Joined: September 1st, 2012, 8:06 am

February 1st, 2018, 1:31 pm #861

Putting the Y on Concord street?!  Surely, you jest...
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Joined: January 25th, 2008, 12:11 am

February 1st, 2018, 2:22 pm #862

Why is it a small minority of old loud mouths always seem to block anything that involves change or improvements to our city, a new Y, new schools, a new library, etc!!!  No wonder a lot of our young people are moving else where.
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Joined: January 9th, 2008, 8:26 pm

February 1st, 2018, 8:21 pm #863

gloman wrote: Why is it a small minority of old loud mouths always seem to block anything that involves change or improvements to our city, a new Y, new schools, a new library, etc!!!  No wonder a lot of our young people are moving else where.
Why is there a lot of loudmouths that want to spend spend spend and are never satisfied with what we have?
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Joined: February 19th, 2010, 9:12 pm

February 1st, 2018, 8:38 pm #864

The ideal is when residents raise the right questions to the Councilors, the Planning Board and Councilors feel the responsibility to represent the residents in the best interest of the city and in the end we come up with a project that meets the city's most important goals. 

 Affordable housing is one of the city's most important goals and there is not a councilor who does not understand that.  So that is how this project has been working lately...not pushed forward with a rubber stamp but not stopped because some would approve no change.  We will get there and it will be good.
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Joined: August 13th, 2005, 5:30 am

February 1st, 2018, 11:47 pm #865

I think that most residents would agree (after getting over the P & M'ing about how the City let the property go to heck) that the ideal use for the property would have been to sell the Y their piece and keep the rest for some municipal use - schools, police/fire, city offices, whatever.  It would be a darn big chunk of change to develop the site for a municipal use - who would have voted for an override?  A conundrum that, indeed.

But here we are.  As always, my focus has been on the process.  This, imho, will go down as one of the most bizarre transactions in the City's history (move over, I4C2).  It has been more than two years since a response to the RFP was submitted.  Two years and no one saw this coming?  The response to the RFP should have been declared non-reponsive from the get-go and a new RFP issued.  But like the issue of letting the Fuller building rot, we are long past that.

Despite my questions about the partnership and many, many issues about the process, I'm actually feeling some compassion for the developers, especially after the last P&D meeting when the sub-committee declined to make a recommendation on the hardship issue.

There is a P&D meeting on Wednesday, February 7.  On the agenda is a Committee discussion with City staff and the applicant on the vote taken at the 1/29/18 Special P&D meeting to refer the renegotiation of the Affordable Housing Hardship claim of the applicant ...

http://gloucester-ma.gov/ArchiveCenter/ ... /Item/8447
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Joined: June 7th, 2008, 7:56 am

February 2nd, 2018, 8:55 am #866

when the P&S was signed, was there a deposit taken from the developers and held by the city?  isn't that customary?
if an over ride would be needed to develop this parcel for civic uses, will an over ride be necessary to build the East Gloucester/Veterans replacement school?
it is also bothersome to note, although the YMCA Middle St. location is touted as an "affordable" housing location, where does the funding for development come from?
The Cameron's location has languished without progress due to lack of funding.
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Joined: January 25th, 2008, 12:11 am

February 2nd, 2018, 12:48 pm #867

tyu12 wrote:
gloman wrote: Why is it a small minority of old loud mouths always seem to block anything that involves change or improvements to our city, a new Y, new schools, a new library, etc!!!  No wonder a lot of our young people are moving else where.
Why is there a lot of loudmouths that want to spend spend spend and are never satisfied with what we have?
So you re satisfied with rundown schools, fire stations, police station, library etc.
How selfish!!!!!!
If you read people such as Damon's posts they are all about what is better for him😕.
An the crew he runs with are all the same.
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Joined: February 7th, 2008, 5:54 pm

February 2nd, 2018, 5:55 pm #868

Do you "run with a crew" Damon?

Who knew!
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Joined: November 13th, 2010, 12:37 pm

February 2nd, 2018, 6:43 pm #869

I've seen him a few times with a crew in the harbor. And what a crew it is, too! 
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Joined: February 19th, 2010, 9:12 pm

February 2nd, 2018, 6:46 pm #870

I am pretty sure Damon and his crew are actually a gang with tattoos and everything.
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Joined: November 13th, 2010, 12:37 pm

February 2nd, 2018, 6:48 pm #871

They weren't running, though. 
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Joined: August 13th, 2005, 5:30 am

February 2nd, 2018, 9:22 pm #872

lol - the first thing I thought when I read that is, "Wow, Damon has a crew?"




@harbordog  - I don't know any of the details of the P&S.

I'm a bookkeeper.  I worked construction for over 30 years and know bids, RFPs, contracts, pre-quals, comp, liability and have a fair knowledge of related legal stuff. I know about dotting every "i" and crossing every "t."  I love numbers (I need a twelve step program for people who lose sleep over not being able to balance an account to the penny.  Actually, I've progressed to being able to write off anything under $1.00.). But municipal finances make my eyes glaze over ... (That and trying to understand Medicare Supplemental plans.)

I think - when the City considers taking on a project, the financing is dependent on the current status of the City's debt service.  If the City can take on the debt payments for a project while staying within the constraints of Prop 2.5, they borrow the money.  If the cost is too much for the City to take on at the time, they can ask residents for an override of Prop 2.5.  There are also debt exclusions and capital outlay expenditure exclusions - about which I basically have little knowledge.

The Cameron's project involves Action and North Shore Community Development Coalition and they are looking for grants.  They are in the queue, but it's a wait.

Harborlight generally looks to private financing where investors in affordable housing projects get a hefty tax credit for investing in affordable housing and have had much success with that.  While that tax credit program was saved from the knife in the tax reform bill, there is a concern that the corporate rate was slashed so greatly that investors may no longer have an incentive to invest in affordable housing.
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Joined: February 19th, 2010, 9:12 pm

February 2nd, 2018, 9:29 pm #873

My understanding is the Y/Harborlight would apply for a state grant with the 1.5 million already in hand. With that community support and their good reputations they would have a good chance. Though the average affordable housing project takes 8 funding sources. So I wonder if there might be more needed than state and aht money.
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Joined: February 19th, 2010, 9:12 pm

February 2nd, 2018, 9:36 pm #874

But with the city and Dolben renegotiating I have no idea how that would change financing plans.
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Joined: January 9th, 2008, 8:26 pm

February 3rd, 2018, 12:19 pm #875

Karly wrote: My understanding is the Y/Harborlight would apply for a state grant with the 1.5 million already in hand. With that community support and their good reputations they would have a good chance.  Though the average  affordable housing project takes 8 funding sources.  So I wonder if there might be more needed than state and aht money.
Does that mean that the Y that does not pay taxes is going to get free money from taxpayers?
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Joined: February 19th, 2010, 9:12 pm

February 3rd, 2018, 12:46 pm #876

tyu...what it would mean is that some of the state funds that are set aside to help develop affordable housing will come to Gloucester instead of somewhere else.  I'm all for affordable housing anywhere it is needed but I would be happy to see the funding come here.

You might want to save your worry for when the GOP comes for your social security and medicare to pay for that massive tax cut for the wealthy that we cannot afford.
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Joined: August 13th, 2005, 5:30 am

February 3rd, 2018, 2:43 pm #877

This is the program that Andrew DeFranza (Harborlight) spoke about at the Overlay hearing:

https://www.mass.gov/service-details/lo ... edit-lihtc

It's a federal tax-credit program for investors who invest in low-income housing, but is managed by the State.  Developers apply to the State and the State vets the projects and developers and allocates the tax credits.

Investors (not the Y or the developer) do get a tax break, but it's not a government grant or subsidy, tyu.
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Joined: August 13th, 2005, 5:30 am

February 7th, 2018, 1:38 pm #878

Planning & Development Committee**CANCELLED

Wednesday, February 7

Created 02/01/18 @ 0906 hrs. & Amended 02/07/18 @ 0958 - Agenda Item #5 This meeting is cancelled 2/07/18 @ 1323 hrs. -- All agenda items to be carried over to the 02/21/18 P&D Committee Meeting.

http://gloucester-ma.gov/Calendar.aspx?EID=6206

The agenda was amended this morning - the part about "Committee discussion with City staff and the applicant on the vote taken at the 1/29/18 Special P&D meeting to refer the renegotiation of the Affordable Housing Hardship claim of the applicant" was removed under Item #5.

http://gloucester-ma.gov/ArchiveCenter/ ... /Item/8482

Just a few minutes ago, it was posted that this meeting is cancelled and all agenda items are continued to 2/21/18 P&D meeting.
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Joined: February 19th, 2010, 9:12 pm

February 8th, 2018, 10:41 am #879

I had a meeting this week at Gloucester Housing Authority related to some work I am doing so I took advantage of the opportunity to ask where exactly the funds come from when affordable housing projects apply to the state for money.

Here is the answer...

It is a one-stop grant method where the applicant submits one application for 7 or 8 programs.  They may get funding from multiple sources through this application.  

The state funding comes from 3 sources:

1)  100% public funds (tax money allocated for this)

2)  Private funds (foundations and tax credit money, federal home loan bank (which is quasi-public))

3)  Investment from Wall Street

Tax credits always fill in the gap and are very important.  Since there is so much competition for these funds, no one gets funding in their first round of applying...there are always others ahead of them.  Projects with significant local investment (ex. affordable housing trust money, CPA money) get funded sooner.
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Joined: August 13th, 2005, 5:30 am

March 7th, 2018, 8:44 pm #880

There was a P&D meeting tonight, with Fuller on the agenda.  I went to the meeting on the 21st, it was on the agenda but there was nothing to discuss and the item was continued to tonight, but I couldn't get there.

(On January 29 P&D discussed the peer review of the hardship issue, voted to send the issue back to the full council with a recommendation to send the issue back to the administration for more negotiations, which the full council voted to do.  I'm not quite sure what there is to negotiate regarding proof of hardship ... )

I'm getting a little fuzzy on where the whole thing stands - the affordable/hardship issue is just one piece of the Special Permit process and, as I understand it, P&D needs to review all aspects of the Special Permit app (with recommendations from the planning board) and make a recommendation to the full council for a yea or nay on the Special Permit.
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