OTSEGO COUNTY- The Unatego Central School District held a public hearing on Monday night regarding the sale of the former Otego Elementary School.
The public heard from four entities interested in buying the former school. Each one was asked to present their plan in front of the school board and the public in 15 minutes, and then the board was allowed and additional 15 minutes to ask questions.
The first candidate to present was a company called Valuag who specializes in growing organic and local foods. Representatives with Valuag said they would like to turn the building into an indoor farm and provide housing for military veterans. There would be about a dozen units for vets. They said the veterans would help to run the facility.
Next, Two Plus Four, an affordable housing developer. They proposed a plan to make the building into affordable housing for people ages 55 and older. Their plan included 32, one bedroom apartments at about $475- $525 a month, and four, two bedroom apartments at $600 a month. Heat and water would be included in both. Representatives said a single person could make up to $40,000 a year and qualify for the housing.
Third one to present was a company called LPP Management out of South Berlin. They proposed 18, one bedroom apartments and 18 two bedroom apartments. A rep with that company said there would be amenities right in the building.
Lastly, the Kildonan School who specializes in helping students with learning disabilities. They propsed a plan to establish another school at the former school. They said there are about 1,500 students outside the areas school district that need the training. Tuition would be about $39,000 a year.
Dozens of residents went to the meeting because they said this decision is important to their community. "I have talked to a lot people in the community, and they really like the Excite indoor agricultural business, but I looked at the proposal and it seems pretty risky I think because they're not well established," said Otego resident, Thomas. He added, "I think there are some people who really want the Kildonan School to come in there, that way it would still be a school."
The board is scheduled to vote on the topic at their August 6th meeting.
Here is a link to the presentations: http://www.unatego.org/