Saranac Lake village property auction totals $28,000

SARANAC LAKE – The village auctioned off a pair of vacant properties Wednesday, netting a total of $28,000.

A small crowd gathered in front of the Harrietstown Town Hall for the 4 p.m. auction, with village Mayor Clyde Rabideau serving as auctioneer.

The first parcel up for sale was a wooded 2-acre lot on Maple Hill, behind the Harrietstown Housing Authority’s Lake Flower Apartments high-rise on Kiwassa Road. Rabideau started the bidding at $1,000.

After nearly 10 minutes of back-and-forth bidding between Guide Boat Realty owner Chris Covert and Saranac Lake residents Adrien Vlach and Julia Goren, the property went to Covert for $21,000.

Covert told the Enterprise that he wanted to buy the parcel because it adjoins other property he owns in the same area.

The second village-owned parcel Rabideau auctioned was a small, seldom-used village parking lot at the corner of Bloomingdale Avenue and Broadway, next to the No. 1 Chinese restaurant. Again the bidding started at $1,000.

The property was sold to Mike and Becky Leahy, who live next to the parking lot on Broadway and said they have a right-of-way across its driveway. They paid $7,000 for the parcel, outbidding local landlord Ed Dukett.

The Leahys said they don’t have any immediate plans for the parking lot.

“We just want to protect our right of way and our driveway,” Becky Leahy said. “We were just concerned for the protection of our property, and I’m glad it went the way it did.”

The village initially planned to put a third parcel up for sale, but the vacant, 0.25-acre lot on Old Military Road was pulled from the auction block. Rabideau said the village discovered the property is deed-restricted as a park.

The mayor said the auction was “pretty exciting.

“We garnered a lot more money today than I expected,” he said. “One percent of our tax rate is about $30,000, so we’re most of the way there.”

This is the latest in a string of auctions of unused village-owned properties over the last few months. Rabideau said the village has at least two more parcels it could put up for sale, depending on how the village board wants to proceed.

Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or