Veterans Hall needs to remain a public building
I, with plenty of other Truckee residents, participated in the special meeting of the Recreation and Park District regarding public comments on the sale of the Truckee Veterans Hall on Tuesday March 5th at the hall.
The public consensus at this meeting was to keep this asset and make it more available to Truckee Indians, artists, entrepreneurs and in general to the residents of Truckee.
Although the church representatives expressed their open door policy, it’s my opinion that it would be highly unlikely that once the sale goes through, the church would allow the facility to be used for anything else except worshiping in accordance to the church policy.
Once the building is sold, it no longer belongs to the public. It is admirable that the church would like to share the building. However, why should the public give up such an asset for so little money and then ask to share it? It appears that the church interest in buying the building for their 80 or so member congregation is because it is cheap.
According to the Recreation and Park District, the building was appraised for $845,000 because there are no comparative pricing for the property and then the district would have to discount the building by $200,000 for parking improvements which makes the sale price $645,000. It is not clear if the $100,000 appraised value of the Rocking Stone and the $65,000 price of the vacant lot have to be deducted from this amount or not since the rocking stone is not for sale and the lot is needed for the parking.
Town of Truckee is better off to purchase this building back from the Recreation and Park District for the same $1 they purchased it from the county and lease the building to the Wel-Mel-Ti council or to artists and entrepreneurs as an incubator for developing their talents — with first right of refusal by veterans. These activities will raise enough income for the town to balance the cost of keeping the building for public use.
We definitely need to hold on to this building. Once it is sold that is it. There is saying where I am from — “When the bird flies out of the nest it never comes back.”
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