There will be a meeting to discuss the sale of the lakefront parcel on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at 5:00pm at the Geneva Public Library Reading Room. Members of the public are encouraged to attend.
Let’s take advantage of this opportunity, come together as a community and hold our city officials accountable.
Please spread the word, tell your friends, bring your friends and help send a clear message to City Council!
As many Genevans know, Geneva was recently awarded a $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) grant from New York State. The grant will be used for a variety of initiatives in the downtown district, and the City is currently working with consultants Bergmann Associates to decide how the money is spent.
One of the major projects that is hoping to receive funding from the grant is the Dove Block Restoration Project. Led by local businessman David Bunnell and HWS Professor James Spates, the group has been fundraising for about a year in order to purchase the building, after which grants and loans would be used to complete the building’s renovation. The fundraising goal was set at $200,000, which was the amount needed to purchase the building from its current owner.
If the name ‘David Bunnell’ and the dollar amount of “$200,000” sound familiar, that’s because Bunnell is the purchaser of the lakefront parcel, and he paid $200,000 for it.
At a time when Geneva and their consultants are holding meetings and public forums to determine how the DRI grant will be spent (and with New York State monitoring the process to be sure that the money is allocated in a fair and ethical manner), it’s hard to understand why city officials and Bunnell thought that this was an opportune moment to strike an enormously controversial deal on the lakefront parcel, angering the public and causing embarrassment to the City.
After damaging the public’s trust with the lakefront sale debacle, the City of Geneva will now draw even more scutiny during the DRI grant allocation process, and the Dove Block Restoration Project will take a PR hit as well.
This isn’t just about the sale of one seven-acre parcel of lakefront.
See you on Wednesday.