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Town files lawsuit against SRCT in state supreme court

Action comes after weeks of negotiations reach impasse

— In late December 2010, the town sent a 1,000-item 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, per state law. The New York state constitution prohibits the gifting of taxpayer-funded items from a municipality without fair compensation.

After 18 months of discussions on the issue, it was announced at the June 21, 2012, town board meeting that an agreement was reached 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 town board approved the agreement on June 21, but the SRCT backed out of the agreement on July 9 and instead wanted to town to donate the items to the SRCT, which it believed was allowed under its interpretation of state law.

By Aug. 1, Town Supervisor Terri Roney told the Skaneateles Press that litigation might be necessary if the two sides could not reach agreement.

After that, Bill Allyn, in emails to Roney, personally offered the town $30,000 to settle the dispute with the SRCT, which Roney rejected as not only insufficient to cover the costs of the assets but also inappropriate for an individual to offer the board money to settle a disagreement.

Allyn responded to the rejection of his offer by writing in an email to Roney, “There is no leadership in the board and plenty of dysfunction. The [town board] has no interest in resolving this matter in the best interest of the people of Skaneateles.”

Since early August, the town board and town attorney have been meeting with the SRCT in a last attempt to reach an agreement without having to go to litigation. Sardino said the talks “haven’t been overly fruitful.”

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