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Shen board president: 'Circle is tighter' on land deal

Shen board president: 'Circle is tighter' on land deal

'There’s a will to make this work on both sides'
Shen board president: 'Circle is tighter' on land deal
Shenendehowa Board of Education President Bill Casey.
Photographer: Provided

CLIFTON PARK — The Shenendehowa Board of Education is closing in on a deal with the town for 32 acres of district-owned land.

In April, residents overwhelmingly rejected the district's proposal to sell the forested parcel to BBL Construction for about $2 million. The vote came after months of harsh campaign rhetoric, with many residents expressing a desire for the land to go to the town and others insisting it should be sold to BBL, which had plans to build a ShopRite on the land.

Prior to Tuesday's board meeting, board members met in executive session to discuss land values, board President Bill Casey said. He compared the sale negotiations to a large circle that becomes smaller as the two entities move toward agreement.

“The circle is tighter,” Casey said to the board.

During the executive session, Casey said, the board worked toward an asking price for the land and what a good price to settle at might be. In late June, the board presented the town with an asking price of $1.3 million, including other concessions that would add value to a lower sale price, compared with the BBL bid of $2 million. The proposed concessions included the shared cost of a consultant to plan improvements to the parcel, or funding for maintenance of athletic fields behind Arongen and Shatekon elementary schools. 

Casey said that, ideally, the board would like to see any deal go out to a referendum in mid-November, though he admitted there still isn’t a solid timeline. For now, he said, the board has targets it would like to work toward, as does the town.

“I remain optimistic. There’s a will to make this work on both sides,” Casey said after the meeting. 

The board has met with the town three times to discuss a sale. As of Tuesday night, another meeting date had not been set.

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