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Speedway a step closer to ending litigation; conditions put in place

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NEW BREMEN — An settlement has been reached in Adirondack International Speedway’s lawsuit against Lewis County, but the financial and legal cloud over the business hasn’t lifted yet.

Paul H. Lyndaker, speedway owner, filed the lawsuit in 2010, contending that a lien placed on the property should have expired after he met conditions demanded by the state comptroller’s office. The state determined in March 2004 that a $500,000 state Department of Transportation grant accepted by the county to assist the speedway was improper.

The agreement reached by Mr. Lyndaker, Lewis County officials, Lewis County Opportunities and the state attorney general’s office gives Mr. Lyndaker two years to comply with three conditions. A lien of $114,000 will be held by the county against the speedway until those conditions are met.

“In exchange for meeting the terms of the agreement, the state has agreed to hold the speedway, Lewis County Opportunities and the county free from any penalties or liability that could arise as a result of the comptroller’s report,” Lewis County Attorney Richard J. Graham said.

All parties were named in the lawsuit as a grant received by the county was distributed to Mr. Lyndaker through Lewis County Opportunities, a nonprofit community action organization, and used for asphalt.

Mr. Lyndaker said he is confident he will be able to meet the terms before the two-year window closes.

First, he must hold two events at the speedway, one of which he said he already completed this fall.

He has yet to schedule another event, but said it does not have to be a car race to meet the agreement requirements, indicating a sled race or a music event will be suitable.

Also, he must pay back a remaining portion of an Empire State grant awarded in 2002. Mr. Lyndaker said the terms of the grant acceptance — employment of more than 30 full-time employees — was not met by his seasonal business. He said he has approximately $15,000 to repay.

A larger amount, more than $45,000, is needed to comply with the third condition of the agreement, that he pay delinquent property taxes on the speedway property.

The deadline to pay his delinquent taxes is Feb. 3, to avoid foreclosure proceedings by the county.

Once the conditions are met, the mortgage will be discharged.

“The concept in exchange for this (2002) grant was to have the speedway open, operating and functioning and being a benefit to the county,” Mr. Graham said. “The goal in restructuring the agreement continues that concept.”

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