T he village Board of Trustees accepted a $16,000 offer to settle a lien it held on the Whitehall Marina.
The board approved the offer, which was made by marina owner Bill Brina last month, during last week’s meeting. The agreement means the village will receive only half of the $32,000 it was owed.
“We didn’t take this decision lightly. This was money that was loaned long before this board and we feel lucky to recover this much. At one time, we thought we would never see any of it,” Mayor Peter Telisky said.
The money was part of a grant intended to foster the growth of businesses and encourage job creation. The village loaned the money to local businesses on a revolving basis.
The sum loaned to the marina goes back several years and at least two owners. When the ownership changed, the lien transferred to the new owners.
The money that is recovered will be placed back in the fund and be available to other businesses. It cannot be used for any other purpose and will not have any impact on village taxes.
Telisky said the board is hoping that by accepting the offer and forgiving half the debt, the owners will have the resources they need to keep the marina viable and operational, or be able to sell it someone who will.
Brina and his business partner, Hillary “Bumper” Wagoner, purchased the Lock 12 Marina and Finch and Chubb restaurant for $100,000 at a public auction in March. In May, the duo purchased Champlain Harbor Marina from embattled owner Robert Elmy for an undisclosed sum of money.
The plan was for the Champlain Harbor Marina to serve as a single, full-service marina, with a small pub and eatery, and for Lock 12 Marina and Finch and Chubb restaurant to serve as an upscale restaurant and inn.
And while Brina said last month that remains his objective, those plans were complicated when Wagoner died in mid-July.
Extensive renovations, including a new electrical system, have been completed and Brina said it was his expectation to have both properties open and operating as a single facility next fall.
In other matters, the board reopened the Boardman Street Cemetery after an inspection by village employees didn’t reveal any immediate dangers.
The board had been concerned that it could be held liable if a gravestone were to topple onto someone and had access to the cemetery barred while it determined the extent of that liability.
But the village’s insurance provider found its liability was limited.
Officials reported that a half dozen junk vehicles that had been identified as unlawful had been removed. They also said several properties, including one on Davis Street that had been cited for overgrown grass, had been mowed.
“It’s very encouraging to see people improving their property. The board is very appreciative of those who are pitching in,” Telisky said.
The board also hired Dwayne Oliver as a wastewater treatment facility operator after a lengthy search.
Telisky said the village received a nearly a dozen applications for the position.
“There were a lot of good applicants. We were looking for someone with a high degree of mechanical and electrical aptitude and I thing he’s going to be a great fit,” Telisky said.
Oliver will begin training immediately and besides his responsibilities at the wastewater treatment plant, will be asked to perform routine Department of Public Works duties as well.
The next board meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 2.