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Lake George mayor: ‘No deal’ on returning partial park ownership

Lake George Town Supervisor Dennis Dickinson reacts when he hears Aug. 1 from Lake George Village Mayor Robert Blais (foreground) that the village is unwilling to sell back any of its shares in the Charles Wood Park — shares that it obtained from the town last year.

Lake George Town Supervisor Dennis Dickinson reacts when he hears Aug. 1 from Lake George Village Mayor Robert Blais (foreground) that the village is unwilling to sell back any of its shares in the Charles Wood Park — shares that it obtained from the town last year. Photo by Thom Randall.

— The new town board, under the leadership of new town supervisor Dennis Dickinson, sought this year to reclaim its former ownership position, and the tentative agreement was reached in June for the three parties to reallocate shares to one-third each.

Wednesday, Blais suggested the town buy whatever shares they wanted from the county and not the village.

Warrensburg Supervisor Kevin Geraghty and Thurman Supervisor Evelyn Wood both suggested the county sell all but one or two shares in the project.

“Considering this squabbling, the county should sell all but 1 percent of its portion to the town,” he said.

Wood echoed the point.

“The county should get out of the project,” she said. “We shouldn’t have county taxpayers’ money in this.”

Dickinson, Dusek and park project committee chairman Fred Monroe responded, however, that for the county to reduce its portion so drastically would put state and private grants at risk.

“It sends a terrible message to all the project’s supporters for us to back out of it,” he said. “This is a $10 million project, and the county has only $1.4 million invested – it represents a huge value.”

Monroe added that the agreement to develop the park, crafted between the three municipalities and three major environmental groups many years ago with the state’s blessing, would be difficult if not impossible to exit.

“It’s not within the county’s power to disband the conservation easement,” he said.

Visibly irritated with the complexity of the ownership settlement sums that Dusek had prepared – which included expenses not repaid to the county by the village, Geraghty questioned why there was no apparent central oversight of finances.

He called for a “point person” to handle the accounting for the park project. Dusek said that such duties were never assigned by the Board of Supervisors, but his office would temporarily undertake those tasks and prepare a list of payments to be exchanged.

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