JOHNSBURG - In a recent town council meeting, members of the Johnsburg board discussed the option of moving forward on the issue of acquiring the Kellogg-Waddell property from the Open Space Institute (OSI).
OSI purchased the property in order to preserve the historical integrity of the space and it was originally intended to be conveyed to Warren County. That process has been delayed due to the fiscal state of the county and this project's similarities to other current projects taking place within the county.
It is confirmed that OSI would consider transferring ownership of the property to the Town of Johnsburg with certain restrictions.
A committee has been formed of Johnsburg community members to explore possible uses for the property - located adjacent to the train station in North Creek. It is currently already host to several local events including North Creek's Concert by the River Series and the summer farmer's market.
"We believe the property is a unique and important part of our community's heritage and can be used as a dynamic centerpiece for economic develop, which gives broad consideration to issues associated with history and ecology," said committee member and Johnsburg supervisor Sterling Goodspeed. "The committee aims to stimulate Main Street business growth, preserve the river front heritage, and see growth that is green by definition and promotes our environmental and historic assets."
The committee has identified several interested stakeholders who would like to become involved in the project. The property, worth approximately $150,000, would be transfered to the town for free, according to Goodspeed. Additionaly, a grant of $194,000 has been secured and awarded for renovations needed on the property.
If acquired by the town, the Kellogg-Waddell property would be under the direction of an advisory group as well as one part-time employee hired by the town. According to the committee, the only expense the town will experience would be an increase to their annual insurance premium equal to approximately $500.
The biggest asset of the Kellogg-Waddell property is the programming it could generate, according to the committee.
"This property would certainly add to the value of the community," said committee member and Gore Mountain Regional Chamber of Commerce president Dave Bulmer.
Johnsburg Central School as well the Adirondack Museum and Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts in Blue Mountain Lake have expressed interest in using the space for programming among other interested parties.
"This is a great opportunity to bring events to the area and presents the possibility of creating a river park like none other found within the Adirondack Park," said committee member and North Creek Depot Museum director Michelle San Antonio.
Currently, the buildings are equipped with limited electricity and no running water and would require extensive maintenance before being used.
The committee is pursuing the the next step of securing funds for maintaining the buildings as well as getting organized to move forward on the project.