The Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association is currently in negotiations with the City of Gloucester over the use of its club house, writes CAARA President Curtis Wright, AA3JE. Wright met recently with the mayor and his staff regarding the future of the 6 Stanwood Street property.
“I found it to be a meeting that was both encouraging and disappointing,” AA3JE writes. “It was disappointing because it is clear that Gloucester, once again, wishes to sell the […] property. They know it will not bring in much cash, but they have a serious issue with their bond rating which they must address urgently, or face significant and worsening increases in the cost of borrowing for the City.”
AA3JE adds that it was encouraging “to hear a clear statement from the City that the value they place on CAARA is much higher than the cost of [the property]. They are looking for a ‘win-win’ outcome.”
If CAARA retains a lease for the property, it must decide whether to invest its limited resources in maintaining the aging property. Wright says it may be possible that the City will “find CAARA a better site, with lower maintenance and utility costs.”
Club officials hope that a better alternative can be found. Says Wright, “Gloucester has other property they cannot sell, and they would like to migrate clubs, non-profits and other governmental and non-governmental organizations to those properties. Some are pretty nice, though the ‘Rohn 45 tower on top of City Hall’ idea was nixed.”
In the meantime, CAARA plans to work with the City and see what options develop. The City has publicly promised CAARA that it may bid for a 6-12 month extension on its current lease, and a promise that CAARA can stay where it is unless and until a better site can be found.