The City of Hudson’s March 28 announcement that it has "parted ways" with Testa Companies over the Downtown Phase II development is remarkable in several respects.
First, it does not tell us why the City and Testa Companies are divorcing after three and a half years. Shouldn’t this be disclosed to the taxpayers who have funded this project to the tune of $10 million? How much is this separation going to cost us? Surely, Testa will want to be compensated for its time and expenses.
Second, City Manager Jane Howington said "this is a real turning point on this project", yet she does not indicate what direction the project will take "after all this time.".
It appears that behind the smoke and mirrors, the city has no developer and no plan. So why then does she want to buy the Windstream building for $1.025 million?
In my opinion this decision seems so irresponsible, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The actions of Ms. Howington and Council President Bill Wooldredge should anger residents. Their leadership has failed us because now we’re on the hook for 20 years of debt and have little to show. I believe that any further plans to develop the Phase II property needs to be subject to citizen approval in a City-wide vote before moving forward.
Karen Arshinkoff, Hudson