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Skaneateles Village Board approves SCC transfer

The Skaneateles Village Board passed a resolution Monday Oct. 12 approving the transfer of title for the Skaneateles Community Center land and building to the Parks and Recreation Council of Skaneateles.

The village's decision to allow the transfer of the building and property comes on the heels of the town's decision to allow the same. The town passed a resolution in regard to the community center's ownership at its board meeting on Oct. 1.

Mayor Bob Green read the resolution, a two-page document, into the record. The resolution states that "be reason of a number of factors, including significant changes in circumstances which have occurred since Oct. 11, 1999, the ownership of the property has not been transferred to the village," which was part of the original development agreement.

Changes in those circumstances include such things as the realization that user fees established for the community center have been insufficient to cover the operating costs of the center, the town has been required to subsidize operating costs by using town property tax revenues and also the town has been unable to establish appropriate capital reserves for the center because of the taxes used to subsidize the operating deficits. Lastly, the establishment of an endowment for future capital reserves and replacements at the facility has not materialized, the resolution states.

"The village has concluded that the changes in circumstances occurring since the date of the development agreement make it inappropriate for the village to accept a transfer of ownership of the property," Green said.

According to the resolution, the Skaneateles Recreational Charitable Trust was formed exclusively for charitable and educational purposes and to benefit the town and village of Skaneateles, the Skaneateles Central School District and Austin Park Development Fund, which is now known as PARCS.

"PARCS has reconstituted its board of directors with the intention of establishing itself as an appropriate organization to acquire title to the property," Green said. "PARCS has demonstrated a willingness and an ability to acquire ownership of the property and to manage, safeguard and maintain the property."

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