2009-10-29 / Letters to the Editor

Land swap offer not a good one

I read with amusement the report in the Oct. 22 issue of the Jamestown Press, which reported that one of the three uses of the old highway barn was “a landswap offer in which DEM would trade its Beavertail land (where the town could site a wind turbine) for the Ft. Wetherill parcel.”

Such a deal. Doesn’t DEM realize that Jamestown already owns 20 acres on Beavertail, where historic Battery Whiting is located, in the area of parking lot #3. That land was deeded to Jamestown in 1973 by the National Park Service, seven years before the area became a state park in 1980. If any town council member bites on this offer, I have a much better one. I will trade a certain bridge in Brooklyn for the Ft. Wetherill parcel.

On a related subject, two of the present council candidates stated that they would try to hold down taxes by increasing revenue. The taxpayers presently own seven pieces of real estate occupied by others. We receive income from five of those. No income from the other two occupied by DEM. The biggest and most valuable asset is the 20 acres on Beavertail. The 80-year lease signed in 1980 promised us a part of the gate receipts should there ever be an admission fee to the park.

Are any of the candidates willing to put an item on the agenda demanding fair market rent compensation for those 20 acres, even if it involves a legal process of overturning that lease, which, if not illegal, is at least unethical because the lessee gets everything and the lessor, we taxpayers, get nothing?

Or will they take the easy road and postpone such a decision until 2060 when the lease comes up for renewal?

If you still think that such a parcel trade is not corrupt, ponder this: DEM wants to trade acreage on Beavertail deeded to them from the NPS for zero dollars for a parcel for which the Jamestown taxpayers paid $135,000.
Frank Meyer

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