Town, SRCT at odds over return of YMCA assets -- litigation a possibility

After 18 months, two sides still can’t agree to issue resolution

— In late December 2010, the town sent an inventory list to the SRCT of what it claimed were town-owned assets left in the facility that needed to be either purchased from the town or returned to the town. Since that time, the SRCT has been going over the inventory list, deciding what it believes is or is not town property or part of the community center — by virtue of being donated directly to the center and not to the town or purchased with funds from the W.G. Allyn Trust Fund, which was created for ice rink capital expenditures — and discussing the issue with town officials.

Last month, at the June 21 town board meeting, Roney stated that recent negotiations with the SRCT had amounted to an agreement for the SRCT to pay the town $50,000 in three monthly installments for the purchase of town assets they have been using with the community center since 2010, and $18,500 in monthly installments to the town for the purchase of an Olympia ice resurfacer and its associated equipment.

The SRCT also is seeking the transfer to its management of $78,000 in town reserve funds that originated and were paid out of the W.G. Allyn Trust. Roney said the town board did not oppose the transfer, but wanted a state court or state attorney general opinion on the issue to ensure a correct and legal transfer of the funds. Both the SRCT and the town agreed to jointly apply to the state attorney general’s office for guidance.

The town board unanimously approved the agreement at the June 21 meeting.

On July 9, SRCT member Joseph Hennigan informed the town board that the SRCT had recently discovered an article titled, “To Give and Receive: Municipal Donations,” published in the March-April 2011 issue of Municipal Bulletin newsletter, which the SRCT believed showed that the town could donate all the assets to the SRCT rather than requiring payment because the YMCA benefits the community. The SRCT’s attorney said the situation seemed to fit the requirements of the “gift and loan clause” of the state constitution. Essentially it states that any municipal donations must be beneficial to the public and in the public interest.

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