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Friday, November 26, 2021

Fulton County buys $520K lake front property for museum

The Fulton County Board of Supervisors last week voted to create “budget accounts” to buy 33 acres of property in Northampton from Richard and Robert Smith for $ 520,000 to link to the Great Lake Sakandaga Historical Museum.

The money for the purchase comes from $ 10.4 million in federal funding for Fulton County, resulting from the U.S. Congress enactment and signed by President Biden in March of the $ 1.9 trillion U.S. Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

Fulton County Administrator John Stead said the 33-acre site met all three criteria the county was looking for in a museum site: It is accessible from Highway 30, is located south of Northville Bridge, overlooks Great Sakandaga Lake, and is in close proximity to the pedestrian city center.

“A site of this size overlooking the lake is ideal and will strengthen our region’s connection to the tourism popularity of the Adirondack,” Stead said.

In August, Observers voted 16-1 to approve the Destination: Fulton County strategic plan on how to spend federal funds, which included $ 1.2 million to build a new contemporary museum and entertainment center to showcase the history of modern engineering that created reservoir Big Sakandaga. The plan, approved by the board in August, included $ 600,000 for property acquisition, engineering and design, and $ 600,000 for the construction of the museum.

Stead said that at its September meeting, oversight authorities approved the vesting of County Attorney Jason Brott with the authority to close negotiations with the Smith family on the final land purchase. Stead said there were no brokers or real estate agents involved in the sale.

“This is a property that I think was rumored to be up for sale a few years ago, which the county knew – that there was a commercial interest in it,” Stead said. “I am not from Northville, but I believe that for several years the General Dollar has shown an interest in buying part of this lot, so the county and the locals knew about it. We did a survey of a county that could be near a lake or overlooking a lake, and that met the three criteria we were looking for. “

The 33-acre site includes 10 acres of flat land suitable for commercial development to house a museum and 20 acres of forest that could be used for additional outdoor recreation.

“[That] creates the opportunity for a short walking trail and Sakandagi Observation Deck above the museum, ”Stead wrote in a press release. “Destination Fulton County has many connections, and this is the start of a big deal.”

Stead said the Hudson River Regulatory Area site on the Great Sakandaga Lake is not cleared. [HRBRRD]which owns and regulates all coastal lakeside property around the lake / reservoir.

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“There is some [lake front] forbidden property nearby [HRBRRD]so we’re going to see if we can do kids programming in the future, because the museum has a lot of interesting things that it can do, ”Stead said. “We are confident that we can get access to water, but [the property] does not adjoin the water’s edge. We haven’t fully explored it yet. There are several marinas in the area as well, so that’s all there is to explore. We have not yet made any decisions on the exploration permit for the lake. I think it would be nice because there is at least one high school that has a fishing or lake club where they learn lake water sports from an educational point of view, Broadalbin-Perth. [being one such district]so I think these things will be in addition to any museum associated with the Great Lake Sakandaga. “

The package also included $ 4,325 unpaid school taxes for the Northville Central School District in 2021-222, which the district agreed to pay, and an additional $ 80,000 in expenses, including demolition of dilapidated buildings on the property, debris cleanup, rough grading jobs. … and the installation of signs to secure the site during the winter season. Both of these costs were paid in “budget accounts” created by a regulation passed by the council last Tuesday.
Stead said property was never transferred to non-taxable owners; the county simply agreed to levy taxes as part of the sale. He said the Smith family had owned the site for decades, but no one lived there in the years leading up to the sale.

Northampton Supervisor James Groff, who also chairs the County’s Standing Committee on Economic Development and the Environment, said he supports the project.

“A museum is a great idea and this place is a great place to do it. It’s close to restaurants and retail stores, but also close to the Northville Lake Placid highway, ”Groff said.

Stead said the next steps in the museum’s construction process will include applying for a state charter for the museum and forming an advisory board, which is likely to happen in the spring of 2022.

“I believe they are necessary for that,” Stead said of the charter statement and advisory board. He said the county also hopes to organize a planned walking trail, possibly for use in programs sometime in 2022.

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Categories: Fulton Montgomery Shohari, News

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