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Town files lawsuit against SRCT in state supreme court

Action comes after weeks of negotiations reach impasse

— The town of Skaneateles on Oct. 5 filed a lawsuit against the Skaneateles Recreation Charitable Trust declaring that the issue of ownership of an estimated $155,000 in YMCA assets had come to an impasse, and requesting a court decision that the SRCT either pay for the taxpayer-funded assets in its possession or hand them over to the town for public auction.

The litigation comes after two months of last-ditch negotiations between the town board and members of the SRCT during which no agreement could be reached.

“We have had meetings, we have had written communications and proposals back and forth, we have had telephone conferences, but I have not heard anything from then in over a week now … and I’m moving ahead with what I need to do to protect town residents and taxpayers,” said Skaneateles Town Attorney Patrick Sardino on Oct. 5. “The town board has gone out of its way to avert any legal action, and it’s just been met with delay.”

Sardino filed the lawsuit in state supreme court late in the afternoon of Friday, Oct. 5.

The lawsuit includes an "order to show cause" that the SRCT must appear in state supreme court at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the Onondaga County Courthouse.

As the Skaneateles Press originally reported on Aug. 1, 2012, the entire issue stretches back more than two years to when the town board transferred management of the Skaneateles Community Center to the SRCT — which subsequently hired the YMCA — on Aug. 1, 2010. All the assets inside the facility remained within the facility with no written agreement as to who owned the items or how and when any of the assets would be either returned to the town or purchased from the town. There was a verbal agreement at that time, however, that all assets would be returned to the town once the YMCA got on its feet.

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