Letter regarding 2nd parsonage

Posted on

July 20, 2016

Dear Congregants of the Niskayuna Reformed Church,

Over the years the second parsonage on the NRC property has been inhabited by a variety of tenants.  Associate Pastors, sextons, and retired ministers all have made a home in the building.  At the beginning of May of this year the most recent tenant of the second parsonage moved out.  Upon completing an inspection of the house, the property committee began the work of discerning a plan for its future.  As it stands now, the house is not inhabitable due to a variety of repairs and upgrades that need to be made.

Over the past couple of months, the property committee, comprised of knowledgeable individuals from our congregation, has engaged in thorough discussion about all of the options available to the church regarding the second parsonage.  The committee has invested much time and effort to collect the information needed to assemble a proposal (shown below) that was brought to consistory on July 13.

Because this will be a major decision for our congregation, consistory would like to share this information with you before voting on the recommendation of the Property Committee at the August meeting.  If you would like to submit any thoughts about the proposal for our consideration, please e-mail Ellen at office@niskayunareformed.org or provide your written comments to her no later than July 31.

As your elected representatives, consistory members will vote based on what the Holy Spirit has guided them to believe is in the best interest of the Niskayuna Reformed Church.

It is important for you to be aware that any action taken will not require a new capital campaign project.  The monies that need to be spent will come from one of our standings funds.




The Property Committee considered three options for the building:

  1. Sell the house and the “to be determined” lot
  2. Tear down the structure
  3. Repair and upgrade the building for rental

The following is a summary of the pros/cons for each option:



Pro: Use the proceeds from the sale, estimated as high as $100,000, for upcoming projects on the campus (ie. painting Fellowship Hall, repairing/painting the barn)


Con:  Because Classis owns the land, we would need permission from Classis to sell the land, and there is no certainty this would be approved.  It is unknown if Classis would rightfully demand a portion, or all, of the proceeds from the land sale.


Con: It is unknown if the owners would be “good” neighbors as far as their style of upkeep and uses of the property, and if they would graciously accept Campus activity in their daily living.


Con: We would be breaking up the historic campus that has been left to us.


Con:  The house is not marketable in its current condition.


We rejected this option based on the strength of its Cons, and the notion that selling lacks any potential for future gain(s).




Pro: Preserves the land for NRC’s future uses, saves the cost of repairs, and no landlord/tenant responsibilities.


Con:  Cost of demolition and related work, estimated at $30-40,000, that would include removal of debris, reworking NRC’s irrigation system, capping the utilities, possible asbestos removal, filling the resulting crater, and landscaping.


Con: There would be no financial gain in the future and no income generated to offset this expense.


We rejected this option, supported by Cons above.


The Committee examined the third option in depth, hoping it would provide greater opportunity to expand NRC’s ministries over the long term.




Con: Cost, as high as $60,000.


Pro: Financial gain- (estimated) rent, minus taxes and maintenance, equals $12,000 annual income; 10 year income equals $120,000.  Estimated net profit in 10 years- $60,000. This money has the potential use in our ministry.


Pro: The potential for greater cooperative ministry within Classis.  There are presently discussions within our larger church community about cooperative ministry and this building may be a means to support that ministry.


Pro: Expense to repair is only $20,000 more than Option 2. and it gives NRC years of rental income.


Following many hours of individual research and Property Committee discussions, the NRC Property Committee unanimously recommends “Option 3.  Repair/Upgrading the Building” due to its greater opportunity to provide for ministry over the long-term.   In our opinion, repairing and upgrading will give us the best value and the most options over time.


We have had many reputable contractors and professionals assess the house’s needs and we have received their estimates to get the necessary work done.  We have decided on the best options for the renovations and the contractors. We suggest NRC moves forward now with “Option 3.  Repair/Upgrading the Building” in order to use the estimates and contractors we have been working with.



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