LAKE GEORGE - The Warren County Board of Supervisors sounded yet another false alarm Friday when they postponed a decision on the fate of the former Cavalcade of Cars building.
That decision was deferred until Friday Sept. 17 after several conflicting resolutions were passed and then one was rescinded at the board's Gaslight Ad-hoc Committee meeting Friday, due to board members' misunderstanding of what they'd passed.
But the outcome was that one resolution was passed to allow the renovation of the building by the Town of Lake George as an events center, and another one was passed ordering its demolition.
The reason for the two opposing votes was to allow the full Board of Supervisors to make a decision between these two options this Friday when they convene for their monthly meeting. The conflicting resolutions were passed to avoid the requirement of a two-thirds majority vote for any decision brought from the floor this Friday.
While the meeting aired familiar arguments for or against retaining the structure for a venue for events, trade shows and community functions, an alternative option re-surfaced.
Developer and hotel owner Dave Kenny said Lake George business owners had pledged considerable sums of money - as much as $750,000 - to fund the building's renovation and operation if it were saved from destruction.
Kenny has advocated developing Cavalcade as an event space for the benefit of nearby hotels, motels and inns that don't have such event space.
At the end of the meeting, supervisors listened carefully to his proposals, which included using such private money to leverage grant funds or government loans to rehabilitate and create such space, common in other communities that compete for such events, festivals and conferences.
Friday, county Supervisors pledged that they were going to adhere to their self-imposed deadline of Sept. 17 to finally decide the building's future, because if a decision isn't made within several weeks, grant money may not be available for its demolition.
Proponents of demolition have argued that the Cavalcade building is obsolete and interferes with the purpose of the park, which is envisioned to host walkways, outdoor festivals while purifying stormwater through a series of wetlands. They also have contended that reconstruction and maintenance costs, shouldered by local taxpayers, would not be recovered by rental fees or boosted sales tax receipts.
Others, including leading business owners, Chamber of Commerce leaders, local tourism officials, Lake George town council members and leaders of about half the upcounty towns, have contended the building is a viable venue for trade shows and events as well as weddings and community functions. The rehabilitated building would boost the local economy, they have said.
Business leaders at Friday's meeting continued to voice support of saving the building, which features a steel superstructure and a solid concrete pad, which would cost far more at a later date to replace. They've also contended that while renovation is now legally viable, changing environmental statutes might block new construction on the site.