ST. REGIS FALLS — The former St. Regis Falls Central School building sold for $1,500 at the Franklin County land auction.
Gary Greguire of Dickinson was the winning bidder for the Norton Street property, located in the St. Regis Falls hamlet in the Town of Wa, which is assessed at $83,800.
The school sale was one of 78 transactions that added $893,000 to the county’s general fund.
The total combined debt forgiven on the old school property was $539,372, shared among the county, Town of Waverly and School District’s unpaid taxes.
The two-story, 67,000-square-foot school building on 9.25 acres was built in 1927 and sold to a private company in 2003 shortly after the district built a new school campus a few blocks north.
The buyer, at that time, Ferncroft Holding LLC, which legal paperwork says was located in Canada, paid $10,000 for the property, but since then had paid no taxes and made no improvements to the site.
Vandals have shattered windows, spray-painted walls and caused various damage in the years since then, prompting the Town of Waverly to condemn the site in 2007.
Because of the building’s age, authorities believe there is asbestos contamination inside and underground fuel tanks to be removed.
SUNSET MOTEL SOLD
Attempts to reach Greguire were not successful.
District 5 County Legislator Sue Robideau said he owns an automotive-repair business and may move that operation to the school site, “but I don’t know what he is doing with the rest of it.
“I was just glad it went to someone locally,” she said. “I didn’t want it going to someone from the city who bought it sight unseen. I have all the confidence in the world that Gary will make a go of it.”
The County Legislature voted to forgive more than $325,000 in delinquent taxes owed on the property and will absorb the loss, said County Treasurer Bryon Varin.
“I hope the new owner does something viable with it,” Waverly Town Supervisor Michael Bailey said.
Legislators are expected to approve the entire group of land sales at their next regular meeting on Nov. 7.
Another commercial property sold this week was the Sunset Motel at 3899 Route 11, assessed at a full-market value of $400,000.
It sold for $120,000 to Rohit Lall of Malone and had $116,000 in taxes owed on it, giving the county a $14,000 profit, Varin said.
Two landlocked properties on Eddy Road in the Town of Brandon went unsold, he said.
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