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BREAKING: Zeoli Releases Information On The Racebrook Country Club Offer

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Jan 132021
 

 

To the Residents of the Town of Orange,

 The Town of Orange has been presented with a unique situation.  The potential for purchasing the Racebrook Country Club property.  The purchase price is $8.5 million for 287 acres of land which equates to $29,600 per acre.  The purchase would include the 27-hole golf course, the 23,000 sq ft clubhouse, the 9,000 sq ft maintenance facility, the driving range, two private homes, the multi-mile irrigation system, and several other improvements.  This is unique in that the Town would own the entire facility as a business investment and would lease it to Racebrook Country Club, who would pay the Town of Orange rent.  The Town has the opportunity to preserve a living legacy that has been part of the Orange landscape since 1912 by protecting approximately 290 acres of land while being maintained by a leasing entity.  The Town of Orange will not be operating a golf course.

This potential purchase offers the preservation of continued recreational use and habitat for varied wildlife.  This allows the Town of Orange to ultimately control the destiny of the future of Orange.

The Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a review of Racebrook Country Club to consider the viability of a lease.  A complete review of the business operations has been completed.  The Board of Selectmen also unanimously approved a full appraisal of the property to support this type of investment.

This purchase will not be the same debacle that the Town of Woodbridge had.  These buildings have been maintained and continue to operate.  The business plan of Racebrook Country Club is strong.  The Town of Orange is not buying and planning to operate a golf and banquet facility.  The Town is also not planning to put in a third-party management company to operate on our behalf.

The bond indebtedness over twenty years will be approximately $10,300,000 to return on a lease of approximately $10,600,000.  The Town of Orange would begin receiving rent in September of 2022 starting at $250,000 per year for the first six years, and then an escalation clause to increase the rent every five years for the life of the forty-year lease.  You may ask what happens at the end of forty years?  Those in office will then be able to renegotiate for the Town and Racebrook.

The entire Board of Selectmen recognizes that this is a very rare opportunity to safeguard almost 300 acres and yet have someone pay to maintain and operate the property.  This is seen as a business and preservation action by the Board of Selectmen.  

There will be a referendum held Tuesday, February 16, 2021, at High Plains Community Center.  Absentee ballots must be requested by contacting the Town Clerk at 203-891-4730.  Absentee ballots must be received by the Town Clerk by February 16, 2021.  Any questions can be emailed to the First Selectman’s office at jzeoli@orange-ct.gov.  

The Board of Selectmen wants each vote to be counted, and this is a chance for you the voters to decide the direction.  

Sincerely,

James M. Zeoli

First Selectman

Amity School Board Moves December Referendum Forward

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Oct 222019
 

Last evening (Monday, Oct. 21) the Amity Regional School District No. 5 Board of Education voted in favor of two resolutions that will move two facilities projects forward to a referendum in December.  The referendum will take place on December 4, 2019.  Polls will be open 6:00 am – 8:00 pm at the Bethany Town Hall, the High Plains Community Center in Orange, and the Center Building in Woodbridge.

The first of these projects will address improvements to the building and grounds facilities at all three schools.  Included in this project are ongoing upgrades to the HVAC system at Amity Regional High School, as well as adding air conditioning to the small gym, the last space in the building that is not air-conditioned. 

These improvements are part of an ongoing plan to address needs identified in the vanZelm Condition Assessment report from January 2016.  Chillers will also be refurbished at the high school and phase three (of three) of parking lot paving will be completed at Amity Regional High School. Additionally, the project seeks to design and improve the acoustics in the gymnasiums and cafeterias at both middle schools.

The second project aims for improvements to the Amity Regional High School outdoor athletic facilities.  This project includes a complete upgrade of the athletic stadium, as well as upgrades to our competition field.  The athletic stadium was last improved 30 years ago, and almost all aspects of the stadium are at end-of-life. 

The asphalt track, constructed in 1999, would be replaced with a post-tensioned concrete track with an expected lifespan of 50 years or more.  The metal halide lights and wooden poles, installed in 1988, would be replaced with energy-efficient LED lights on metal poles. 

An all-weather field would be installed, replacing the current sod field.  Installation of an all-weather field would increase the use of the stadium from its current single sport, football, to all six-field sports by adding competition space for girls’ field hockey, boys’ and girls’ soccer, and girls’ and boys’ lacrosse. 

The proposal also includes the installation of an LED scoreboard, which would allow the scoreboard to be adjusted to the sport or competition being played in the stadium.  Lastly, the proposal includes enhancements to the current Amity competition field.  This field, originally designed as a practice field, would be upgraded with permanent spectator bleachers and an ADA compliant walkway, as well as an LED scoreboard.

Additional information can be found on the district website at https://www.amityregion5.org/  direct link to the presentation is HERE

Important Information About Your Orange Tax Bills

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May 152014
 

th-3Sandra Pierson, CCMC Tax Collector for the Town of Orange would like to advise taxpayers of a change in motor vehicle taxes for the coming 2013 Grand List. Motor Vehicle taxes will now be a SINGLE payment and will become due July 1, 2014.

Tax bills are typically mailed the third week in June. Payments on the 2013 Grand List tax bill can not be accepted or processed by the tax office until July 1, 2014 – tax bill information is not loaded into the system.

Your tax town is the town of residency as of October 1, 2013 and/or the town in which your motor vehicle was registered on October 1, 2013. If your vehicle has been sold, and the plates returned to DMV; stolen and not recovered; declared a total loss; or if you have moved from Orange; contact the Assessor for information regarding the acceptable forms of proof for the issuance of a credit.

If you replaced one vehicle with another and used the same license plates, you will receive a pro-rated Supplemental motor vehicle tax bill in December for the new vehicle. However, you must still pay the entire amount due on the old vehicle. If you obtained new license plates for the new vehicle, you must apply for a credit, with the Assessor.

There is no statutory rule concerning the time period covered by real estate tax bills. If you buy or sell real estate, adjustments for real estate taxes will be made by the attorneys who are handling the closing. Care should be taken to ensure taxes are paid, particularly when a closing occurs within sixty days of a tax due date. In your closing paperwork if you do not receive a payment coupon for the next real estate tax installment (July /January) – contact the tax office for a duplicate at 891-2122 ext. 725 or 736.

The annual town referendum is being held on May 20th at High Plains Community Center noon – 8:00 p.m. to set the 2013 Grand List mill rate.

Reminder; the tax collector’s office will close at 10:00 a.m. on June 30, 2014 to close the fiscal year and load the new tax bills; we will have no computer access during this procedure.