Posts Tagged With: park hill adult home

It’s Time for Queen Ann to Abdicate!


QueenAnn2

Queen Ann of Amsterdam, New York

They say she “means well” and Mayor Ann Thane has done a lot to improve Amsterdam’s image but the overbearing need to micro-manage every aspect of OUR City is a detriment to economic development. One would think that after serving as Mayor for five years, Thane would learn to delegate authority, trusting in the many talented people that make up both city government and the constituency. We see the control issues pop up time and time again, from censoring the populace to insisting on exerting influence on issues that are clearly not under the jurisdiction of the elected position of Mayor.

A Brief History

There was the Chalmers building fiasco:

A Chalmers Love/Hate Story

Removing the State imposed 3% tax cap.

Her Majesty Queen Ann has Spoken

The City of Amsterdam Zoning Update that is being held up since 2011 by Corporation Counsel Gerard DeCusatis:

Amsterdam’s Proposed Zoning Update

There was the Art Center:

The Politics of Art

Raises for everybody!

Body Language

A Piece of the World Trade Center that was to be a memorial to 911 still sits rotting at Riverlink Park without any fanfare, dedication or respect.

The Forgotten Memorial

Then there was the Amsterdam Industrial Development Agency’s purchase and rehab of a building on Main Street that was held up by the Mayor’s insistence that a damaged mural by an unknown artist in the building be preserved.  This blogger even volunteered to photograph the mural for the archives to help settle the back and forth debate between the Mayor and the AIDA. That situation, to my knowledge, is still not resolved.

The Current Situation

Meet Bala Peri

A man from Virginia, Balakumar Periyasamy, buys the former Park Hill Adult Home on 52 Grove Street in Amsterdam, New York with long-term plans to open as an assisted living facility for Veterans.  To run the home the NYS Department of Health requires a license that takes about two years to get. Having invested a lot of money in building, including the payment of back taxes to the city, Mr. Peri announces his plans to open a restaurant and hotel in the 52 room complex until such time as the adult home license is approved. This project would give local jobs and add to our local economy but requires a variance from the Zoning Board and site plan approval from the Planning Board.

Bala is very excited about the plans and invites local dignitaries to visit the facility. The President of FMCC and members of his executive team visit the building anticipating the need for overflow student housing.  He leaves the tour excited about the possibility commenting that it is in better shape and larger than he originally thought. Bala invites Mayor Thane to tour the building and she does so commenting how beautiful and large the building is stating she would do what she could to help him with the project.  Bala then invites journalist Alissa Scott from The Recorder to hear his plans for the restaurant and hotel.  Alissa writes an excellent article, published in the Recorder on December 9, 2013, that would have helped further the project along had it not been for disparaging comments quoted from Mayor Ann Thane.

Thane said she doesn’t think Peri should go through with student housing. “I actually don’t think that will work because there’s too much in the way of state regulations that would need to be done to make that ready for students,” Thane said. “The cost would be too high.”She also doesn’t think a hotel would well-suit the community’s needs. “To propose a hotel, you have a high-end hotel going in across the river at the castle and you have a Hampton Inn and they have much better locations,” Thane said. “IfI’m going to book a room in a hotel, I don’t want to stay in the room that was a senior cubby hole.”

Thane goes on to suggest what Peri should do with HIS property, stating she is not sure the area can support another adult home. This from an elected official who touted economic development in her election campaign.  Bala’s vision is not for a high-end hotel like the proposal for the Amsterdam Castle or the new Hampton Inn. It is for students or the budget minded traveler, the 99% who can’t afford to stay at a high-end hotel.
Here is a business person who invested in our community buying a building that was left to deteriorate, who already employed a dozen local people to help with his project. Mayor Ann Thane’s damning comments may have a harmful effect on Bala’s project before any approvals are granted from Zoning or Planning.

My personal experience catching the criminals who stole thousands of dollars of copper from the building is chronicled in the following link.

A Copper Caper 

For the greater part of 2013, this blogger exhibited much restraint in not posting political critiques or commentary but this situation just crossed a line.  The Republican supermajority Common Council taking office on January 1st will dethrone Mayor Thane’s veto power.  She may as well abdicate now and negotiate a compromise as she will soon be forced to trust the legislative body of the City of Amsterdam.

Categories: Amsterdam, Business, Law, Park Hill Adult Home, Politics | Tags: , , , , ,

A Copper Caper


With taser drawn, he waits silently on the lawn of the former Park Hill Adult Home in Amsterdam, New York.  Ready to react to any situation that may jeopardize his safety or that of his fellow Police Officers and the citizens of Amsterdam.

Over the past several weeks, Park Hill has been the target of local copper thieves who have already done hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage to this historic building by gutting the heating system and water lines. The former nursing home went into foreclosure over a year ago and is now owned by a bank who have done little to protect and secure its contents. You can read about some of its history here.

Whether it was the Strawberry Moon or the Venus transition, people have behaved badly on Grove Street lately. Last night about 1:00am I woke to the sounds of slurred cursing. I went outside to find a man so intoxicated he was laying on the sidewalk in front of the Former Park Hill adult home. Then I discovered someone stole my full trash can put curbside for pick up today!  Two women walking by last night after the police arrived stated they saw two teenaged men, one white, one black wheeling a trash can full of copper pipes down Forbes Street. Their description of the can led me to believe it was mine. Apparently they ditched the trash bags inside and used it to haul away copper from the Park Hill Adult Home.

This morning during a visit from my brother and sister-in-law, a car did a three-point turn in front of my house and started driving the wrong way down the one way street, pulling into the driveway next to Park Hill.  Armed with my iPhone, I decided enough was enough and confronted these would be burglars as they pulled out of the driveway with copper pipes in their vehicle.  I stopped the vehicle and ordered them to return the pipes. As they complied, I photographed them, the vehicle plate number and then called the Amsterdam Police who arrived about 15 minutes later.

The building was thoroughly searched both last night and again this morning and secured by the responding Police Officers.

The photos of the alleged perpetrators is being withheld due to pending litigation.  With my statement and the photos, the APD were able to name the individuals responsible and now have some evidence to work with to help curtail the theft of copper on Grove Street… or so we thought.

Just a few hours after this mornings incident, I was checking the property of the adjacent Goddess of Mercy Temple with Jennie Wong when we discovered the side door of Park Hill propped open with a bucket.  Once again I notified the APD and this time the response was immediate and large! The APD covered all the entrances and exits, once again doing a systematic search.  I did not see anyone taken into custody.

As the night falls I notice the APD making frequents rounds of the area. Hopefully, Venus is finished transitioning and I can get a full nights sleep!

Update: Reported in the Amsterdam Recorder 06/12/2012

Amsterdam Police Department

• Two Amsterdam men were each charged with petit larceny, a misdemeanor, and trespassing, a violation. Jose Reyes, 38, of 20 Garden St., was arrested June 5, and Jimmy Rivera, 44, of 27 McDonnell St., was arrested June 6. Their charges stem from an incident on Grove Street where the two men allegedly stole copper form a vacant building. Reyes were held pending arraignment, and Rivera was released on an appearance ticket to appear in Amsterdam City Court at a later date.

Categories: Amsterdam, Law, WPHO | Tags: , , , , , ,

Around the House


Categories: Amsterdam, Cooking, Pets, Photography | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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