Village debates selling land to county

LAKE PLACID - The Lake Placid Village Board of Trustees must decide in the coming weeks what to do with two parcels of land that the Essex County Department of Transportation needs for the Old Military rehabilitation project.

Village Attorney Janet Bliss told the board Monday night that she received a package that contained paperwork pertaining to the county's purchase of two village parcels. One is a 98-square-foot piece of land at the corner of Mill Pond Drive and Old Military; the other is a .69-acre parcel near the Chubb River Bridge and the Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department.

Essex County needs the land for a multi-million dollar state DOT project to replace the Chubb River Bridge and repave Old Military between state Routes 86 and 73.

The project will also straighten out sections of the roadway that have contributed to several motor-vehicle accidents over the years.

Bliss said that as far as she knows, the county plans to turn the land over to the state as soon as the acquisition is official.

"They want to take fee title," she said. "When we were originally approached they wanted us to donate the land."

Essex County is offering the village $52,600 for the larger parcel and $1100 for the smaller one. The larger parcel includes the snowfields traditionally used for trailers during the horse shows.

Bliss noted that the board could challenge the appraisal of the land if trustees think the numbers are too low.

"If we don't accept now, we can continue fighting later on," she said. "I just want the board to be aware of the situation, because the representatives involved are in town this week if the board has questions."

Trustee Dave Jones noted that local law requires the village to show a "lack of need or surplus land to get rid of village property." He also noted that there are at least 60 residencies along that roadway and wondered how the county planned to acquire those easements.

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