ELIZABETHTOWN — People are looting abandoned homes that are part of the Essex County tax auction scheduled for spring.
That’s happening in Moriah, Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava (R-Moriah) told the County Board of Supervisors — thieves are taking copper pipe and wire to be sold to scrap dealers.
“Can we post these properties?” he asked.” People are going in and stealing copper and everything else.”
County Attorney Daniel Manning III said the properties could be posted as “no trespassing.”
The Essex County Sheriff’s Department will then be notified to keep an eye on the places until the sale.
CHANCE TO PAY UP
The Board of Supervisors also passed a resolution to allow owners to buy back their properties by paying all taxes and penalties up to 14 days before the first day of the sale, set for April 30.
The auction will include about 140 properties with taxes due from 2006 to 2009.
The county has tabled a request from the Town of North Hudson for a 130-acre woodlot property in the tax sale that belonged to the defunct Frontier Town theme-park.
The North Hudson Town Council has authorized payment of the $16,933 in taxes due on the property, Supervisor Ronald Moore (R-North Hudson) said, if it is turned over to the town.
Moore said the town wants all seven Frontier Town parcels slated for the tax auction, to be used for future economic development, but would settle for the wooded acreage.
“I’m willing to do whatever we have to do together to discuss the future of those other properties between now and the tax sale in April,” he said, “but the wood lot is valuable to us.
“We want it to extend our trail system.”
Moore said it was logged 15 to 20 years ago.
Supervisor Roby Politi (R-North Elba) said it should be inspected first.
“I don’t know enough about it,” he said. “I’m not against it.”
Supervisor Randy Preston (I-Wilmington) said it would set a bad precedent to give the land away.
“I think we’re putting ourselves in a bad position,” he said.
The county has made similar deals in the past, Supervisor George Canon (R-Newcomb) said.
“It isn’t like this has never happened before,” he said. “It has.”
Canon said that during his time on the board, several towns have received tax parcels from the county.
The Board of Supervisors has so far denied a request from the Town of Essex for a vacant property the town wants for the site of a new water filtration plant for a proposed public water system.
About $41,000 in taxes is owed on the parcel.
Preston said he would only vote to turn it over to Essex if the town proved it was the only suitable land for the plant.
“You (Essex) should at least pay the amount of the taxes due,” Scozzafava said.
He told Supervisor Sharon Boisen (I-Essex) to wait for tax sale and bid $1.
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