Bids coming in for Hartford land parcel

Bids continue to roll in on a daily basis for the 485-plus Eldridge Lane property in Hartford.

This time, Town Supervisor Dana Haff is hoping a sale will actually go through.

“I’m hoping when everything closes, the county won’t second guess. It needs to go back on the tax rolls and be on ownership other than municipal ownership,” he said.

Three separate but adjoining parcels make up the large plot, which Washington County purchased in the early 1990s for a landfill that was essentially never used.

Following years of issues between the town and the county, the county board of supervisors agreed to put the property up for sale on an online auction site.

This wasn’t the first time the land was up for auction. Haff said in 2009 the county went through the whole process but did not approve a $227,000 offer.

“At the time the county did not think that was enough. There was input from Warren County, who thought the land was worth at least $3 million,” Haff said, explaining that at the time there was a permit for the landfill, which made the spot more valuable in some officials’ eyes.

Today there is no longer such a permit on the plot.

“The land is worth is what the land is worth,” Haff said, but whether it brings in the $400,000 it was appraised at in 2011 remains to be seen.

“I don’t think we should give it away, but it’s only worth what someone’s willing to pay for it,” he said. 

On Sept. 3, Haff said he will be walking the property with a representative from a solar panel company in Queensbury, who is exploring the possibility of a solar panel farm; such a project would typically take up six to 10 acres.

Much of the plot consists of clay soil, and Haff said it grows a lot of good grass.

“If you want to use it as farmland, you just have to pick your crop.”

The current auction opened July 26 and ends Sept. 23. On Thursday, Haff added the day’s bids together to a bit over $88,000. Each business day, the website, Auctions International, adds $3,000 to the sum of three highest bids and sets that number as the minimum for the following bid; those interested in purchasing land can either try for the individual parcels or the plot as a whole.

Anonymous bidders with nicknames are regularly having small “bidding wars” among themselves and regularly up the ante for the land. Within seconds of each other they’ve continued to raise the price by various increments, from $1 to $3,000. Haff said he’s encouraged that there has been this much action early on.

“A lot of people that have experience with eBay and things like that tell me that you don’t get the real action until the last day,” he said.

Those interested in following the bids or making one can visit auctionsinternational.com until Sept. 23 at 10 a.m.

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