Press-Republican

April 8, 2014

Moriah gets tax-sale property

By LOHR McKINSTRY
Press-Republican

---- — ELIZABETHTOWN — Essex County lawmakers reversed themselves Monday and gave a property from the upcoming county tax sale to the Town of Moriah.

The County Board of Supervisors granted Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava (R-Moriah) a property the town wanted on Bartlett Pond Road next to the municipal water-treatment plant.

The lot was scheduled to be sold for unpaid taxes. The town wants it for expansion of the waterworks, the supervisor said.

‘A DISASTER’

There is $22,000 in taxes owed on the property, which is in disrepair, Scozzafava said.

“That property is a disaster right now. I believe it would be in the best interest of the county to convey that property to the Town of Moriah.”

Two buildings are going to have to come down, he said, and the parcel is full of junk.

The town has an estimate of $13,000 to clean up the trash on the lot and haul everything away, he said.

EARLIER HESITANCY

At a meeting a week ago, several members of the Board of Supervisors told Scozzafava to wait for the sale, scheduled for Wednesday, April 30, at the Ticonderoga Best Western Inn and Suites, and if the parcel didn’t sell, only then would they support turning it over to Moriah.

“I think we’ve all got a piece of property in our towns we’d like to have,” Supervisor Randy Preston (I-Wilmington) said at the previous session. “We’d be putting ourselves in a bad position if we all came in and asked for them.”

Town of Essex officials asked for a property last year that is in the tax sale, also to use for a water-treatment facility, and were told to wait to see if it sold in the tax auction.

And the Town of North Hudson asked for some land from the old Frontier Town theme park that is also up for auction and got a similar response from county lawmakers. North Hudson did get a woodlot previously owned by Frontier Town that it wanted for an extension of the town’s trail system.

COST TO COUNTY

Scozzafava said he wanted the county to turn the parcel over to the town water district in Moriah.

Supervisor Roby Politi (R-North Elba) had originally been opposed to giving Moriah the property, but on Monday he threw his support behind the transfer.

“If it doesn’t sell at auction, the county’s going to get it back,” Politi said. “It’s going to cost us a lot of money to clean it up.”

The vote to give Moriah the property was 16-1, with Preston and Supervisor Noel Merrihew III (R-Elizabethtown) opposed.

Email Lohr McKinstry:lmckinstry@pressrepublican.com