The Meeting Agenda and Discussions:
- Welcome: Charlie Palermo showed his appreciation to all attendees, especially minutes after a rough rainstorm.
- Introduction of the board members:
- Dawn Bellizia
- Brian O'Donnell (Vice Pres.)
- Mayor Tom Connors
- Charlie Palermo (Pres.)
- Paula Thomas
- Alyssa Hinkle (Seceritary)
- Michele Sparich
- Lori Clabia (Treasurer)
- Phil Jeffries
- Lee Zink (Who arrived later in the evening, but he was announced- Who he was and his role in the board.)
- Luke Medico- a local real estate agent (unable to attend, also announced)
“The C.M. Schwab School restoration project’s mission is to coordinate community efforts to acquire the historic Schwab school and facilitate its transfer back to public use as a gift to the borough of Weatherly.”
- There were two sign up sheets- one for email newsletters and another for volunteer sign up. Anyone interested, please email email@example.com
- Tom Connors went more into detail about the relationship between the Borough Counsel and the Schwab School. He was very positive that because the people of the town wanted this, the Borough will allow us to do so. Under the borough's care, the school would be able to receive more grants and government funding.
- Charlie Palermo added the following:
- Mentioned all of the positive feed back (and one "neigh sayer" that he met at the Dollar Store from New Jersey... to which he said, "Get on board, or get out of the way!"
- *"If you question the way the children in our area are being brought up, look at our youth and what they have done for our cause." He went on to mention that the class of 2016 donated about $900 left over from the senior all night party. In addition, the disbanded youth football group had money which was offered to a girl to help another charity.... It was decided that this money would also go to the Charles M Schwab School Restoration Project.
- Dawn Bellizia spoke about volunteers being needed for the Weatherly Festival coming up on 8/26-8/27th for the information booth and bounce house. Attendees have the opportunity to schedule volunteer time for the event.
- The tee-shirts and beverage koozies were advertised, and proceeds benefit the Schwab School.
- When do pledges have to be paid upon, and are donations being taken?
- Pledges are being taken to help come up with a number to offer the bank to purchase the school. We will need the money when our offer is accepted.
- Donations are also being taken since we have recently become a 501c3, and we have a bank account to house the funds.
- Have there been negotiations on the building?
- During our tour at the old school, numbers were discussed. The bank only has $29,000 into the building between the sheriff's sale and repairs/clean up. We will NOT be offering $229,000 as per the property's listing price. The entire annex will have to be demolished, it was to the point where the realtor would not allow people to go in to see it. (Which should help when we make our offer.)
- There have also been discussions that they can use a discount to us as a gift/tax write off for them as we are now non-profit. This should also allow the bank good PR to improve their reputation.
- How much do we have to offer the bank?
- We have had a steady flow of both pledges and donations. At this point, releasing an amount would give the bank an advantage during negotiations. Rest assured that our community is generous, and we are optimistic thus far.
- Instead of taking a one time pledge, what about having people pledge "X" amount per quarter or per year to allow more of a dependable income?
- Our board has discussed that option, our by-laws offer reasonable membership costs once the building is obtained.
- If (in the event that) we don't get the building, our bylaws have a dissolution clause, where the donated money will go to another charitable cause within Weatherly. Because there is still a chance we can lose the building, we wouldn't want lingering income to disburse if the donor does not get word of this occurrence.
- This is a great idea, and will likely be brought up in the future.
- What about concerned citizens who believe that their taxes will be increased? Why isn't it more publicized that it will NOT fall into the hands of tax payers?
- Our mission statement clearly tells that our intent is to "facilitate its transfer" back to the borough. Which includes the care of the building after it is given back to the borough. Continued fundraising, volunteer contractors, generosity of our citizens, grants, National Historical Landmark funding opportunities, have all been discussed and will be pursued. When we started this project, we knew there will be continued cost, and we (as many others) have made a commitment to keep this gift that was taken from us 25 years ago. When that building was sold, it has fallen into foreclosure and has already been paid out of taxpayer dollars to make this mistake right. If this building is sold to someone else, they will only want the tower, leaving taxpayers to pay for the demolition of what will be left behind. When a visitor comes to Weatherly, we don't want to show them the "Parking lot where our best landmark used to sit." Tom Connors said "This is what you see on post cards. When you search Weatherly, this is what you see! When you look at our police cars, patches and badges.... THIS is what you see." For this reason, it will not fall into the pockets of our local tax payers. We agree, it should be publicized more, but we will address this issue and will see about highlighting this more in the future.
For the Standard Speaker article about this meeting please
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