THURMAN - Warren County officials are looking into whether a so-called "swingers club" is breaking any laws in its gatherings at the Bear Pond Lodge in Thurman.
Several neighbors of the lodge discovered last week that the Lake George Social Club's website described the group as a club for "sexually open-minded people" - and the local residents raised concerns with town officials and the media over whether the club's occasional gatherings promote activities that violate community standards.
Situated on Bear Pond Road in Thurman, the lodge is owned by a Lake George businessman, and is rented out occasionally to the swinger's club, authorities said.
A representative of the club was invited to give a presentation to town residents attending Tuesday night's town board meeting. Tuesday morning, Town Supervisor Red Pitkin said the club official, known only as "Krazy J," had said he'd be giving a presentation on the club's activities and would be offering answers to questions posed by neighbors and other town residents.
"Maybe when people get answers, it will put this issue to rest," Pitkin said.
Meanwhile, Warren County officials pledged they'd be looking into whether the club or the lodge's owner were breaking any laws, including health code or tax laws by not filing sales or occupancy taxes with the county.
Pitkin said he'd be checking into local ordinances, but it was up to other jurisdictions to review the club's compliance with their respective laws.
"If money is changing hands, they certainly will have to comply with the appropriate business laws," he said. "Also, it's up to the sheriff's department to determine whether money is changing hands for legal purposes."
Both county Treasurer Frank O'Keefe and county Attorney Paul Dusek said they'd be re-reading bed tax ordinance and looking into whether the activities provided were taxable.
"We'll be doing some research to see if whatever the activities up there qualify as an accommodation for paying taxes," Dusek said, noting that night-to-night rentals were taxed, but some types of longer rentals were exempt. "We want to make sure all the facilities that should pay occupancy tax are paying it."
O'Keefe echoed the point.
"If their operation qualifies as a rental, they should be paying occupancy tax," he said. "I'll be getting together with state and county officials to look into this - we're definitely treading in new territory here."