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Town, SRCT at odds over return of YMCA assets -- litigation a possibility

After 18 months, two sides still can’t agree to issue resolution

Photo by Jason Emerson.

— After 18 months of discussions and an “agreement” announced at the June 21 town board meeting that subsequently fell apart, town officials and board members of the Skaneateles Recreation Charitable Trust remain at loggerheads over who owns what assets in the Skaneateles YMCA and Community Center facility and how much money — if any — ownership of the items should cost to resolve the disagreement.

The SRCT, which took over management of the community center facility in 2010 and was prepared to pay $68,500 to the town last month for the assets, recently said it found an exemption to state law that would allow the town to donate everything to the trust. The town maintains that the New York state constitution prohibits such a gift from a municipality, that the exemption claimed by the SRCT is invalid because the YMCA does not benefit every member of the community and the items in question were purchased with taxpayer funds and therefore cannot legally be given away without appropriate compensation.

With both sides certain in their legal interpretations of the state constitution, it appeared as of press time that no agreement would be reached. If such an impasse was to occur, the town would “have to pursue whatever legal remedy is open to us,” said Town Supervisor Terri Roney. “It’s been a very interesting two years. I perceive that this will end badly, and in litigation.”

(Be sure to read the full email correspondence between the SRCT and town officials, obtained through FOIL request, at the end of this story.)

Background

The town board transferred management of the Skaneateles Community Center to the SRCT on Aug. 1, 2010; all the assets inside the facility remained within the facility with no written agreement as to who owned the items or how and when any of the assets would be either returned to the town or purchased from the town.

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Comments

if 2 years, 1 month ago

Well written story Jason.

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