July 28, 2009

Stop Screwing Around & Dump Mt. View

The Niagara County Legislature made the right decision in blocking plans to replace the heating and air-conditioning system in the Shaw Building, which houses the county’s Health and Mental Health departments.

The recommendation to dump $278,000 into the antiquated building came at the request of county manager Greg Lewis.

The building, which is part of the Mt. View campus, has been for sale for approximately two years. The idea of dumping nearly $300,000 into a building that's for sale is ludicrous and irresponsible. Some said that putting this money into the building, not to mention the $400, 000 the county has already dumped into this 78 year-old facility over the past four years, will enhance its value to a prospective buyer.

While there may be some validity to that logic in most real estate proceedings, it's misguided logic in this case. Why? Because someone pegged the asking price for the 31 acre Mt. View campus at an unattainable $6,000,000. Is it possible that someone would come in and pay that for the property? I suppose. After that, I have a bridge or two near Grand Island I'd like to give them a shot at buying.

In reality, the county should be putting that property out to bid. Take ads out in local, state, regional and national publications, let realtors know and pass the word any way you can. Set a deadline and open the bids. Whomever wins get the property. No mess, no fuss.

Lewis, in explaining that a prospective buyer looked at the Mt. View building for an assisted-living facility stated, “You don’t need Shaw to do assisted living. They may not want it, and in that case, we’ll have Shaw for the next 10 years.” Well, no shit, Greg. You agreed to list it at $6 million bones. And how many millions will we have dumped into the facility at the end of those 10 years?

This is not rocket science. Someone at the county take our suggestion of putting it out to bid, you don't even need to give us credit for the idea, and run with it. You'll be a hero. The property will get back on the tax rolls and you won't need to dump a dime of taxpayer's money into it ever again. Forget about this sub-dividing of the property, as Lewis suggested, and just dump it. A no-brainer if there ever was one.

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