(to be continued)
(to be continued)
As everybody expected, the motivated sellers of Skate Time 209 – Stephen Apkon and Marcina Hale – rushed to improve the property ahead of the December 7 referendum…
(to be continued)
The Town of Rochester will hold a referendum on Tuesday, December 7 to seek residents’ approval of a proposal to buy the former Skate Time 209 building and six acres, located at the corner of Route 209 and Mettacahonts Road, for a purchase price of $2,060,000. The referendum also seeks approval for the Town to raise 30-year bond funding (plus the issuance of shorter term bond anticipation notes until such bond is raised) to finance the purchase. The current owners purchased the property for $1.3 million in June 2019, representing a gain to the sellers of $760,000.
While we applaud the Town Board’s decision to put this matter to a referendum, that spirit of openness and citizen participation has been clouded by the lack of a holistic plan to see where the acquisition of this 30,000 square foot building fits into the Town’s current and anticipated needs for office space, or a master plan for recreational space needs. Even if the acquisition does make sense after a thorough evaluation of all alternatives, the contractual provision that allows the seller to use the facility six times per year for its own activities, as well as the requirement that the seller’s name be retained in the facility’s future name, is highly irregular.
Town office spaces are cramped and do need an upgrade and the current situation with Town offices located in many locations is not optimal. We believe that prior to investing in any new facilities, a complete needs assessment must be completed to determine what current and future office space the Town might need and what the configuration of what that space might take, as well multiple alternative plans showing total costs and benefits. Such an assessment should also include budgets for the eventual reconfiguration. It is surprising that the Town Board entered into a purchase contract without conducting such a study, or obtaining estimates on the cost of reconfiguring this space to suit the Town’s needs.
Part of the Skate Time 209 building might be available for recreational space. Has the Town Board considered the cost of operating recreational plans and what specific types of programs would be offered? Are there alternative facilities, including the ones currently used? No specific plans have been presented to the community for the use of this building or the potential associated capital and operating costs.
We believe that the referendum is premature and believe that voters deserve more information on how this proposed acquisition fits into the Town’s future plans. It is unfair to the community to ask for a referendum without this critical information. Under normal circumstances, we would ask the Town Board to delay the referendum until more information is provided, however, a delay of the referendum is not possible in accordance with NY State law. Therefore, a “NO” vote is the only option to delay this process until further information can be obtained.
NOTE: The above text found us without a byline, and without the last word (obtained). We believe the author is Zali Win. If anyone else desires to claim credit, don’t be shy, send us the proof.
A referendum in which voters decide to buy or not to buy Skate Time 209, is scheduled for December 7, 12 noon to 9 pm.
If the deal goes through, the current owners of Skate Time 209 will make a $730,000 profit, while the Rochester taxpayers will be saddled – for no reason – with a $12,000,000 loan.
Coincidentally or not, two hours before the vote starts, a food pantry will pop-up in Skate Time’s parking lot!
Granted, the free food is distributed by Ulster County Community Action Committee, but Skate Time’s owners surely made their parking lot available on the referendum day.
(to be continued)
Rumor has it… Supervisor Mike Baden tells people that the idea of the Town buying Skate Time 209 is Councilman Adam Paddock’s brain child. Custody battle not expected.
Rumor has it… Councilman Adam Paddock was promised the well paying job of running the recreation facility at the Neighborhood 209 after the sale of Skate Time 209… Who promised, and why?
Rumor has it… At Skate Time 209 the toilets do not flush well, always were a huge problem. Not to mention the stench, detected even in the $2,060,000 asking price…
Rumor has it… When Councilman Adam Paddock was called out on a lie – at the Skate Time 209 first informational meeting – he told the audience: “I’m supposed to lie, I’m a politician.”
Rumor has it… Amberly Jane Campbell, the Publisher of Shawangunk Journal, is moving furniture around in her office, trying to create enough empty floor space so Jane Bondage and the Mid-Hudson Valley Misfits can train until Town of Rochester is buying Skate Time 209…
Rumor has it… During the Town Board special budget meeting where people protested Supervisor Mike Baden’s 23% salary increase, Councilman Adam Paddock blurted “if Mike were black or a woman we wouldn’t be having this discussion.” Look up the video!
Rumor has it… Supervisor Mike Baden is telling people to vote NO in the Special Election: Purchase of Skate Time 209, on December 7, 2021…
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?
(As published in Blue Stone Press, November 19, 2021, page 14)
Dear Stephen Apkon and Marcina Lee Hale-Cristobal,
Look around our town… Grab your opportunity to make another documentary!
(to be continued)
Stronger Together – the 2016 United States presidential campaign slogan of Hillary Clinton – is kept alive by Rusty Foxidation, Leggs, Sassy Ka~Boom, Sandstorm, Off-Track Betty, Mimic, Mirackle Whip, Madame Manatease, Jane Bondage (front row, center), Eleanor Bruisevelt, Jeez Louise, Squirrel Jam, Wreckuiem, Kell On Wheels, D.LyRIOuS “Dani” Maniac…
Despite the cool roller derby names, the Mid-Hudson Misfits was formed with a mission, said Jane Bondage (a/k/a Amberly Jane Campbell, Publisher of Shawangunk Journal): to offer “a sort of safe haven for all women of all different backgrounds and walks of life.”
“Our league is made up of a diverse group of women and non-binary people from several counties in the Mid-Hudson Valley region. We come from different backgrounds and different occupations, but we are united in our love of flat track roller derby. We are strong, athletic individuals. We are community focused. We are anything but cookie cutter and we are proud of it. We are the Mid-Hudson Misfits!”
Well, you may be the Mid-Hudson Misfits, but you are not taxpayers in the Town of Rochester.
Amberly Jane Campbell, Publisher of Shawangunk Journal, lives in New Paltz.
Laura Palermo is a resident of Kingston, but that does not curb her effort to influence a vote in the Town of Rochester, and here are her ridiculous reasons for writing the article:
Funny, the Editor of Shawangunk Journal, forgot to add this disclaimer to Laura’s article:
Moreover, as a group, the Mid-Hudson Misfits are polluting the social media with their cute, but idiotic appeals to the voters of Rochester. You be the judge:
Thanks for the entertainment!
(to be continued)
On Tuesday, October 12, Mike Baden and Skate Time’s owners held their first public information session on the proposed purchase of the property.
The majority of the attendees opposed the deal and made their reasons public:
– the cost mentioned ($2,060,000) covers only the purchase, and do not include ($5,000,000) retrofitting the space for offices…
– the timing is terrible, another COVID variant could sweep in and shut everything down again…
– you just bought it for $1,330,000, now want to sell it for $2,060,000, why the increase?
– we’re a small town, cannot afford this huge 30-year mortgage…
$2,060,000 Skate Time purchase + 5,000,000 Skate Time renovation + 5,000,000 existing buildings renovations = $12,060,000
— this skate rink was not built for full-time occupancy…
— it’s cheaper to build new than to repair…
— there is no potable water on the property…
The “pro” side was in minority, mostly members of the Mid-Hudson Misfits roller derby team and their junior wing, the Mid-Hudson Mischiefs (above, middle). They stressed how vital the rink was for their team, their community, and their general well-being. None of the “pro” speakers pay taxes in the Town of Rochester… It’s worth noting that Shawangunk Journal publisher Amberly Jane Campbell (above left) is a member of the Mid-Hudson Misfits roller derby team. That explains the newspaper’s strong “Vote yes!” stance! As for Marge Bonner (above right)… please, don’t get me started.
Unfortunately, most of the information offered is not accurate.
Compare the numbers above – offered at the public information session – with the actual numbers below:
PS – Using the image of the candlelight vigil during the presentation was extremely tacky!
(to be continued)
Stephen Apkon (Steve) and Marcina Lee Hale-Cristobal bought the Skate Time 209 for $1,330,000.
Now, two years later, they want to sell it to the people of Rochester for $2,060,000…
for a modest profit of $730,000. Not bad for two people swimming in not-for-profits.
Stephen Apkon (Steve) and Marcina Lee Hale-Cristobal claim that the asking price is justified by the improvements they made to the property.
Improvements? What improvements?
Well, let’s review a few Yelp comments…
“The business got sold and will never be the same… The new management is making a lot of changes for the worse… They shut down the skateboard park and are turning Skate Time into some kind of hippie resort. I read they’re even changing the name to Neighborhood 209… I don’t think they are from around here… Figures.”
Anthony W. – Kerhonkson, NY – 10/10/2019
“Alright roller rink considering it’s been open for a decade, but could definitely use an update + a carpet cleaning. The amount of dust in this, and the constant smell of sulfur + cheese is bit troubling considering the price of admission is pricey compared to similar establishments. Good choice if you live within 5 miles, but any further and I wouldn’t make the drive. Apparently, the sulfur smell is actually sewage from the trailer park up the road that runs off into the pond next to roller rink.”
Wren L. – College View, Denver, CO – 11/13/2019
“We used to love this place. New owners need to step it up. The floor was so filthy, members of our party were hurt because they fell over debris. Also, the music was slow and boring the entire night. Hopefully they will get it together.”
B.G. – Kingston, NY – 9/6/2019
Guess who answered this last comment with unadulterated bullshit…
We care very much about our customers experience and clean our floors between every session. We are excited to be presenting new events coming up in the near future! As you stated, we are new owners and we are working hard to create a great place for everyone. We welcome you to come in and speak to us in person about your experience. We are always open to ways of making our Family Entertainment place better and welcome your positive input.”
Marcina H. – Owner – 9/16/2019
Here are a few photos taken days ago:
Right! The “improvements” are worth $730,000… to anyone high on mushrooms!
(to be continued)