Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Supervisor Questioned on Abandoned Subdivision


Last September William Farrell, along with many of his neighbors in the Patura Gardens subdivision, asked the Plattekill Town Board for an update on their neighborhood, which they contend has been abandoned by the developer. Farrell returned once again to the Town Board last week seeking answers concerning the half-built community where he lives.

Farrell said nothing has been done by the developer to complete the work in nearly two years. The subdivision is lacking a final topcoat of asphalt on the road and needs drainage ditches cleared of weeds, debris and small diameter trees. In addition many of the un-built lots are overgrown with brush and have large piles of dirt scattered across them. Farrell asked if the $600,000 Letter of Credit is still "viable." Loertscher said he had called the bank asking for an update on the Letter of Credit.
"I had issues of trying to get into the bank due to privacy issues," he said.
Farrell, who is in the construction business, said if the subdivision eventually becomes the town's responsibility the cost to the taxpayers may be quite significant.
"If you see the way the neighborhood was left, it's a mess, and this guy [developer] walks away," he said.
Loertscher said he would call the developer again to which Farrell repeated "We have no faith in the developer, whatsoever."
Jaffee also thought it futile to pursue the developer, based on his track record.
"Why are we still calling the developer?" he asked Loertscher. "I remember talking about this last year and pulling the Letter of Credit. What happened to that?"
Loertscher implied that pulling the Letter was not a simple matter, but Jaffee reminded him that the town did exactly that on two other projects in the past.
Farrell said the town should take the lead.
"The town should ask the developer what they've done, not in the last 6 months but in the last two years. Name one thing. It's nothing," Farrell said. "You can pull that [Letter of Credit] in 24 hours.
Call up the bond company and tell them we're pulling it. I don't understand why it's not being done. There is a Letter of Credit somewhere. It is not a matter of asking, it's a matter of notifying. I guarantee if you call the company holding that, something is going to happen."

Loertscher continued to insist there are privacy issues - "It's a bad situation."

Councilman Joe Croce said compounding the issue is that a long and confusing paper trail has been left by these developers. "But there should be a line," he agreed.

Farrell said it is hard for him to justify paying $1,000 in highway taxes each year when his development "has no signs, no lights and we don't get any snowplowing."

Loertscher admitted later in the meting that he was unsure of the date listed on the Line of Credit but "believes" the name of a former Town Supervisor is on that document. Loertscher continued to stress that the bank is the roadblock on this issue.

Loertscher said that before a Letter of Credit can be pulled 51 percent of the lots must be sold, adding that he believes this particular 45 lot subdivision has only 20 homes that are presently completed.

In a subsequent interview Farrell disagreed with Loertscher, saying that pulling a Letter of Credit is not contingent upon how many homes a developer builds.

"It could be two or 20," he said.

Farrell pointed out that a second road from the development out to Freetown Road was also never constructed by the developer.

Farrell said that if he finds out the Letter of Credit has expired, especially in light of his continued inquiries with Loertscher during the last 2 years, "you’re going to find one upset Irishman at the next Town Board meeting."

Farrell said he has tried to be proactive in this situation and seek a solution in order to avoid a worst case scenario of it "falling into the town's lap."

"It would be an absolute shame if that Letter of Credit has been allowed to lapse," he said.

Loertscher did not return several calls seeking comment on this subdivision's Letter of Credit for this story.

No comments:

Post a Comment