Dragon Inn faces foreclosure

(Photo by Robert Ford)

(Photo by Robert Ford)

Owner Ching Ya Wu wants to tear it down. Historic preservationists want it saved. But the fate of the Dragon Inn may end up being decided by someone else altogether.

According to local officials, Wu owes nearly $70,000 in back taxes to the village, town, school and county.

Suzi Filak, Town of Saugerties tax collector said that Wu currently owes $17,481.22 in 2013 town taxes, of which $12,148.29 is for nonpayment of the 2012-2013 school taxes.
She explained that if Wu does not pay his taxes by June 1, the town will be sending the unpaid taxes to the county.  Any unpaid taxes prior to the 2012-13 school tax were previously turned over to the county. The county could begin foreclosure proceedings in October.


There’s also mortgage debt. Construction consultant Don Snyder, who has served as the owner’s representative at local board meetings, confirmed that the financial institution that holds the property’s mortgage has filed notice to foreclose for failure to make payments, though he wouldn’t say which institution or how much the payments were.

Meanwhile, the property, plus the neighboring carriage house and gatekeeper’s house, will be the subject of a historic designation hearing March 27 at 6 p.m. at Village Hall. The village’s Historic Review Board wants to prevent Wu from bulldozing the structure, built by 19th-century industrialist W.R. Sheffield. The property would be worth much more without the fire-damaged building, which would require an untold amount of money to restore.

Snyder said he informed Mayor William Murphy and village attorney Alex Betke that should the review board continue with its action to make the Dragon Inn an historic landmark, Wu “would consider all his options.”

“We also asked them to cease and desist their attempt to designate the building an historic landmark,” Snyder added.

In other words, this could end up in court.

3/15/13 edit: Clarified that the county, not the town, sends out foreclosure notices

There are 2 comments

  1. Sarah Grey

    Speaks volumes to the high taxes in Saugerties. They have tied his hands for years and now he simply can’t keep up with the taxes. None of us can to be honest. And now they are trying to foreclose his property. How about they start setting up ways to fix the problem. Give him options to sell the property or worse case knock it down. Doesn’t seem like taking it from him is the moral answer. Or here’s one, LOWER TAXES in Saugerties. Or better yet, let’s TAX HITS! Instead of the loop hole of paying $1 per year lease for the 20+ acres to which they have thousands of visitors a year, leaving us locals to pick up the bill for road repairs and picking up after them. Let’s stop taking it out on the locals and start taxing these large companies based in Saugerties that are getting away with year after year of not paying taxes. They should certainly make time to help this owner out instead of trying to run him into the ground. I feel bad for him. it’s just not right what has been going on with this.

  2. David Radovanovic

    If this article is correct: You have to be kidding me? How could any landowner game the system so brilliantly? Only in Saugerties could negligent landowner/s get away with such nonsense. My suggestion to similar speculators: pay your mortgage and taxes and then reach deep inside yourself and listen to your conscience. You’ve been given a responsibility to maintain these historic relics. Owning a beautiful building like the Cloverlea is a privilege and not just an opportunity to cash in. As for Saugerties’ government: these “old decrepit eye-sores” represent [real] sustainable economic growth for our little Hudson River Valley Village. Serious, enforceable zoning laws need to be in place to prevent future quagmires.

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