Tupper Lake town accepts bid to appraise dam

TUPPER LAKE – The town board has accepted a bid to appraise the 7-acre Setting Pole Dam parcel.

Last month the town board put out a request for proposal and sent 24 packets to potential appraisers regarding the appraisal of the property. Two bids came in: Armstrong Appraisals LLC from Clifton Park bid $8,100, and Advanced Appraisals from Saratoga Springs bid $6,450.

“I move to accept the lowest bid,” said Councilman John Quinn. “I think we’re kind of compelled to.”

The board unanimously agreed to accept the bid. Advanced Appraisals will have 60 days from the notice of the bid award to submit the appraisal.

Once complete, the appraisal will determine the value of the property, which would then go out to bid. The cost of the appraisal will be tacked onto the minimum bid for the property.

The dam became a contentious topic last fall after the town put it up for bid with a minimum bid of $400,000. The parcel was assessed at $436,000 last year and is currently tax-exempt.

ECOsponsibile Inc. placed the only bid. It included $400,000 for the property plus an annual $12,000 donation for 50 years to local youth programs.

The town board’s vote to approve the sale was split, with council members Jerry Fletcher and Kathleen Lefebvre voting for the sale and Littlefield and Quinn voting against it. Then-Supervisor Roger Amell broke the tie by voting in favor of selling the dam.

Littlefield and Quinn both voiced concerns about the sale and wondered if the town was getting the full value for the property. Tupper Lake resident Larry Reandeau also took issue with the sale and told the board he was starting a petition to put the sale up to public vote.

In a late October letter addressed to “Tupper Lake Residents, Elected Officials and Businesses,” ECOsponsible Vice President Dennis Ryan rescinded the offer, writing, “We feel long-term litigation is not indicative of the win/win scenario we had envisioned for this project. It is with this in mind that we are withdrawing our bid to purchase Real Estate and Dam at Setting Pole Road.” Ryan also told the Enterprise the project made the company a “ping-pong ball” in the Nov. 5 town election, in which Littlefield beat Amell in the supervisor race.