Village lost almost $90,000 on Oak

By By PETE KLEIN, Express News Staff

SPECULATOR - The results are in. During the five winters the Village of Speculator ran Oak Mt. Ski Center it lost $89,849.

The final close-out figure was made known by Village Clerk / Treasurer Bonnie Page when the Board of Trustees met Monday, Feb. 25.

The village ran the ski center starting with the winter of 2007-08, first under a receivership and then under a lease with the Hamilton County Industrial Development Agency.

Although some of the years were good to break-even, last year's mild winter was the straw that broke the back of any interest the village had in continuing to lease the ski center, and in February 2012 the Board of Trustees informed the IDA it did not want to continue leasing the ski center.

On a related note, Mayor Letty Rudes informed the trustees that the IDA has applied to Hamilton County Real Property Tax Service for a 100 percent tax exemption for Oak Mt. LLC over the next three years.


In September 2012 the IDA approved a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement with Oak Mountain LLC. Two weeks ago IDA Executive Director Ann Melious informed the IDA board there was no need for a PILOT agreement because the IDA still owns the property and the IDA is a non-taxable entity.

Oak Mt. LLC has a contract with the IDA to purchase Oak. It is paying the IDA $1 a year to lease the property from Aug. 3, 2012 to Aug. 2, 2014.

The firm is required to invest at least $150,000 in the ski center in year one and at least $75,000 in year two.

Oak Mt. LLC has agreed to pay the IDA $50,000 for the property Aug. 3, 2014. It is from Aug. 3, 2014 and on Oak Mt. LLC will start paying property taxes.


Trustee Karen McComb reported snowmobile trail groomers driving down Elm Lake Road are leaving pit marks in the asphalt. McComb had photos of pit marks caused by the studded tracks.

Trustee Edward Brooks suggested talking with Lake Pleasant Highway Superintendent Leo Desrochers, who oversees grooming within the town and village.

Rudes said she would talk to Desrochers and added, "If this causes damage, we will bill for repairs."


-- Highway Superintendent Roger Blanchard promised to take down the Christmas tree and manger at The Four Corners at the end of February. "We left them up for Feb Fest," he said.

-- Page reported donations toward purchasing the property next to the village park on Osborne Point are up to $93,900. Once $100,000 has been raised owner James Skaret will be approached with an offer.

-- Page also reported the village has received $1,300 from the sale of an old truck at auction and $1,525 from the sale of a sander at auction.

The Board of Trustees will next meet Monday, March 11, starting at 7 p.m. in Village Hall.