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Letter to the Editor: First Selectman Says Powder Ridge Deal Will Get Done

"Now that things are getting closer, some of our citizens are getting nervous."

 

Last Monday evening a group of citizens attended the Board of Selectmen meeting to voice their distain with the deal the town has been working on with the Brownstone people to buy Powder Ridge Ski Area. What got weary was that most of their concerns had been answered during the past or were premature.

Setting the “roast” Jon aspect aside, one item did boil down that I thought we all had resolved years ago when we looked to secure Powder Ridge. The frustration that lingers for some, centers on our buying the property for $3 million and selling it for $1 million. For starters, I assume that readers understand that this Town NEVER bought property to make a PROFIT.

We bought the “Great Lawn” acreage at the Park to enlarge Peckham Park….. yes….. but we REALLY bought the land to prevent homes from being constructed right next to the park. We bought other properties for “quality of life” reasons, not to make a profit.

A few years ago, the Town voted 10 to 1 to secure Powder Ridge if it became available. It did and we did. We then assembled a committee to market the property. The committee found that by restricting residential development, the 246 acres dropped in value to $1 million. Last spring, we voted to sell the entire 246 acres to Alpine for $1 million. At the time, there were no “STOP” mailers and not a peep from anyone.

We spoke as one until October 2011 when Alpine pulled out. The common denominator with each developer that split was that they had nothing planned for the off season. Following Alpine’s departure, local businessman Sean Hayes (Brownstone) showed up with a plan that none of the previous buyers had. Mr. Hayes had thoughts and a vision for the winter and off season. He has spent several months at many venues meeting with people and answering questions.

Since March both our attorneys have been crafting an agreement that looks like the best opportunity we have to sell P.R. to date. Mr. Hayes is busy with contractors and arraigning his finances and finalizing his business plan. The opportunity of restoring skiing and recreation to P.R. will be a tremendous boon to the Town. If all goes well, it’s a win for those who need jobs; a win for the taxpayer; a win for the ski area itself and a win for the spin-offs.

Now that things are getting closer, some of our citizens are getting nervous. Road blocks are showing up. Some are trying to nix the deal. Some want a housing/condo development to generate a profit…… and some want nothing at all.

This Administration has stayed true to your vote (instructions) of 1,000 to 100 to secure and restore Power Ridge Ski Area as best we can. In doing so PR WILL slowly return to being a source of great pride and all the good that goes with such an icon. Hang in.

I love this job

Jon A. Brayshaw

Middlefield First Selectman  

Rob June 14, 2012 at 11:51 AM
Jon.I would like to applaud you for the way that you have, and continue to handle the personal attacks that you receive. I truly believe that the towns people are behind you and Mr. Hayes, and want to see this deal finalized. It is unfortunate that this small group feels the urge to be so vocal in such a negative manner that it is impacting the rest of the town. I think that Patch covering these meetings ( thank you Michael Hayes) has been able to provide residents that are unable to attend the meetings with a very clear picture of their intentions, and we get to see just how viscous they really are. Some of their public displays are so childish it's beyond words. The only good that is coming out of it is that we are all getting to see their true, selfish colors. I am not currently registered as a Republican, but I am pretty certain that I will be in the very near future. Thank you Jon and Ed for your diligence, it has been a long rough road for both of you, and we appreciate your hard work and efforts.
Cindy June 14, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Jon, my family thanks you from the bottom of our hearts for all you have done for 6 years to bring PR back to Middlefield. You have always remained calm and professional and never once sank to the level of your opponents who so wrongfully and viciously attack and disparage you. We are so excited about this deal with Mr. Hayes. When the closing for PR happens in the near future, my husband and I will be opening a bottle of champagne, and the first person we will toast is you Jon.
Mickey June 14, 2012 at 09:54 PM
Here Here!! I think WE should be asking you to Hang in there Jon.
Fed Up June 15, 2012 at 01:25 AM
I agree with all three of you. I don't envy Jon or Ed for what they have had to deal with. Hopefully in the near future we can all celebrate!!

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