What's all the talk about the proposed SEFCU deal and "parkland?" Is that important?
When the SEFCU deal was first proposed, many people stated their belief that the 2 acre parcel on Sixth Avenue was "parkland." This fact was confirmed by a recent letter from Carol Ash, the New York State Commissioner of the Office of Park, Recreation and Historical Preservation:
As can be seen from the Ordinance that approved the sale contract (ordinance 8 Sec. 5) the "park issue" was contemplated from the very beginning. In the ordinance, reference to "State" Parkland is made. Obviously, the City cannot sell State land. There is no reference to municipal parkland. Either designation requires alienation legislation to be approved by the State Legislature.
No one wants to purchase property unless they can take title free and clear. Therefore, the New York State Legislature needs to act, whether the parcel is State or municipal parkland. We have no idea if this is a difficult or time consuming process. Our research department discovered that the alienation process does involve incantations, a High Priest, a lamb and some eye of newt.
We need answers to the following questions:
1) Have the appropriate members of the Assembly and Senate been contacted by the Administration?
2) If so, when? (please show your work)
3) Why did ordinance 8 from the December 6, 2008 Council meeting not contemplate the fact that the parcel could be municipal parkland? Why did it only reference State parkland?
4) Since the Council approved the contract approximately three months ago, what steps has the Administration undertaken to close the deal?
5) Did any Administration official assure the prospective purchaser that the parkland issue was not an issue?
It's possible that, as stated in the Business Review article (cited in the last post), SEFCU was non-committal and wanted to see other people. Troy was one of many options and they decided to go somewhere else, regardless of the park issue. Maybe to Schenectady. Like it or not, Metroplex has many goodies to give away.
There are two other possibilities: 1) Clumsy handling of the parkland issue scared-off the buyer and 2) the deal will still happen.
More tomorrow or Thursday.