Writer responds to Hayden ‘inaccuracies’

Published 9:53 am Wednesday, November 14, 2012

To the Editor:

In her Tidewater News letter to the editor (“Official corrects inaccuracies on Hayden School project,” Nov. 11) Debbie Schwartz, director of development and community relations for Senior Services of Southeastern Virginia, said the agency does not plan to demolish the building or build a club, gas station or other business.

I did not say that Senior Services had a plan, or is a part of a plan to demolish the building.

What I’m saying is that the pro forma that I was given to review did not show an ability to renovate the building or sustain the operation. If this is true, what happens to the building when the project fails?

The deal is for a renovation. Demolition occurs when a building is being razed.

The City Council required that the project have a demolition bond as part of the option contract to purchase.

Ms. Schwartz said, “The sales contract does not require us to improve the building within seven years, but requires the usual construction/demolition bond.”

Why did they require a demolition bond for a renovation project? The normal process that I know about requires a performance bond to insure completion of a project.

Franklin Mayor Raystine Johnson-Ashburn, Councilwoman Mary Hilliard and their alliance should explain to the community their reasons for requiring a demolition bond and the benefits of having Senior Services bear the additional burden of paying a demolition bond. Also, under what circumstances will the bond be used?

I also did not say that Senior Services planned on building a club, etc. I was pointing out that changing the area’s zone from R-1 to B-1 would allow by right this kind of business activity.

My question is, why extend the B-1 zone all the way to South Street when no one needs it other than Senior Services?

Thomas Councill