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April 4, 2013

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Trust does not deserve support

We read, with great interest, the article regarding Brookwood Point and the statement by Mr. Harry Levine that the Otego Land Trust is in need of donors to keep up the property and raise enough money to match the Historic Byways grant.

For a number of years there was a boat dock at Brookwood Point, with 12 boat slips that were rented every summer. The renters were a stable, quiet group of local people, who built and maintained the dock, annually having several “dock days” when we cleaned the property around the dock and made all necessary repairs to the dock. The Cook Foundation paid for the lumber; we supplied all of the labor.

In 2011, the Otsego Land Trust took over the property. Early in 2012, we, the “dock people” met with representatives of the Otsego Land Trust, at which time we were told that they were not sure how much longer we would be allowed to continue to use the dock, but we were assured by Connie Tedesco that we would be allowed to use the dock for the 2012 season. We all received letters requesting our payments. Very soon thereafter, there was a storm that did significant damage to the dock, and we all received letters telling us not to pay as we were not going to be allowed to repair the dock. The Land Trust then proceeded to demolish the docks, and then put in an insurance claim and received $20,000 for the docks, which they had not built or maintained.

The Otsego Land Trust willfully gave up the ANNUAL revenue of approximately $10,000 for the dock rentals. It then collected insurance money for all of the work that we did. Now it is crying poverty and soliciting donations to meet its matching share of the grant.

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