Whitehall Village Board rebuffs property owner second time for water bill relief


B y Lee Tugas

Not taking no for an answer, Kevin Gordon again had his Attorney Phyllis McCoy ask the Whitehall Village Board for partial relief on a water bill judgment of more than $30,000. And once again the village board said no.

At last month’s meeting, McCoy, speaking for Gordon, owner of the Whitehall Mobile Home Park, pleaded with the board for a partial release on a water bill judgment so that Gordon could proceed with sales of a Queen Street property and a house in Hudson Falls.

At that Jan. 7 meeting, Mayor Peter Telisky said, “I’m reluctant to give him a release until he pays down his water bill. It’s a sizeable bill.”

At its most recent meeting, held Tuesday, Jan. 21, the message to McCoy was the same, but with a twist:

“It is not our responsibility to release him from his obligations,” Telisky said. “We are eroding our security.”

After considerable discussion with board members and Village Attorney Erika Sellar Ryan, Telisky, acting with board members’ consent, threw Gordon a bone.

“If Gordon pays $1,500 on his outstanding bill,” Telisky said, “we might consider releasing part of his obligation.”

McCoy had just admitted to the board that the deal to sell the Queen Street property had fallen through and that the partial release was to facilitate the sale of a property in Hudson Falls.

McCoy had stressed that “No money from the sale will go to Gordon.” She added that he was making his monthly payments on his water bill judgment and that without a partial release, the private mortgage holder on the Hudson Falls property “will foreclose.” Moreover, Gordon “will have to pay $8,000 to $9,000 in back taxes, ensuring that he would make no money from the sale, she explained.

The board’s resolve was not weakened by McCoy’s statement that Gordon would not make any profit, and that he would have to pay up to $9,000 in back taxes in order to sell the Hudson Falls property. If anything, it strengthened the board’s determination to secure larger payments from Gordon, owner of Goren Properties.

“If he can pay that much in back taxes, he should be able to come up with $1,500 for the village,” Telisky said.

 

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