Altona Town Supervisor Larry Ross said he was at the session there when the state put its foot down.
Officials told the Mohawks, he said, “100 percent” they had to pay taxes on the properties that they had been buying up around the original leased land.
Ross agreed with that.
When taxes aren’t paid, eventually Clinton County foots the bill, so Altona doesn’t lose out. Instead, though, the supervisor said, “the whole county has to share” the burden of the cost.
Ross does sympathize some with the Mohawks, however.
The Governor’s Office should have acted back when the land was first purchased, he said.
Since then, the Mohawks “have built a lot of things, invested a lot of money.”
Giroux looks at it another way.
For example, he said, why should the Ganienkeh Golf Course have the advantage of paying no tax when every other one in Clinton County does?
Giroux said Ganienkeh was made aware of the coming tax auction.
“They are not happy,” he said. “We’re trying to keep (the situation) as diffused as we can.”
The auction notice raised fears among the Mohawks that there would be immediate evictions, he added.
That is not going to happen, he said.
“All we’re trying to do is follow the foreclosure process.”
Rumors abounded Thursday that Ganienkeh had closed or intended to shut down roads at points around the territory.
“The roads are open,” Delaronde said shortly after 2:30 p.m. “There’s no worry.
“People are spreading all these rumors.”
Ross said the appearance of a bulldozer and other heavy equipment along roadsides in several locations, including Ganienkeh’s gas station on Devil’s Den Road and a spot on Military Turnpike, likely fueled the speculation.
“They have a right to do that stuff,” he said of the equipment movement. “They could be doing construction work, as far as I know.”