Resolution to sell Poplars property voted down

Montgomery County legislators defeated a resolution Tuesday that could have settled the problem surrounding the foreclosure sale of three parcels in the town of Glen.

Officials from Buanno Holdings LLC in Fultonille were the successful bidders for one parcel of land in the town of Glen – the former Poplars Restaurant and Resort – at a recent foreclosure auction. They also thought they had purchased two adjacent, smaller parcels when the original successful bidder failed to produce the required down payment. The three parcels were intended to be sold together, but the auctioneer sold them separately. Legislators held an executive session in May to discuss possible solutions to the problem.

The resolution called for the three parcels to be sold to Buanno Holding LLC for $185,000, the amount settled on during last month’s executive session. District 4 Legislator Ryan B. Weitz said Tuesday that the proposed sale is flawed in several ways.

“I have issues with the process,” Weitz said. “Many legislators have indicated that they are voting in favor of this resolution out of sympathy [for Buanno Holdings],” he said. “Favoring some parties over others because you feel bad for them is not fair.”

Weitz said offering the property to Buanno Holdings without first soliciting requests for proposals was unfair and unethical.

“We were offered $260,000 by the owners and operators of Killington Ski Resort,” Weitz said. “We’re throwing away $75,000. “

Weitz said selling the three parcels for $185,000 would amount to giving Buanno Holdings a gift.

“We established at the special meeting that gifting land is unconstitutional,” Weitz said Tuesday. “We also established that ‘market value’ is what a person is willing to pay.”

County Attorney Douglas E. Landon said the $185,000 figure was not “pulled out of the air,” but was pro-rated based on the sale price of the two smaller parcels.

Legislature Chairman Thomas Quackenbush said he agreed with everything Weitz said except for his use of the word “unethical.” He said his “yes” vote would not be unethical.

“Everybody has a right to his opinion,” Quackenbush said. “[Buanno Holdings officials] came in and bid [on the parcels]; the guy from Killington did not. It makes perfectly good sense to combine the three parcels. If you want it, you’ve got to ante up, and [Buanno] did.”

District 2 Legislator Roy Dimond said the Legislature’s role is to make sure foreclosed properties are put back on the tax rolls.

“This property sat vacant for several years,” Dimond said. “The only valid offer ever received came from Buanno.”

John Becker

John Becker is both a Reporter and Consulting Editor for The Compass. He and his wife Pat operate Abbey Farms in Amsterdam NY.