Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Highlights from the HDC Meeting

The Board of the Hudson Development Corporation met last night at 6 p.m. It was the board's first meeting since September, and its first since announcing that henceforward it would hold its meetings at 6 p.m. rather than at noon, which had been the board's custom for decades. At last night's meeting, eight members of the board were present and six members of the public. 

John Gilstrap
Bob Rasner, who is vice president of the board, chaired the meeting in the absence of John Gilstrap, the board president. As a first order of business, Rasner read a letter from Gilstrap, explaining that he was suffering from a bad cold and unable to attend. The message also announced his intention to resign as HDC president, effective at the end of 2018, explaining that he found being the president of the board without an executive director in place to be untenable.   

Gregg Carey
At last night's meeting, the board voted to add another new member, Gregg Carey. In introducing Carey to the board, board member Chris Jones noted that Carey had built several companies in Silicon Valley, had been a contestant on Survivor, and now lives in Hudson with his wife, who has a shop on Warren Street, and their young daughter. Before a vote was taken, board member Steve Dunn asked Carey, "Why do you want to do this?" Responding to the question, Carey spoke of being part of the community and said he saw his role on HDC as one of job development, specifically helping to equip the community with the skills required to work in a remote freelance environment.

The redevelopment of the Kaz site, which ground to a halt last summer, continues to occupy HDC. Last night, several issues related to the site were discussed. The first was a proposal from The Wick to rent from HDC the concrete pad which is the remnant of the section of the Kaz warehouse that was demolished, at The Wick's expense, last year. The hotel wants to use the space for parking. After some discussion about whether or not the proposed lease contract could be discussed in executive session or if Open Meetings Law required that it be discussed in public, it was finally decided that a subcommittee composed of Rasner, Dunn, and Nick Haddad be tasked with analyzing the lease agreement proposed by The Wick and making recommendations to the board. 

Another Kaz-related topic was the acquisition of a portion of the property on South Front Street now owned by CSX. In June, HDC seemed poised to acquire the property in question, but an opinion from former Third Ward alderman John Friedman, advising caution about potential contamination on the site, stalled that initiative. At last night's meeting, two concerns were raised regarding the acquisition, both requirements of CSX: that it be indemnified of any responsibility for environmental issues on the site, and that no residential building constructed on the parcel in question or adjacent to it. On the issue of contamination, Mayor Rick Rector brought up the fact--for the first time in these discussions--that two decades ago the City of Hudson owned the seven-acre parcel where CSX now has its "crew shack." The City had swapped that parcel for land owned by CSX on the waterfront, land that enabled the expansion of riverfront park to include what is now known as Rick's Point. After Dunn suggested that the contract proposed by CSX for the sale of the property might be a "form contract" and therefore "has things in it that are not relevant," and Dunn volunteered to revise the contract "to something sensible," it was decided that Dunn should be the point person "to have a conversation with CSX."

Another Kaz-related issue taken up at the meeting was the $487,160 of DRI (Downtown Revitalization Initiative) funding earmarked for redevelopment of the Kaz site. Rector explained that the money was for "demolition and a little bit of infrastructure." Reacting to this statement, Haddad asked, "Has it been determined that the building will come down?" 

At the end of the meeting, Rector said of the Kaz project, "This is on the back burner. We're going to digest this. We'll get the DRI going, and we'll come back to this." Don Moore added, "It's madness that anyone's going to suspect anything will happen quickly."

On the topic of the DRI, it was revealed at the meeting that responses to the RFP (request for proposal) for a person or entity to manage the implementation of the DRI are due at the end of this week. The person or entity chosen to manage the process "will facilitate public hearings on every [City of Hudson] project with DRI funding." The City of Hudson projects are: the Complete Streets improvements in the BRIDGE District ($3,982,550); renovation of the entrance to Promenade Hill and ADA-compliant access to the park ($1,100,000); improving safety and aesthetics of Cross Street and the Second Street stairs ($250,000); stabilization of the Dunn Warehouse for future re-use ($1,000,000); repurposing the historic fishing village once known as the Furgary Boat Club as a city park ($150,000).


  1. I've been studying the HDC ever from the Shrimp Box where these "developers" of Hudson's decline scapegoated my best friend from high school.

    He was just a small cog caught up in a cauldron of self serving city corruption.

    HDC, the origin of the Moore Tax, that's where we continue to pay ever more for less service. Where Mr. Moore can divert grant money from moto boaters who pay, to his freeloader friends that pay nothing and now..."It's madness that anyone's going to suspect anything will happen quickly."

  2. Didn't the head of HDC give away the people's shore to power boat while sitting on both boards?

  3. We need more executive sessions.

  4. Displace "local" tourist Navigators who negate city liability to nil while paying for access and replace them with out of (ocean) state tourist, Langators who pay nothing.

    HDC's brilliant developers of decline!

  5. One hundred-fifty thousand is just the beginning of the "Moore" tax. It produces less use, fewer users and comes with infinite liability. Power Boat redux.

  6. It's rather curious that you choose not to report at all on my lengthy commentary at the meeting. Here is a summary of it: