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Gaslight buyout agreement moves forward

"We are very wary that without a venue to generate revenue, this project is going to become very expensive to maintain in the future," Lake George Town Supervisor Frank McCoy said in a prepared statement Friday. "It is in the best interest for the town of Lake George to exit the project now before it becomes a financial burden to the taxpayers."

Warren County Board of Supervisor Chairman Fred Monroe offered his thoughts Friday on the pending contract.

"I am optimistic we have a workable solution," Monroe said, referring to the differing concepts for the future of the festival space amongst the village, county, town and environmental groups.

In light of the pending contract, the town signed off on the demolition of Charlie's Saloon on the Gaslight south parcel and the rest room building on the north plot - permission McCoy temporarily revoked on behalf of his board when the county supervisors voted Sept. 17 for demolishing the Cavalcade building.

Peter Bauer of the Lake George Fund said Wednesday this permission is crucial to get the park development project going forward.

The town invested $350,000 in 2008 as their part of the purchase price of the property, to be developed into an environmental park.

The three municipalities bought into the project after negotiating near total control over a 2.5-acre festival space, including the option to keep and restore buildings there as event venues. The county and town had planned to rehabilitate Cavalcade into an events center, but the village backed off after the adjacent Fort William Henry resort, which also has event and convention space, objected to the project.

Fort William Henry's objection was echoed by the Lake George Steamboat Co. and the Lake George Citizen's Group, although 50 or so other businesses signed petitions supporting it. The Lake George Chamber of Commerce had advocated the building's redevelopment, noting that it would boost commerce and create jobs.

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