The original “Hermitage” was the palace of the Russian tsars in St. Petersburg. After their empire collapsed the building became a home of a national art museum. After reading the front page article (“Club Makes Payment,” Deerfield Valley News June 15-22) one begins to wonder what will be the outcome of the drama with our own Hermitage.
That business is so far behind on its tax payment that our Rep. John Gannon is quoted mentioning a nuclear option: “...they may not be able to renew their liquor licenses.”
The most revealing part of that article was the interview with the company’s spokesman. He said that in order to begin paying its overdue bills the company needs to build and sell more houses. Take a wild guess on when that money is likely to come in. And what will happen when they run out of houses to sell?
Hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax delinquencies are just the visible part of the iceberg because the amounts owed to local tradespeople and businesses could be even bigger, according to the editorial in the same issue.
As a private company, Hermitage is under no obligation to disclose what it pays to its executives while forcing our municipalities to float their bills.
Watching this drama unfold feels like having a front row view of the original Hermitage, surrounded by growing crowds of hungry and angry workers.