NORTH HUDSON — Ghosts haunt this town from each cardinal point. Route 9, to the north, is flanked with the corpses of roadside motels decaying in overgrown lots.
Some are still outfitted with furnished rooms, with retrograde televisions ready to be flicked on and stacks of pillows waiting to be fluffed.
From the southwest, wooden structures quietly moulder into the pines before disappearing and giving way to the tony homes circling Schroon Lake and the warm glow of commerce.
And from Exit 29 on the Northway, the A-Frame that once anchored Frontier Town, a formerly popular wild west theme park, is slowly being reclaimed by nature. Broken glass rings the entrance, boards rattle in the wind. Vines reach upward, a cathedral of gloom.
There is no indication that the structure has been given more than errant glance this year, far after the snow melted and cast the blight into sharp, even biting, relief.
THE STORY SO FAR
George Moore, a Keeseville-based businessman, owns the A-Frame, a building that is in such bad shape, the county has reassessed it as a vacant lot worth $275,000.
According to documents provided by his office, Moore has paid over $100,000 in taxes since acquiring the property in 2004. The repair bill has clocked in at $18,206, not including an additional $6,000 allotted to roof repairs.
Moore bid on much of the surrounding land at a county tax sale on April 30 designed to unload some 150 properties that would ideally be placed back on the tax rolls.
Essex County lawmakers rejected his bid on the grounds that it did not meet the minimum reserve owed on the property.
After county lawmakers approved the deal, North Hudson then voted unanimously to purchase the parcels for $60,000 and give one-third of the sale proceeds to the county if they sold it within the next five years.