The future of what happens next to more than 80 acres of the former Frontier Town property in North Hudson -- recently sold at the Essex Tax Foreclosure Auction -- is uncertain.
Essex County has moved to block the winning bidder from taking possession of the property. On Monday the Essex County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to give four parcels of land -- won at the April 30 auction by George Moore of Keeseville -- to the town Of North Hudson.
North Hudson Town Supervisor Ronald Moore (no relation to George Moore) told Schroon Laker on Tuesday there is a "long process the county will have to go through" before North Hudson takes possession of the land.
“Right now, it’s a County matter. It (the transfer) will have to make its way through various committees, including the Ways and Means committee.”
If successful, the town will pay Essex County $60,000, Supervisor Moore said, which is $10,500 more than the $49,500 paid by the winning bidder.
Schroon Laker has learned that George Moore owns what is considered the prime piece of Frontier Town: the parcel of property where the old A frame main building stands (a former McDonalds Restaurant), which has prime access to the Northway.
The parcels of property now under review, have no direct Northway access and are only accessible from Route 9 and an access road from Blue Ridge.
If North Hudson is successful in its bid to gain ownership of the land, Town Supervisor Moore said he plans to work with the Essex County Industrial Development Agency and potentially make the property into a recreational area. Some of the land has access to the Schroon River.
“There are multiple uses for the land. It could be used as a campground, an area for horse riding, cyclists and of course snow mobiles,” Moore said.
“It would bring a much needed boost to the economy.”
Moore said if North Hudson was successful, he’d explore the possibility of preserving any remaining buildings from the old Frontier Town, which was last opened as a tourist attraction in 1998.
“Most of the buildings are gone. Even with the ones that are standing, there might be a tree growing in the middle of it.
No matter who takes ownership of the land, there is much work to do before the public can safely access the property. Several structures have been condemned and some buildings have asbestos.
According to a report in Tuesday’s Press Republican, the winning bidder, George Moore, was exploring the possibility of taking legal action. From the Press Republican:
“I told my attorney I will top North Hudson’s bid. I am extremely unhappy with my turn of events. I was told it (the $49,500) was a fair price. It topped all other bids”.
What do you think of the County’s action? Should North Hudson be able to purchase the land? Or should it stay with the winning bidder? Share you thoughts in our comments section.