Gaslight buyout agreement moves forward

LAKE GEORGE - A buyout of the town of Lake George's interest in the Gaslight Village project is under way. However, other government entities are calling for a payoff to the town of $210,000 to exit the partnership and turn over its 19 percent interest in both the West Brook Environmental Park and the 2.5 acre festival space it contains to the village of Lake George.

According to a draft contract approved Monday night by the Lake George Village Board, the village government will be bankrolling the payoff sum to go to the town, and the three local environmental groups involved in the project will be together refunding the village for half of it over three years, paying the village $35,000 in three annual installments. The county's stake in the project will remain the same, although they will be assuming sole responsibility for the maintenance of the environmental project once completed, according to the draft contract.

As of Tuesday, a meeting of the Warren County Board of Supervisors was scheduled to ratify the contract.

The 25-acre West Brook Park, once Gaslight Village, is to include constructed wetlands to purify migrating stormwater, as well as host bike and pedestrian trails, informational kiosks, nature trails, several gazebos and scenic overlooks.

The village government agreed to assume responsibility for managing parking operations and undertaking mowing and landscape work, subject to potential reimbursement through county occupancy tax receipts, and income from parking on the site.

The contract also calls for the demolition of the Cavalcade of Cars building on the festival site, a structure the town government had sought to rehabilitate and use for community events, trade shows and conferences.

After the county recently switched from longstanding support of the town's rehabilitation effort to calling for demolition of the building, the vote to tear it down occurred Sept. 17. It was only a matter of days before the town officials decided to exit the entire project, based on a belief the maintenance costs would drain taxpayer's pocketbooks without a venue they could rent to private entities.

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