Stop the Town of Carmel from purchasing property until an assessment is done.
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The potential purchase of Swan Cove and the Mahopac Chamber of Commerce building and property has become a controversial issue. The lack of clarity and the absence of any studies concerning need, feasibility, and the cost is troubling. The property in question is designated to be in a flood zone by FEMA.
The signers of this petition ask the Town Board to do the following before spending $2M to $5M on the land acquisition, demolition, and construction of this project.
The following outline will only take a few months and will restore the public trust and insure that the Town Board makes a fully informed decision which will benefit the residents and the Mahopac business district for many years to come.
1. To date the Town of Carmel's Parks and Recreation Committee has not been asked for their input or opinion, the Town should discuss this proposed project with the Parks and Recreation Committee if there is going to be a park component to the project. The Town Board may also want the Planning Board to weigh in on the project.
2. The Town Board should identify a few properties to locate the parking lot and public bathrooms on. The Lakeside auto property has been mentioned as an excellent property and the owner is willing to sell the property to the Town for the same price as the Swan Cove property. The Town Board has a responsibility to explore multiple options.
3. A parking study in the business district is supposedly now underway. The Town Board should wait for the results of this study before purchasing any property. The Town Board should be submitting other properties for consideration, so they can be included in the parking study. Other potential sites need to be seriously considered and studied.
4. A flood study must be done if the Town is considering purchasing the Swan Cove and Chamber Building properties or any other property in a flood zone. There are several questions that need to be answered.
The questions are:
" Is it possible to control the flooding?
" How do we control the flooding?
" At what cost do we control the flooding?
" By controlling the flooding on the property, will the flood waters flood an adjoining property like the Chamber Park property or White Sail Condo's?
5. A conceptual site plan should be developed for any site under serious consideration.
6. An engineering study should be completed before any property is purchased. The study should include ingress, egress, parking layout, access to sewer and water, the building of public bathrooms and any recreation component.
7. A geotech study should be completed if the Town is considering the Swan Cove and Mahopac Chamber of Commerce building or any other property in a flood zone. The study will enable the Town to estimate the cost of building in a flood zone. It will confirm if the building for public bathrooms and any other structure or decks/boardwalk, elevated walkway or bridge need to have pilings for support to prevent any sinking or settling into the soft flood zone soils. This type of settling has been occurring in the Chamber Park property for many years.
8. A cost analysis regarding the demolition and construction costs for the Chamber building demolition and the construction of the new Town building for public bathrooms, parking lot, lighting and any recreational component (deck/boardwalk, elevated walkway or bridge). This analysis should include the cost of pilings to support any structure built on the property if needed.
9. The Town Board should wait for the above studies to be drafted and present two or three potential sites for final discussion and debate.
10. A public hearing should be held to gather public input regarding the two or three final potential sites before the Town Board goes ahead and purchases any property.
In conclusion, the Town Board should not go to closing on any property at this point. We would appreciate their patience and assurance that they have completed their due diligence before moving forward on any project. Thank you.
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