SouthWest CEO Interview

When FREE Is Not FREE

Instead of talking about the land that will house the WooSox, lets look at the land that will be the future home of the Holden DPW.    

We remember when we were on the the DPW Building Committee and were informed  that
Berkshire Hathaway wanted to give their property in the Holden Industrial Park, the former Reed-Rico factory,  to the Town of Holden that was assessed over $2,000,000.    

Yes, give the property for FREE!!!!

Obviously we accepted this "gift" right away before they changed their minds, right???  No we did not!!   Instead we spent at least 6 months, maybe more, working on the details of the LDA (Land Disposition Agreement):
  • we reviewed all the existing environmental reports
  • got permission for our consultants to have accesss to the property to review the condition of the property
  • agreed to accept all responsibility to "clean" the property
  • bought environmental insurance to cover any unknown contaminants
After adding up all or costs to "clean" property and overhead, we decided it was a very good deal for the taxpayers of Holden.    Think we estimated that in a worst case scenario it would ost us $1,000,000 to clean up this contaminated property.   In the end we believe the actual costs came in much lower.  Botton line, we did alot of due diligence and in the end negotiated an LDA that was acceptable to both parties and was eventually approved at Town Meeting....    

 In Holden we negotiated the details of the LDA and took title to the property, before any discussions of a new DPW facility.   The consensus was that even if the DPW was to be rejected by the citizens of Holden, we had negotiated a good deal for the land.   The FREE land, even with our costs to "clean", would be a valuable asset for the Town of Holden even if the new DPW efforts failed.


Although we see nothing in the information that was submitted to the City Council that this parcel will be given for "FREE", it actually may in the end be conveyed for no cost.    This does not mean, however, that the conveyance in fact will be for "FREE".

The devil wlll be in the details that will be outlined in the LDA.       In Holden we locked up the land first then moved on to the DPW facility, which was approved by the citizens of Holden.    

In Worcester this has been done backwards.      We have made a deal with the PawSox, without owning the land, and now we need to back in to an LDA with Madison .    

Not a very good bargaining position.








Comments

David Z. said…
Like I said in a previous post, “In Ed we Trust”! I’m sure everything will be finalized in September when site work will get going in earnest!