Update Tuesday April 17, 2012 at 5 p.m.: The meeting has been cancelled. The hotel has informed the town it is not interested in the $11,000 deal. For additional information, please see this story, http://patch.com/A-s4GZ
Update Tuesday April 17, 2012: The public notice for the meeting has been filed and it is as follows.
SPECIAL BOARD OF SELECTMEN MEETING
THURSDAY, APRIL 19, 2012
8:00 A.M. – ROOM A – TOWN CAMPUS
8:00 a.m. Regular Session
1. Public Comment
2. Discuss and take action on Madison Beach Hotel issues.
Adjourn to Executive Session
3. Discuss negotiation strategies: Madison Beach Hotel
A deal proposed by the town's Beach & Recreation Commission, to rent Madison Beach Hotel a strip of town-owned land adjacent to the Madison Beach Hotel for $11,000 a season will be reviewed by the Madison Board of Selectmen at a special meeting scheduled for Thursday, April 19, at 8 a.m. at town campus.
Selectman Joe MacDougald said First Selectman Fillmore McPherson is in the process of drawing up the call, or public notice, for the meeting. He said at this point, the selectmen are contemplating having an executive session followed by a special meeting to discuss and take action on the issue. He said he did not know whether there would be an official public comment opportunity at the meeting.
"There does not have to be," he said. "It depends on how Fillmore notices it."
"It's an unusual thing"
MacDougald said the selectmen decided to get involved in the Beach & Recreation Commission's decision because "it's an unusual thing to give away a season-long exclusive right to use town property. Also, only the selectmen have contracting authority, so we should get involved sooner rather than later."
MacDougald added that, speaking for himself, he has concerns about the proposal. He noted that , involving a land swap that would include the property under discussion, has not been finalized or resolved. He said he also had concerns about allowing the hotel use of town property that would be regularly used for "entertainment functions that include guests and alchohol."
, Madison resident Walter Lippmann raised several concerns about the hotel, including the proposed deal. Lippmann also raised concerns about and that Parker Avenue, behind the hotel, has not yet been repaved, and that the hotel said it would do so as part of the project.
Strip of land has been the subject of town meeting, other proposed deals
At the selectmen meeting where Lippmann raised his concerns, Selectman Joe MacDougald said he would like the deal relating to the stip of land adjacent to the hotel to come before the Board of Selectmen, because it sounded more like a land lease than a facility rental. While a facility rental is subject to Beach & Recreation Commission approval, a land lease would require additional review and approvals, he said.
Lippmann, and the selectmen, noted that the
Later that week, the Beach & Recreation Commission, at a meeting posted on the town website for Friday morning, but held on Thursday morning, The commission also approved another deal to allow the hotel to use a section of the Surf Club for valet parking during certain dates to be specified by the commission.The commission directed Beach & Recreation Director Scot Erskine to communicate the details of the proposed deal to hotel management and to ask for a reply before the next commission meeting May 4.
Lippmann encourages interested town residents to attend meeting Thursday
Walter Lippmann reported to Patch Sunday evening that the selectmen have scheduled a meeting to review the deal and encouraged people in town to come to the meeting, or call the selectmen's office, if they have any concerns about the proposed deal. The telephone for the selectmen's office is 203.245.5602. The fax number is 203.245.5609.
"We're in discussions with the Selectmen over the grass strip that adjoins the MBH because we have not been able to come to an agreement with the current management company for the MBH," Beach & Recreation Commission Chairman Banisch said Sunday night. "We're trying to offer a reasonable solution to the liability problem that the property creates, and if we don't arrive at one soon, the selectmen want to get involved. We are hoping to avoid that and continue to oversee Beach & Rec facilities."
Hotel has full scheduled of events for summer, starting May 5th
Madison Beach Hotel has a full schedule of events planned for the summer, starting on May 5th with a wedding at 6 p.m. that will include between 75 and 100 guests. The events run through September 15th.
As of about a week ago, the hotel still did not have its permanent certificate of occupancy, but hotel management said they intend to schedule a meeting with town officials seeking that soon and that they intend to have the hotel, restaurants and spa open by May 1. The hotel had intended to be fully operational by the beginning of last summer, but instead had to rely upon a series of temporary certificates of occupancy to hold events throughout the summer and fall.
As of Sunday, April 15, all of the , as part of work being done, had been removed.