Hilton barn is a money pit, town could have spent money more wisely

To the Editor:

This coming March will be the two-year anniversary of the move of the “historic"”barn (Hilton Barn at LeVie Farm). The cost breakdown reported in the Altamont Enterprise is noted below.  

On Feb. 19, 2016, The Enterprise reported that the project is expected to cost $200,000 to cover a new foundation, site preparation, and the land it will stand on. Miscellaneous cost totaling up $37,775 were also noted in this article but it is hard to know if this was part of the original $200,000 expected cost or in addition to.

Councilman William Hennessy Jr. said that the town expected to pay for the project with a $125,000 state grant, $50,000 county grant, and $25,000 from the town’s parks fund.    

Based upon the Freedom of Information Law, I was able to find out that, as of today, the cost is actually $350,000 with this money being paid from a New Scotland fund balance, which is meant to be used only in case of an emergency.

It is my understanding that the town is still waiting on monies to be provided by the county; however, there are no guarantees that the county will provide the money or if the amount provided will match the current cost.

This cost also does not include lost property-tax income as the barn is now on land owned by the town of New Scotland.

When you drive by the barn, you can see that there is a significant amount of work remaining. The actual final cost is not known as with all structures often more work is needed once you really begin working on it.

I am sure that the town board had very good intentions. However, this grand idea has become nothing more than a money pit. When you look around, you can see how money currently spent could have benefited people of the town in a much more positive manner.  

Glenn Schultz

Voorheesville

Editor’s note: According to the New Scotland Supervisor’s Office, the grants or donations received to date for the Hilton Barn project total $277,500: $50,000 from Albany County, $125,000 from a state grant, $75,000 from another state grant, $20,000 grant for parking, and $7,500 from the Voorheesville Community and School Foundation. Outlays have totalled $332,000; more grants are being applied for.

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