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MFAC Clarifies Position on GotChef Ousting

The following is a letter penned by the MFAC Board of Directors.

 

Dear Mr. Sartor,

I know you already did and you . It appears that there are still some concerns and misunderstandings regarding that situation. So we are writing to you to hopefully clear things up.

Approximately, two years ago, GotChef Truck of Biagio’s Restaurant in Stratford, Ct., approached Mr. Meddick about placing a truck next to the Art Center. According to the GotChef people, the city had already approved its placement and MFAC had to agree as well.

Mr. Meddick did agree to the parking of the truck and to their hook up to our electricity. Got Chef agreed to pay their portion of the electric bill. We did not ever negotiate any written contract with them.

There apparently was some confusion regarding what their actual needs were in terms of running their truck. Mr. Meddick found out that they needed additional hook-ups to our building in order to run the truck.

We have had a cordial relationship with the restaurant owners, however it became apparent that our facility was developing some issues as a result of this arrangement. This is an old building which has aging problems and really is not able to support any additional usages.

Based on these concerns for the building, the Board decided to discontinue the arrangement with the GotChef Truck. We did not “evict” them. We never had a lease. We certainly did not make any monetary gains from their presence.  

We did not have a problem with them being in the lot. We had concerns about them being attached to our building.

We sympathize with the commuters.  Maybe a self-contained truck could be used for the commuters that doesn’t rely on our facility for utilities.

We have all wished the GotChef team well.

 

Thank You

MFAC Board of Directors

Concerned Parent July 16, 2012 at 01:04 PM
Technically, since their agreement appeared to be verbal and not written, they were in their right to end this relationship. However, to make such a decision without taking steps to work another which could be mutally beneficial to both parties sends an unflatteriing message.
Julian July 16, 2012 at 01:08 PM
While I completely disagree with the previous comment that stated there is no need for the MFAC, there is still a problem here. It is simply ignorant to imply utilizing the electricity from a historic property could damage that property. The majority of the truck's energy usage comes from the tank gas attached to it. Electricity is only needed to pump water for the sink, lights, and other small items. Had it been pulling any major load, it would have been impossible to do so via drop cords. This situation is nothing more than playground politics.
Sue Sawyer July 16, 2012 at 02:15 PM
It sounds like people aren't reading what MFAC is saying. Did you read that they would allow a self contained truck to stay in their lot. They were not making money from the current arrangement. As the letter said, they used more than the electric hookup. Possibly water hookup! Water can cause problems if the fixtures are old. If your neighbor had problems with their electric and water and wanted to hook up to your house would you be so willing to do it on a long term basis? Let them get an upgraded truck and they can come back. If the Lobster Hut can do it
Sue Sawyer July 16, 2012 at 02:16 PM
On an empty lot on the Post Rd, Got Chef should be able to do it too.
RONALD M GOLDWYN July 16, 2012 at 04:03 PM
It is hard to be fair when one does not know the facts. In this case most folks commented on the fact that Got Chef was leaving without even hearing the facts from Got Chef. I was one of those who speculated on the cause. Yes I knew that there was a lunch wagon next to the MFAC on RailRoad Property. But that was the extent of my knowledge. By reading Mfd Patch I learned that they had to leave on a certain date which they did, and they did so with no ill will on their part. We were left with no further information. So speculation ran rampant. One posting stated that the MFAC was the sole cause of Got Chef's leaving, so many more postings pressed the MFAC as the mean landlord for a legitimate reason for evicting the food wagon. It was not until today that the MFAC's BOD informed the public of the arrangement that Got Chef made with the Government and the MFAC.
RONALD M GOLDWYN July 16, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Continued. We learned that Got Chef had to have both government and MFAC approval to place their facility at the station in that location. We also learned for the first time that Got Chef also received free use of water and electric from the MFAC via hose and electric cables, but no waste lines. As far as I know, it was the use of those utilities that the MFAC shut down and it was Got Chef that decided to move off the parking lot. Based on these new facts, I for one must say that most commuters jumped to the wrong conclusion in this matter. Within the city of Milford there are many self-contained food services on wheels.Be it Lobster, Ice Cream or just coffee and lunch service that visit office buildings or manufacturing plants, none of whom must have utilitiy connections from permanent sources. To the MFAC, I thank you for your delayed explanation, and wish you continued success.
Concerned Parent July 16, 2012 at 04:39 PM
@Ronald, I'm not attempting to be too overly critical, but I take what you are stating with a grain of salt. From prior articles it appeared that GotChef was paying the MFAC (the specific amount was not detailed of course) for these services and not free of charge as you claim. The MFAC did mention there were concerned about the building and its infrastructure to support it, which is legitimate concern, but for unqualified posters to justify this decision by mere speculation of water or electrical problems is a bit presumptive. At the end of the day it was a verbal agreement between two entities. Since nothing was in writing, usually those entities (if both feel their relationship is mutually beneficial) would then go forward to put something in writing. It's apparent this was not the case here. All this is mute at this point and not about to belabor the point but to say this whole situation and the manner it was communicated has shed a bad light on MFAC.
arkay July 16, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Gimme a break. How is electricity and a water line putting pressure on a building? Ridiculous. If it's true the MFAC didn't make any money from them (doubt they didn't pay for utilities), up the money a bit more and use it as a donation. This is a prime case of "Indian giving". Excuse the lack of PC in that phrase. Set up a local business, allow them to thrive, make investments, hire people. Get the community excited, offer a service to commuters and residents alike, gaining notoriety for its quality. And bam! Kick 'em out. Cause you feel like it. They'll probably wind up in another town. Yeah, you guys don't have the town's interests in mind. You have YOUR interests in mind. Inexcusable!
RONALD M GOLDWYN July 16, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Dear Ed. If we review all the postings regarding the move of Got Chef, never once did Got Chef explain their position on the station property. They never told us if they had a lease. They never said if they paid for their utilities or to whom. The only thing we had were rumors from fellow Patch posters. As for Milford's future, Got Chef is gone, but I would hope that it could be replaced by a disabled veteran with his own self contained van. Here is an opportunity for the Milford service clubs and other community minded businesses to jointly get together and provide one of our veterans with a livelyhood.
Denese Dugay Casey July 16, 2012 at 10:04 PM
Does anyone else find it interesting that everything seemed to be going smoothly until the week of Bill Meddick's retirement? It guess it could be coincidental ...
Concerned Parent July 16, 2012 at 10:52 PM
@Ron. Please know I mean no disrespect when I say you sound like a true politician.
JE July 17, 2012 at 12:17 AM
From a June 28th article on the topic right here on patch: There was initially some mystery as to who'd made the decision to evict GotChef, but Milford Patch users broke that news, with Deb Ray writing, "It was the Fine Arts Council" at 8:15 a.m. Yesterday afternoon, MFAC Board of Directors President Dolores Hannon spoke to the issue. "The board is going through a lot of changes right now," Hannon said. "We don't need anything else to be connected to our building." Hannon explained that GotChef had been paying the Arts Council a monthly fee to use the space. "They had to use our water," Hannon said. "It's an aging building." Hannon went on to say that the MFAC "needs the building for the least amount of excess use." Hannon expressed concern about the building's furnace and roof, mentioning that GotChef "had to drill a hole." "Joe [Rubin, co-owner of GotChef] had offered to do other things" to keep GotChef at the Milford Train Station, Hannon explained, but the MFAC wouldn't negotiate with him. "We have nothing against GotChef," Hannon said. "I'm sure they have good food."
Alice July 17, 2012 at 12:43 AM
There still isn't a real explanation about why the MFAC Board decided to let GotChef go. I am a great supporter of the MFAC and don't want to be critical of the Board, but their attempts to explain this decision are lacking. Having said that, I hope that every poster on this board will understand the importance of the Fine Arts Council in Milford. This one hiccup in terms of community relations in a 40-year relationship should not make anyone question the importance of having an organization that supports music, visual arts, drama, dancing, fiction, literature, and poetry in our community. If all of you complainers would just become members, you could have a say in the direction and activities of the Council. Better to do that, for the good of our community, than withdraw support and just criticize,
RONALD M GOLDWYN July 17, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Thre is an old expression that goes - "The price of beef went up in India" meaning that when you are looking for an excuse, anyone will do including the price of beef in India. The MFAC finally gave us their reasons for cutting off the utilities and the Got Chef folks decided that they could no longer remain there without water or electric. We readers forced the MFAC to offer a statement as to their reasons for cutting off the utilities and forcing the move, but never once have we asked Got Chef for their side of the story. Maybe in all fairness we should do so.
stamf4326 July 17, 2012 at 07:50 PM
note to self | don't take a dump at MFAC, you might damage the pipes.

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