Press-Republican

Tuesday

July 1, 2014

Moore makes new offer to Essex County

ELIZABETHTOWN — Keeseville businessman George Moore is making a third attempt to buy the old Frontier Town theme park from Essex County.

Moore won the defunct attraction at the County Tax Auction on April 30, but his winning bid of $49,000 was rejected by the County Board of Supervisors because it didn’t surpass the back taxes of $146,000 that had accumulated since 2006.

Bidders at the tax sale hadn’t been told about the taxes stipulation, since that was simply an understanding discussed at County Frontier Town Task Force meetings, official have said.

Lawmakers instead voted to sell the property to the Town of North Hudson for $60,000, so it could be used for recreational trails.

Moore then made a second offer of $65,000, which was also rejected, but last week he made a third proposition through his attorney, William Russell of Keeseville.

That offer, while still for $65,000, includes any easements or rights-of-way needed for the trails North Hudson officials say they need.

It resulted in a 15-minute executive session of the Board of Supervisors Ways and Means committee Monday morning.

ARTICLE 78

No vote or public discussion was held on the offer following the closed-door session, but County Attorney Daniel Manning III said after the meeting that it will probably come up at Monday’s monthly Board of Supervisors session.

“They may discuss it further at regular board,” he said. 

Moore had already filed an Article 78 proceeding against the county in State Supreme Court of Essex County, seeking to have the court award him the property he won at the tax auction.

“The county reserved the right to reject any and all bids (at the sale)," Manning defended the board's action. "It’s done all over the state.”

'ONE MORE TRY'

Russell was not at the Ways and Means meeting, but he told the Press-Republican beforehand that he’d made a one-time offer to settle the suit immediately.

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