2, 2003
Tax-Exempt ObligationsThe Town Supervisor opened the Public Hearing at 8:00 P.M. and announced the purpose of the Hearing was to consider the Willowvale Fire Company’s application for TEFRA eligibility for issuance of tax-exempt obligations to fund a new firehouse and to offer the Public an opportunity to speak in favor of, in opposition to, or comment upon this matter. The Town Clerk presented the Notice of Public Hearing, Affidavit of Posting, and Proof of Publication (Observer Dispatch, March 17,2003 edition).
G. Kevin Ludlow, Attorney for the Willowvale Fire Company, Inc., expressed the Fire Company’s appreciation for the support that the Town Board has given them over the years. He also thanked the Board on behalf of all the Fire Department members, present and not present, that they are also very grateful for Town’s support on their new venture – a new firehouse.
The following persons were present in support of the TEFRA hearing and issuance of tax-exempt obligations by the Willowvale Fire Company, Inc.:
Lawrence Bastien Charles Bastien Richard Catlin
Chad Powers William Smith Margaret Jones
Roger Jones Malcolm Lusby Edward L. Thomas
Milo Perroch Joseph David Donald Maikranz
Justin Sorrentino Joseph David, Jr. William Snyder
Gerald Linck Matthew Jones William Hinman
Kristina Hinman Gary EdwardsREGULAR TOWN BOARD MEETING
April 2, 2003
Page 11Councilman Backman commended the Willowvale Fire Company as a very hardworking group who has held numerous fundraisers for various Fire Company projects and expressed his belief in their cause. He noted that firemen are a community’s best resource and their unpaid volunteerism speaks for itself.
Supervisor Humphreys apprised those present that the issuance of tax-exempt obligations to fund a new firehouse will be subject to a permissive referendum. Because of the projected tax increase for properties within Fire District No. 4, there may be property owners who oppose this project and they will have the prerogative to submit a petition. Thereafter, the Supervisor closed the hearing at 8:10 P.M.
The following Resolution was introduced by Councilman Backman and duly seconded by Councilman Waszkiewicz:
(RESOLUTION NO. 134 OF 2003)
WHEREAS, the Willowvale Fire Company, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation, with a Certificate of Incorporation having been filed August 9, 1950; and
WHEREAS, the Willowvale Fire Company, Inc. is interested in seeking access to federally tax-exempt financing for a capital improvement project, namely, a new firehouse; and
WHEREAS, the New Hartford Town Board conducted a TEFRA Public Hearing on April 2, 2003 at 8:00 P.M. in Butler Memorial Hall on the question of whether a tax-exempt bond should be issued by the Willowvale Fire Company, Inc. to finance the cost of the construction of a new firehouse including original machinery, apparatus and equipment necessary in connection therewith, said firehouse to be located at 3459 Oneida Street, in Chadwicks, Town of New Hartford, New York, and which maximum aggregate face amount of the obligation to be issued with respect thereto will not exceed $1,000,000; and
WHEREAS, approximately twenty-five (25) members of the Willowvale Fire Company, Inc. attended said Public Hearing in favor of a tax-exempt bond being issued for the aforesaid purpose and no one having appeared in opposition to this proposal;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the New Hartford Town Board does hereby authorize and direct the Town Supervisor to execute an APPROVAL CERTIFICATE, a copy of which is set forth as Schedule "A", relating to the issuance of a bond and which obligation will not constitute debt of said Town.
A roll call vote was duly held as follows:
REGULAR TOWN BOARD MEETING
April 2, 2003
Page 12Councilman Waszkiewicz - Aye
Councilman Woodland - Aye
Councilman Butler - ABSENT
Councilman Backman - Aye
Supervisor Humphreys - Aye.
The Resolution was thereupon declared unanimously carried and duly adopted.