Sean Hayes, owner of Brownstone Exploration and Discovery Park in Portland, was invited to the Aug. 1 Middlefield Board of Finance meeting, where he presented the board with his plan to buy and restore Middlefield's ski area.
Wednesday's meeting was also attended by several residents who've openly opposed the $700,000 deal between Hayes and the town, as well as supporters. The following are direct quotes from town officials, the buyer and residents:
"The reality is, this is going to cost us for phase one, just to turn it back on and get the first skier coming down the hill, $3.6 million."
- Sean Hayes, owner Powder Ridge Mountain Park & Resort LLC
"They were satisfied that based on the evidence they'd seen that once Powder Ridge becomes operational, their income should exceed their expenses."
- Kenneth Antin, Middlefield town attorney, on the analysis of Sean Hayes' finances completed and orally presented to town officials by the accounting firm Guilmartin, DiPiro & Sokolowski of Middletown.
"I still feel that a written report is straight from the source. It puts aside any type of ambiguity, misinterpretation, it raises the level of confidence."
- Lucy Petrella, Middlefield Board of Finance Chairman
"My personal opinion, the risk is not that great given the other pieces and parts of the indemnification; the investment that has to be made up front, the fact that we've had Guilmartin, DiPiro & Sokolowski render an opinion that a business plan, in their opinion, is sound and the finances are in place."
- Bob Yamartino, Middlefield Board of Finance member, on the risk the town faces in having to pay back a $500,000 grant if Hayes fails to meet the grant's requirements.
"The property is being sold for $700,000. You take away $225,000 which is what Middlefield owes to Middlefield Holdings. That payment, if we go past November 30, 2012, does not have to be made. That was a deal, or part of a contract. I wonder why, as a citizen, you as a Board of Finance, don't make a reccomendation not only to the Board of Selectmen but to the town to delay selling the property."
- Marianne Corona, Middlefield resident
"I can tell you, in doing due diligence on a transaction of this magnitude for the town, okay, which is what's relavent, is that the oral presentation by the CPA is garbage. I'm not saying what they said is garbage, I'm saying it's inadequate, totally inadequate. It's totally Mickey Mouse."
- Carl Zanoni, Middlefield resident
"The fact is, okay, in Brownstone you've got a hole in the ground which you have a lease on and you can do a limited number of things there. Here, you're getting 200 plus acres, lots of room for lots of ideas, which you have, a lot of which sound like fun. It's a much bigger palate and you'll have to spend more money but also your profits should be much larger and you're getting that for a very minimal investment."
- James Brown, Middlefield resident
"I haven't heard any kind of reassurances or reaching out to the neighborhood about things like, noise. We were happy with Powder Ridge as it was, it was fine to live there with Powder Ridge, the lights on at night, all night skiing, that was fine. It worked out very well for the neighborhood. But now I'm hearing about paintball wars going into the activities."
- Pat Brown, Middlefield resident
"If something doesn't happen soon the buildings won't make another winter. They're not going to make it. That's why I would encourage anybody in here who doesn't believe me to go up there."
- Rob Poturnicki, Middlefield resident