Levine said that with the small profit the land made in 2012, the trust only needs a little more than $40,000 to complete the grant match.
The projections for the first year of ownership were for the land to be at almost a $30,000 shortfall. Instead, weddings rentals and donations combined with much lower than projects expenses leave the property in the black by more than $20,000. However, a lot of the lowered expenses were for dire maintenance needs which got pushed off for the year.
The grant offer is good until November. Levine said the trust could probably get an extension of the grant; however he is not sure if it should or would.
“We’d have to look at that,” he said. “Because a lot of what needs to be done is urgent to get the property in shape to accommodate people, and the main season is summer. If we haven’t been able to do that by then, I am not sure if we will feel like it is sustainable.”
The immediate priorities for the land can be broken down into five categories: Signs, trails, safety, access and parking.
The longer-term projects are for a boat launch and for decisions about the two structures on the property, a house and ice house.
“Everyone’s first question is about the house,” Levine said. “But what I tell them is, don’t focus on the house, focus on the use of the land around the house. I ask them, have you seen how well the gardens are doing?”
The house is in such bad shape that the Trust doesn’t have the money to assess how much work it needs. Nor does it have the money to fix the roof or make currently needed repairs. It also doesn’t have the money to raze the house.