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Speedway owner closer to finish line

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NEW BREMEN — It wasn’t exactly a photo finish, but close, for Adirondack International Speedway owner Paul H. Lyndaker, who paid back taxes on his property with just three hours to spare Monday, the final day Lewis County would accept payments before commencing foreclosure.

“They are paid in full,” said county Treasurer Patricia O’Brien.

The payment totalled $84,980.94, and is likely Mr. Lyndaker’s largest hurdle to overcome in completing conditions of a recent agreement with the state that will lift the financial and legal cloud over the business.

Two other conditions have yet to be met, but are small in comparison.

Mr. Lyndaker was directed to hold two public events within two years, and one was completed in the fall. “Planning for the next race is in the works,” he said.

A final step in completing the state’s requirements is financial, as well, but much smaller than the tax payment.

“It’s about $15,000 or so,” Mr. Lyndaker said of his obligation to repay an Empire State Grant received in 2002.

The settlement has been a long time coming. In 2010, Mr. Lyndaker filed a lawsuit contending 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 the 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.

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