LSD Closes Hunt

Posted by MJ

A couple years after closing Dewitt and reducing Pound to just Pre-K, the Lockport School District has decided to close Hunt. The LUSJ reported:

...Board members said they did not make the decision lightly.
”I’m not going to sit here and pretend I can say something that will make this any easier,” said President John Linderman. “It’s not an easy decision for this board to come to.”

”It’s with a heavy heart I voted,” said Trustee James Gugliuzza, a Hunt alum.
Superintendent Michelle T. Bradley said the district will move forward, deciding whether to sell or lease the building. The roughly 250 kids who attend Hunt will be transferred by the fall of 2013, not including the ones who will move up to fifth grade at Emmet Belknap Intermediate...
A big plus for the City of Lockport was its neighborhood elementary schools. It was rare to find a municipality that still offered the benefits of these  neighborhood bonds and the ability to walk a short distance to school instead of living on a bus.
...A parent of two at Washington Hunt, including a son who will enter his fifth school in seven years, Michael Foster said losing a school like Hunt could have adverse effects on the community. Parental involvement in their children’s education could be reduced and stability of the community threatened

Foster told board members about his decision to move to Livingston Place within the Washington Hunt community. He told board members to be sure about their decision to close the school....
It would have been nice to see city leaders more involved or taking a stand in the last two rounds of closures. Losing these 3 neighborhood anchors for 2-3% savings in the school budget (what did salaries and benefits rise the past 3 years?) seems a short sighted decision in regards to the well being of the city and school district.

Work on a classroom addition at Kelley is expected to begin in the fall. The addition was a part of an $18.9 million capital project approved by voters last year. Some residents said had they known it would lead to the closure of Hunt, they probably would have voted differently.
Keep churning the spoon fed calves out of the bigger and bigger factories. 


UCC Sold

Posted by MJ

The Buffalo News and LUSJ  reported:

For the second time in seven months, a tentative sale of Ulrich City Centre has been announced.
This time, the buyer is supposed to be Siesta Development, a newly formed Buffalo company whose principal is Darrel R. Lloyd, an appraiser at KLW Group in Amherst.
The Niagara County Industrial Development Agency on Wednesday approved the transfer of the property tax break on the commercial complex from Ulrich Development Corp. to Siesta.
Owner David L. Ulrich said the sale hasn’t closed yet.
In November, the IDA board approved the transfer of the tax break to Timothy R. Gelder, vice president and chief financial officer of Barden & Robeson Corp., Middleport. However, that deal fell through.
“The buyer wasn’t able to obtain financing,” Ulrich said Wednesday.
He declined to discuss the sale price, calling it “very modest.” However, Siesta’s application says the company intends to obtain a $2.8 million mortgage while investing $600,000 in equity — a total of $3.4 million...
Some people have mentioned that they have some concerns with the person who tax assessed the property at $2.2 million buying the property for $2.8. Is the concern that he received priority in the sale for giving a lower assessment to the previous owner Ulrich?

We are all free to sell our properties for more than they are assessed at. Tax assessments are educated guesses and the real value in most cases is revealed in a sale.(obviously not the case if my mother sold me her house for $1).

The city did not lose out on any money since the assessments just relatively divvy up the approved budget for the year. You and I just may have paid a couple $$$ more.

I've written about assessments in the past. Their punitive nature is a big hold up to reinvestment in the city. We should be rewarded for improving our properties, not for letting them die a slow death infecting the houses around them.


Washburn Street "Bricks" are coming down

Posted by LoneWolf

Seeing as tho it was mentioned in the Concert Thread that all it seems is that the concerts are the "Best news in Lockport"    I figured I would share this as a change of pace ..

 As of this morning "The Bricks"  on Washburn Street are being torn down .. FINALLY .. its only been .. HOW LONG  since the fire and the condemnation of the building? 
(Pic attached of the tear down.)

 Not 100% sure if they are taking BOTH buildings down ,  or if a rebuild is planned. However the buildings DO have the fencing and a "Asbestos warning" sign around the entire (99%)  of the perimiter.

In the pic you cant see it BUT they do have a fire hose running across the street from the hydrant going to where they are working.. there are also workers dressed in white Tyvek suits  and with respirators on ..

Just another piece of "blight"  that is being removed from Lockport.