Skate Time deal, a matter of concern…

To the Editor: Everybody is talking about the potential purchase of Skate Time 209 by the Town of Rochester. In addition to financial (price and cost of repairs) and building suitability issues, I have questions regarding some disturbing points most people may not be aware of.

I’m wondering WHY…

…the sale contract signed by the Town indicates “Closing shall take place on or about December 1, 2021” when the referendum is on December 7, 2021? Negligence? Not paying attention to details? Rush? Why the rush?

…so many things are in favor of the seller in the contract: “SELLER’S RIGHTS FOLLOWING CLOSING. Following closing and delivery of the Deed, the Seller shall have the right to utilize the recreational space for six (6) free events per year, for non profit purposes… The use of the property is limited to two (2) events on Friday evenings, two (2) events on Saturday evenings and two (2) events at other mutually designated times.” Really? You buy a place and you allow the seller coming back into your place 6 times a year for 5 years? This sounds as if the price was reduced, not increased by $730,000 compared to the price the seller paid for Skate Time in 2019!

…the town’s Recreation Department and Commission (of which I am a member for many years) were not consulted regarding the feasibility of all the wonderful proposals made.  

…would the Town of Rochester accept to keep the name “Neighborhood 209,” as required in the contract: “NAME OF SUBJECT PREMISES. The Purchaser hereby agrees to name the Subject Premises some variant of the name “Neighborhood 209,” in addition to any Town of Rochester Town Hall name nomenclature.” How could the town supervisor sign a contract including something like this, in which we give up part of the “identity” of the Town by agreeing to add an unfortunate name (Neighborhood 209) the town didn’t pick and was actually never used?

I’m just wondering WHY the Town Board would let the seller impose so much on the municipality and WHY this happened BEFORE the referendum? 

Manuela Michailescu

(As published in Blue Stone Press, November 19, 2021, page 14)

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