A new ownership split is likely for Lake George's Charles R. Wood Park, which incorporates an engineered wetlands that cleanses stormwater, plus a festival grounds. The town of Lake George is now preparing an offer to buy half of the county's 62 percent stake in the park — The village of Lake George owns the other 38 percent.
The town of Lake George is making an offer later this week to repurchase partial ownership of the Charles R. Wood Park, town supervisor Dennis Dickinson told Warren County supervisors Monday March 4.
Dickinson said the town of Lake George was preparing an offer to purchase half of Warren County’s 62 percent ownership of the environmental park and festival venue, formerly operated as Gaslight Village.
He said the offer would be presented to the county as soon as Thursday May 7. The village of Lake George now owns 38 percent, after the previous town administration sold the town’s initial 19 percent to the village several years ago.
Dickinson refused to reveal the tentative purchase price.
“It’s a secret at this point,” he said with a grin. He continued that last year, County Administrator Paul Dusek had provided a report detailing the value and expenses associated with the park, and had set $673,000 as a purchase price if the town wanted to purchase half of the county’s 62 percent share.
Dickinson said Monday the town’s current offer would be less than that sum.
“We figured what we could spend on it without getting into trouble,” he said of his town board and their offer. Dusek said he had no idea what the town’s proposed price would be.
But striking a purchase deal with the county would depend on the town receiving 50 percent of the parking revenue for perpetuity, Dickinson said.
“If we don’t get half of the parking fees, we’re out,” he said.
Plans now call for the county to develop 150 parking spaces serving Charles Wood Park by June 2014. County Public Works Superintendent Jeff Tennyson presented a tentative schedule Monday to the county supervisors regarding development of the metered parking spaces, festival space and environmental park.
Fifty spaces exist now, and 100 are to be added by mid-2014, Dickinson said. He observed that Lake George Mayor Blais had estimated that each metered parking space at the park would likely yield $900 per year.
Dickinson estimated that the net parking revenue, after expenses were paid, would be $120,000, and the town’s $60,000 share would pay the principal and interest on the bond or loan to purchase the 31 percent share.
Future parking revenues might be substantially higher, he said, noting that all three municipalities would likely be talking about raising existing parking fees from $1 to $2 per hour at the park.
Dickinson said that the proposal for the town to buy the 31 percent share from the county would be going to a public hearing within several months.
The Town of Lake George, under a previous administration, sold its 19 percent portion to the village for $210,000 after a dispute erupted about what buildings in the park’s festival space should be demolished.
Since the project’s inception, Warren County has owned 62 percent of the park.