County leaders vote to demolish Cavalcade building

"For me, it was a matter of taking the course of which action is most protective of the taxpayers."

McCoy had presented a new rendering Friday of an expansive, Adirondack-style building, far more elaborate than a drawing he presented to the county supervisors in late spring.

The vote occurred after a meeting, nearly three hours long, in which people provided arguments on both sides of the issue. Primarily business people - other than two major venues - were represented as favoring of renovation,while individual citizens that showed up for the meeting were generally aligned with demolition.

Joanne Gavin of the Lake George Citizens group held up a stack of petitions signed by more than 800 people in the county, calling for demolition of the building. Thirty people stood up in support of her plea.

Bill Kenny, embattled chairman of the Gaslight Ad-Hoc Committee that was commissioned to provide a recommendation to the full board, had the last word before the vote.

Once an ardent supporter of saving the venue, he passed a 13-page, single-spaced statement arguing in favor of demolition - then he read each word. He said that Cavalcade renovation is likely to be expensive to Lake George taxpayers. Citing the recent White Paper report, he said that anything less than a complete rebuild, or merely a fixer-upper rehabilitation job, might discourage tourism rather than boost it.

Kenny argued that an empty, grassy parking area would attract more tourism than a rehabilitated building. He contended that the Cavalcade building had reached the end of its useful life, and the county should not turn its back on the grant money pledged by the state for its demolition.

"This project was initially envisioned as a park," he said, arguing for grass rather than any building in the future.

"Leaving this building standing will create a perpetual money shortfall," he said, claiming that Cavalcade would compete with existing businesses including Fort William Henry, the Lake George Forum and The Dome.

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