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Village approves next step in Gaslight project

LAKE GEORGE - The Lake George Village Board on Monday unanimously authorized Mayor Robert Blais to sign a conservation easement for the Gaslight Village property and enter into a contract with the Warren County and the town of Lake George to purchase the land. Blais characterized the proposed contract as positive. The conservation easement is somewhat more lenient than when negotiations started, Blais said. It gives great latitude to use the northern portion for festivals and for parking for special events. The Gaslight Village project is a joint public/private partnership between the town, the village and the county and three environmental groups, the Lake George Association, the Lake George Land Conservancy and the Fund for Lake George. Blais said that Mondays resolution was one of the final steps to get the project going, Blais said, other than coming up with the money. Hopefully this time well be able to come up with the money to close on Feb. 29. Blais said he expected Warren County to approve formally its part of the project this past week and for the town to do likewise. The Lake George Town Board took no action on the project at its regular meeting last Monday. Warren County has offered $1.3 million toward the asking price. The Village of Lake George has approved an offer of $350,000 toward the deal. The Town of Lake George has verbally offered $700,000, and the three environmental groups would split the remainder. Acquiring the property is the first step in a project designed to transform the unused land into a park that will serve multiple purposes. A portion of land will be used to restore a wetland and to create storm-water management devices to capture sand and sediment before they reach the lake, where there is a growing delta at the mouth of West Brook in Lake George. The Chazen Companies will provide technical assistance, with guidance from the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District. The remaining land will be used for bike and fitness trails, interpretive signage, and open public fields, which will also be used as staging areas for a number of large events, such as the Americade motorcycle rally and the New York State Fire Chiefs Convention. The Gaslight Village property has remained vacant and unused for more than 20 years and its condition deteriorates as time goes on. Dilapidated buildings, slabs of crumbling pavement and weathered signs litter a property that sits center stage at the head of the lake.

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