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Lewis County tax auction nets more than $84,000 in profit

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LOWVILLE — Lewis County netted a profit of more than $84,000 on its annual tax auction Wednesday, exceeding budget projections by nearly $30,000.

“I’m glad it’s over with for another year,” said County Treasurer Patricia L. O’Brien.

Seventeen parcels sold for a total of $126,400 — an average of $7,435 per parcel — at the ninth annual auction, according to Mrs. O’Brien.

That resulted in a net gain of $84,393 after $42,007 in back taxes were paid, she said.

The county in its 2013 budget anticipated $55,000 in tax auction revenue.

A manufactured house on a 2.1-acre parcel on McGowan Road in the town of Pinckney sold for the highest amount at $29,000.

“That was the one that had a lot of interest,” Mrs. O’Brien said.

By contrast, a 50-by-50-foot lot off Laura Street in the town of Lyonsdale with possibly no road access sold for only $50.

The old Greig Convenience Store at 5223 Greig Road, now used as a bottle and can redemption center after being vacant for several years, brought in $8,000.

The key was that all available properties were sold, Mrs. O’Brien said.

“That’s what I always worry about,” she said.

Haroff Auction Service, Schroon Lake, conducted the auction once again.

There were 62 bidders, 52 who registered on site at the Lowville Elks Lodge, Shady Avenue, and 10 who registered via the Internet.

One Internet bidder bought two parcels at the auction, according to treasurer’s office records.

The 17 parcels sold at this year’s auction was well below the 33 properties auctioned off last year but still above the low mark of six parcels at the 2008 event.

“This is a manageable number,” Mrs. O’Brien said. “Of course we’d like it to be six. But 17 is not bad, especially considering we started out with 50.”

None of the handful of houses sold were listed as occupied.

The county in February foreclosed on 50 tax-delinquent parcels. To redeem them, property owners had to pay all taxes and fees and any delinquent taxes from January 2012, plus 10 percent of that amount as an auctioneer’s fee and 5 percent of the parcel’s full value.

County legislators also removed a 4.5-acre parcel on Fish Creek Road in the town of Greig, near the county-owned Singing Waters park. County officials said the parcel, which includes extensive road frontage, would aid access to adjacent county reforestation land that has little frontage.

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