Attendees: Steering committee: Don Keener – LWT Manager, John Klinedinst – LWT Engineer, Mark Platts – Platts Simon Consulting, Representative Stan Saylor, and Jo Anna Shovlin and the following:
Josh First and Todd McNew – The Conservation Fund Pennsylvania Office, Jackie Kramer – Executive Director – Farm & Natural Lands Trust, and Felicia Dell – Director York County Planning Commission (YCPC).
Introductions: Don Keener, chairperson of the Lower Windsor Township (LWT) steering committee opened with introductions. He then turned the meeting over to John Klinedinst for comments.
John Klinedinst presented a summary from the meeting with John, Donald, and Donald Craib, Eastern Regional Director of The Archaeological Conservancy based in Alexandria, VA. – they can be a partner in the $250,000-$500,000 range. They also had negotiated with the Trustee for a portion of the property, but the Trustee terminated discussions.
Representative Saylor stated that AllFirst Bank is the largest creditor and he will set up a meeting in the future with the Regional President. Note: AllFirst is going to merge with M & T in the spring of 2003. Mr. First mentioned that M & T has a reputation for not being well managed. Representative Saylor stated he is going to try to set up meeting with both banks to maybe make them aware that there is a proposal being put together for the Lauxmont Farm. He didn’t know how much the banks were owed but since they are the largest creditor, the prospect of getting some money are clearing their books of this bankruptcy would be an attractive offer.
Mr. First stated that the Conservation Fund contribution to this project would be to give tours of this facility and get the word to outside interests for partnership and/or funding resources.
After a lengthy discussion was held in reference to getting private money (e.g. John Zimmerman, Louis Appell) Mr. First advised the committee not to approach our “angles” before we have something more concrete in regard to a deal and/or proposal.
Mr. Keener stated that Kelly Skiptunas from the LWT Planning Commission approached him and stated she heard the “Kohr Family is going to lose the farm”. Also, Police Chief Sterner of LWT stated that Archie Kohr told him “that everyone is fighting with us and we are working our way out of the bankruptcy debt”. Mr. Platts asked if there is some truth to this and are they starting foreclosure process, or maybe the community heard about this committee and what we are trying to attempt? Mr. Klinedinst stated that any rate this should be an incentive to move swiftly in this matter. He also stressed the fact that next Tuesday the Governor’s Election will play a part in this project.
Representative Saylor stated that he put $14 million dollars in the State Capital Improvement Budget but it will need the Governor’s approval. If Mike Fisher wins the upcoming election we can move forward with the project. If not, maybe he can make a deal with Ed Rendell.
Mr. first stated the Western Conservancy is based on geographical region, therefore, this project is not within their region guidelines. Mr. Dell stated the Lancaster Heritage Park is in the process of appointing a new Director within the next few months. They can be used as an avenue to start in their grant funding cycle.
Mr. Klinedinst stated the following on behalf of LWT.
1. LWT has 8-9 million dollars in the bank.
2. LWT will need 5 million dollars to build their new building.
3. LWT can borrow money from their endowment fund.
4. The LWT Planning Committee is currently preparing an Official Map and tentative adoption is January 3, 2002.
5. LWT is currently working on their Zoning Ordinance and tentative adoption is February/March 2003.
6. LWT is still committed but cannot play a major role – acquisition under condemnation must be for a clear public purpose.
7. LWT needs a fair market price in order to put a proposal together for the Trustee with LWT’s match. LWT cannot negotiate with creditors.
Representative Saylor suggested Mark Platts contact Congressman Platts to see if any money can be filtered form the federal government back into the state for this project.
Short Term steps/goals to be taken in the project:
· LWT meet with Trustee to get the “lay of the land” (pin down a number for offer)
· Representative Saylor will meet with Allfirst and M & T Banks
· Result of Governor’s Election – State Capital Budget
· Prepare a proposal
· Jackie Kramer and John First present proposal to Trustee
Long term steps/goals to be taken in the project:
· Contact Congressman Platts for possible funding resources
· Meeting with Region/Community Members
· DCNR possible funding
· Put together a list of business members for funding
· Put together a list of agencies for partnerships
· Selling of sections of farm for project maintenance/management upkeep
Next meeting – It was decided not to set a date for the next meeting until Mr. Klinedinst and Representative Saylor had a chance to set up their meetings with the Trustee and Banks, at which time they could present a briefing to the committee.
Committee members will be notified of meeting by email.
Meeting closed at 10:35 a.m.
submitted by Jo Anna Shovlin
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