ELIZABETHTOWN - The Essex County Board of Supervisors approved the sale of Frontier Town to the town of North Hudson Tuesday after meeting for nearly an hour to discuss it in a closed-door executive session.
North Hudson Supervisor Ron Moore addressed the board before the vote, urging them to vote in favor of selling the properties to the town for $60,000.
"I need to re-emphasize the town's view this property as critical to recreational activities coming about," he said to the board. "We view this property as a critical point. ... I think we are going to see a influx of people into the town."
The supervisor said the property could be used as an overflow lot for snowmobilers and horse trailer parking. He also said the property could house a small grocery store or gas station in the future.
"I can't emphasize enough, if we have 50 snowmobilers, and it could be a lot more than that, there's no place to put them," he said.
That was the only public discussion of the matter before the vote. After that a vote to sell the former theme park was taken with a close weighted result, 1,633 for the sale to 1,288 against.
George Moore (no relation to Ron Moore), a small business owner of Keeseville, was not happy with the decision. On April 30 he had the highest bid to buy four parcels of the former Wild-West themed amusement park at a county tax auction for $49,500. The recent sale to North Hudson took away all claim he had to the properties, unless he decides to sue the county, which he is considering.
Ron Moore had previously said at a board meeting that $49,500 was too low of a price for the properties. The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on May 12 to deny George Moore his bid.
George Moore later made a counter offer of $65,000 to purchase the parcels. He also owns another parcel of Frontier Town property that he bought from a previous tax auction.
Yay and nay
How Essex County supervisors voted on the sale of four former Frontier Town parcels to the town of North Hudson instead of to the highest private bidder, George Moore:
Charles Harrington of Crown Point
Noel Merrihew of Elizabethtown
Edward Gardner of Essex
Randy Douglas of Jay
William Ferebee of Keene
Stephen McNally of Minerva
George Canon of Newcomb
Roby Politi of North Elba
Ron Moore of North Hudson
Charles Whitson of St. Armand
Shaun Gilliland of Willsboro
Randy Preston of Wilmington
Gerald Morrow of Chesterfield
David Blades of Lewis
Thomas Scozzafava of Moriah
Michael Marnell of Schroon
William Grinnell of Ticonderoga
Daniel Connell of Westport
He was upset with the decision at Tuesday's meeting. He said it was not legal or proper.
"So many people have called saying it's a lousy deal and they're against it," he told the Enterprise Wednesday. "It's not over until the fat lady sings. We are taking them to court."
County attorney Daniel Manning said the executive session was taken so he could consult with the Board of Supervisors on a possible legal challenge.
"(We talked) about the legal aspects of what could and could not be done," Manning said. "No lawyer or municipal lawyer ever counsels their clients in the public purview."
Manning said he could not go into further detail about the particulars of what was discussed but said he was certain the county had every legal right to do what it did.