Wednesday April 10, 2013

ZEKE WRIGHT

Staff Writer

HOOSICK, N.Y. -- Town officials agreed to pay monthly back rent for their office space to the owners of the Hoosick Falls armory while issues with a lease agreement remain unresolved.

A motion at Monday’s town board meeting resolved to pay the Hoosick Armory Youth Center & Community Coalition (HAYC3) a total of $9,000 -- at a rate of $1,500 per month -- for the time since the nonprofit initially acquired the building last November.

Board member Kevin Allard said he had issues with other parts of the contract that would need to be worked out between lawyers.

A second board action approved $10,000 to the nonprofit in support of startup renovation costs associated with the building, and officials agreed to have liaisons work with the nonprofit to determine future funding. Town Supervisor Keith Cipperly began by requesting a motion that would have restricted the donation specifically for a planned food co-op, and made additional support (totaling $50,000 over five years) contingent on annual board approval.

HAYC3 Executive Director Aelish Nealon said she couldn’t guarantee the funds would all go toward that particular venture; but she said she had received verbal agreement of the total donation amount.

"We’re not dependent on the town, we’re dependent on the community to make this successful," Nealon said. "So it might be that we get lucky and in the first year the co-op might be up and running and sustainable, and that’d be terrific, and then there’d be another project and another project, all community-based."

Michael Baker, current president of the nonprofit’s board, said infrastructure issues like the staircase and handicap accessibility had to be resolved before the co-op opened. "There’s a lot to be done over the next five years."

The village of Hoosick Falls made a similar gift donation to the nonprofit last November in the amount of $30,000.

Cipperly said the town approved a delivery of heating oil in the amount of $5,233 last year in the spirit of cooperation.