ELIZABETHTOWN - The Essex County Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday to postpone the sale of Frontier Town, a former Wild West theme park, to the town of North Hudson.
The county board previously intended to sell the properties that comprised the bulk of Frontier Town to the town for $60,000. George Moore of Keeseville, who was not at Tuesday's meeting, had submitted the highest bid for the properties, $49,500, at an April 30 county tax auction, but then North Hudson's supervisor, seeing the bidding come in so low, asked the county board to sell the land to the town $60,000. The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on May 12 to deny Moore his bid and sell the land to the town. Since then he has made a counter-offer of $65,000 and says he is pursuing legal action against the county.
County Attorney Dan Manning said on May 12 that the board had the authority to withhold the sale for any reason.
There was little discussion Tuesday at the Ways and Means meeting when the board made their decision to table the sale.
Seven of the county board's 18 town supervisors voted against stalling the sale of the four Frontier Town parcels on Tuesday: Randy Preston of Wilmington, Noel Merrihew of Elizabethtown, Roby Politi of North Elba, George Canon of Newcomb, Tom Scozzafava of Moriah, Charles Whitson of St. Armand and Ron Moore of North Hudson. The other 11 supervisors voted in favor of tabling the sale. No board members were absent.
Board Chairman Randy Douglas, of Jay, said he voted yes because of concerns over a possible lawsuit.
"The county attorney (Dan Manning) is in discussion with (George) Moore's attorney," Douglas said. "I'll take the advice of the county attorney."
Douglas said he believes the town of North Hudson has some good ideas for the property and supports selling the parcels to the town.
Politi, after the meeting, said he voted no because he believes the sale should go through without disruption and because George Moore has no claim to Frontier Town because it is county property. The board has authority over whom it sells the property to, he said.
"Every community in Essex County could use more green space and economic space," Politi said.
Politi said the property is currently not being maintained well and is better served in the hands of the town of North Hudson for economic development.
"Going to file a lawsuit"
Moore, 87, owns a car-crushing and scrap business in Keeseville and also owns rental properties, which he plans to pass down to his family.
"We're going to file a lawsuit," he said. "I still want it."
He said the way the board pulled the bid from him was wrong.
"If they were going to sell it and give it to North Hudson, it shouldn't have been up for bids or they should of had a reserve on it. ... I'm very upset, and I'm going to do what I can to contest it."
George Moore said he planned to tear down the theme park's old, run-down buildings and then resell the properties. He said Supervisor Ron Moore, no relation to George Moore, wants the property for its timber and gravel.