Naples: Debt write-offs, PP tax revenue, saving the cupula

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

NAPLES – The Naples Board of Selectmen on Tuesday dealt with debt write offs of money owed to Naples rescue; the review of personal property tax revenue; and the discussion of a historical-preservation project that should not be covered by tax dollars.

Jim Turpin said there has been a rising concern in the community about the cupola’s future now that the property where it has been sitting was sold.

Once part of the Bay of Naples Hotel, the cupula has historic significance.

“I would hate to see it go to waste,” Turpin said.

“I would like it be taken care of outside of tax dollars,” he said.

Turpin brought up the topic under old business during Monday’s meeting of the board.

“The subject of the cupula has come up again. On the Facebook page, people have an emotional attachment to it and they have some ideas how to fund” the move and restoration of the cupula, he said.

Vice-chair Kevin Rogers said, “The property has changed hands.”

Turpin continued that the seller “stipulated the cupula goes to the town. The letter goes on to say ‘unless we take possession, it may be unclear who owns it.”

“I recognize the historic, nostalgic factor of the cupula. It is fair to say different people have different ideas of the best location,” Turpin said.

Kevin Rogers said, “It would be a crying shame if…” the Town lost on getting the cupola.

Turpin asked why the topic of the cupula “wasn’t brought up during the reconstruction of the Causeway. That would have been the best time.”

Selectman Rich Cebra said, “It came up. It was a distraction. We needed to be keeping within the scope of the project.”

Turpin asked, “If it was to be moved and put in the right place, who would the beneficiaries be? It has more impact for the historical society.” He added he could not support spending the amount cited for moving the structure.

Chairman Jim Grattelo asked if the board had seen his letter responding to the cupula request.

“This is my two cents,” he said. “That cupula has been sitting in a field for 50 years. It has a lot of historical value. If it was important, why hasn’t it been moved? If that property stayed in the same hands, it would have stayed there for another 50 years.”

“I have an issue — if [moving the cupula] hasn’t been urgent for 50 years, now all of a sudden, why do we have to move it,” Grattelo asked?

In unrelated business, the executive session beforehand helped the board get right to the motion: To reduce the price of town land that has been on the market for a year.

The selectmen reduced the prices, putting a $29,000 price tag on each lot or $54,900 for the two lots combined.

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