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Decision on Cavalcade expected Friday

LAKE GEORGE - After a year of controversy, several public hearings and at times angry confrontations, the fate of the former Cavalcade of Cars building on the West Brook environmental park plot is likely to be decided Friday.

Although taxpayers have heard this before, county Supervisors pledged at a meeting Friday that they were going to adhere to their self-imposed deadline to decide the building's future, because if a decision isn't made within several weeks, grant money may not be available for its demolition.

Proponents of demolition have argued that the Cavalcade building is obsolete and interferes with the purpose of the park, which is envisioned to host walkways, outdoor festivals while purifying stormwater through a series of wetlands. They also have contended that reconstruction and maintenance costs, shouldered by local taxpayers, would not be recovered by rental fees or boosted sales tax receipts.

Others, including leading business owners, Chamber of Commerce leaders, local tourism officials, Lake George town council members and leaders of about half the upcounty towns, have contended the building is a viable venue for trade shows and events as well as weddings and community functions. The rehabilitated building would boost the local economy, they have said.

Lake George Supervisor Frank McCoy has proposed upgrading the building with a new Adirondack-themed facade, and he's cited cost quotes of less than $300,000.

But a county tourism study report released Friday determined that at least $1 million would have to be spent to make Cavalcade a viable, attractive venue.

The report, prepared by ConsultEcon of Massachusetts, cited that Cavalcade was obsolete and unusable without substantial reconstruction. The report added that rebuilding would cost about as much as new construction.

Others have consistently disputed such figures, saying they're inflated. McCoy has said that the town of Lake George - or perhaps private interests - would fund the upgrades, as the county has gone on record it wont spend any money on the building's renovation.

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