NEW BREMEN When Peter J. Keys won his position as town supervisor last fall, one of his promises was to address the tax assessment issues of Adirondack International Speedway.
My ultimate goal was to get litigation settled, Mr. Keys said, whether it helped the track reopen or put the case to rest for good.
As it turns outs, his efforts, along with the cooperation of Town Council members, brought about an agreement presented at a special town meeting Monday night. Both sides were smiling when, within 11 minutes, the board had agreed unanimously to accept the resolution.
Two parcels of land are named in the resolution, a smaller piece with a new taxable value of $61,500 and the larger chunk, which houses the track, now assessed at $572,100. The new amounts will replace a total assessment of $1.3 million, which had prompted track owner Paul H. Lyndaker to file suit.
He covered the track with dirt and disassembled the bleachers, rendering the site unusable, to lower his assessment. That action lowered the value to $672,100, which was still higher than several tracks operating in the state. The settlement was necessary for him to uncover the track and reassemble the seating.
Both sides, with guidance from their attorneys, have agreed to the new arrangement, which retroactively changes the assessed value starting in 2011 and lasts through 2015. The agreement will be brought before a judge and the case should be settled, allowing the track to reopen.
I applaud the town board for settling this out of court, track supporter Scott Zehr said. This is a turning point in the economic history of New Bremen.
Its likely too late for any race action this season, but Mr. Lyndaker already is fielding calls from sponsors and race representatives eager to get things going again.
Im happy to see this happen. I wish it could have happened sooner, Mr. Lyndaker said after the meeting. Were creating excitement in New Bremen with fender-to-fender, bumper-to-bumper competition.