TUPPER LAKE - Adirondack Club and Resort developers are behind on their taxes again, but they say they intend to pay them soon.
In the summer of 2009, unpaid taxes on the four parcels Preserve Associates owns totaled $149,553 for 2007 through 2009.
Preserve Associates put down a $37,400 payment at the time and has since paid off $106,908, or 71.5 percent of the total, in monthly payments of $5,306 through an installment plan set up with Franklin County, said county Treasurer Bryon Varin.
Michael Foxman, left, lead developer of the Adirondack Club and Resort, sits with fellow developer Tom Lawson in a pre-hearing conference in October.
(Enterprise file photo — Jessica Collier)
The developers are now in arrears by seven payments, with interest adding up to $38,999. The entire unpaid balance of their installment plan is $59,869.
"I have no doubt that they will get caught up with so much invested," Varin wrote in an email.
They also have yet to pay their 2010 town and county taxes, which were due to town Tax Collector Laurie Fuller in January. For those, they owe $38,375.31 on the four parcels, which include the lot containing Cranberry Pond, the former McDonald's Marina property on state Route 30, another vacant lot on Route 30 and the Big Tupper Ski Area, Fuller said.
If those taxes aren't paid by April 1, they're re-levied to the county. If that happens, Varin said the developers will be taken off the installment plan they're on.
"It takes away an option for them as a result of not fulfilling the requirements of the program," Varin said in a Wednesday phone interview.
They would still have the option of partial payments, as any taxpayer would, Varin said.
"We have a lot of programs that we provide our taxpayers," he said.
Varin said lead developer Michael Foxman had been in touch with him recently and told him he was working on his financial particulars and plans to get caught up as soon as possible.
Foxman said in a Wednesday phone interview that he's spending large amounts of money right now on a state Adirondack Park Agency adjudicatory hearing on his project. He wants to overhaul the Big Tupper Ski Area and develop the land around it with 651 luxury housing units, plus various amenities including a 60-unit inn, a spa and an equestrian center.
Foxman estimated that the hearing will cost his group $350,000 to $400,000 by the time it's over in June.
"Look, we're no different from you or anybody else," Foxman said. "There's a limit to what anyone can spend, wants to spend, and we're certainly tight for money, because of people like (neighboring property owner Jack) Delehanty and the preservation groups who are intent on wasting our money and trying to stop the project by doing it."
Delehanty, in written opening statements for the hearing, said developers should be required to post performance bonds to assure fiscal responsibility in light of their repeated nonpayment on property taxes.
Foxman said Tupper Lakers shouldn't be concerned about the nonpayment of taxes, since he's only doing what any other regular person would do if they incurred so many expenses.
"It's a vast effort, way beyond what I think you'd find in most other places in this country," Foxman said. "But it will be worth it."
Contact Jessica Collier at 891-2600 ext. 25 or firstname.lastname@example.org.