Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The CSX Purchase Moves Ahead

Yesterday at noon, the board of the Hudson Development Corporation held a special meeting "to discuss closing decisions for the purchase of the CSX parcel." On Monday, Gossips reported on the circumstances that made the special meeting necessary and, yesterday morning, reported that Walter Chatham had resigned from the HDC board. 

The meeting yesterday took all of fourteen minutes. HDC chair Bob Rasner displayed a schedule (shown below) showing the timeline since the purchase and sale agreement (PSA) was signed and a deposit of $8,500 was made on March 21, 2019. The original deadline for closing was June 21, but the agreement has been amended twice. The current deadline for closing is October 31.  

Rasner explained that the due diligence period was over on October 15, and if HDC did not pull out of the deal by October 15, they could not pull out without forfeiting the $8,500 deposit. The risk was that the Planning Board would not approve the subdivision of the CSX parcel at its special meeting on October 18, and HDC would lose $8,500. He called for a motion not to terminate the contract on October 15--a motion that was made and seconded.

In the discussion that followed, Phil Forman said he supported the motion. "We're at risk for three days," he said. "There's nothing to support the idea we will not get a favorable decision from the Planning Board." Carolyn Lawrence concurred.

Seth Rogovoy wondered if they needed such a motion at all, suggesting that the only motion needed would be one to terminate. Steve Dunn responded that "getting the input of the whole board is important," adding, "We do not have a legal right to close at this time."

A voice vote was taken on "allowing the deal to proceed." All board members voted aye except for Rogovoy, who abstained. When the vote had been taken, Dunn declared, "It would have been a lot more interesting meeting if the Planning Board had not agreed to a special meeting."

Mike Tucker, CEO and president of CEDC (Columbia Economic Development Corporation), which is providing a $200,000 loan to HDC for the purchase, requested a pre-closing meeting with Rasner and Dunn "to make sure everything is in place."

It wasn't until the end of the meeting, just before he called for a motion to adjourn, that Rasner announced that Chatham, who chairs the Planning Board, had resigned from the HDC board. 

The special Planning Board meeting to consider the subdivision of the CSX parcel is scheduled for Friday, September 18, at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall.

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