Saranac Lake explores shared building for police, fire, rescue

SARANAC LAKE – Village officials sat down Friday with a state official to discuss plans for a public safety building that would accommodate police, fire and rescue services.

Dede Scozzafava is the Department of State’s deputy secretary for local government and a former Congress candidate, Assemblywoman and mayor of the village of Governeur. She met with village Mayor Clyde Rabideau, Trustee Paul Van Cott, Manager John Sweeney and Community Development Director Jeremy Evans in Sweeney’s office in the Harrietstown Town Hall.

“(Scozzafava) is the governor’s representative, and one of her mandates is to consolidate government functions,” Rabideau said. “If we consolidate a couple village departments such as police and fire into one building, that fits our mandate. She’s here to listen to us and be a coordinator in our efforts.”

Last year, village deferred spending $65,000 to upgrade the current firehouse on Broadway until they could develop a master plan for a new public safety building.

For years, Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department officials have asked the village to commit to build a new firehouse as the current station is outdated and doesn’t have enough space for their vehicles.

Several options have been debated in the past for constructing a new fire station or public safety building. These include on Van Buren Street near the village DPW garage, or on a 2.6-acre parcel the village acquired at 400 Broadway between the Saranac Lake Baptist Church and the Taylor Rental/Fastenal building. Using the same site as the current firehouse has also been considered.

Rabideau said there are grant programs available from the Department of State.

“We’re going to pursue every possible option because the numbers we saw over the past year were astronomical, anywhere between $4 million and $8 million,” Rabideau said. “We’ll have to be very creative.

“We haven’t fully flushed out all the options (as far as location). Everything’s on the table right now.”

Rabideau said the public safety building will be addressed in his State of the Village report, which he said will be submitted to the Enterprise this weekend.

Contact Chris Knight at 518-891-2600 ext. 24 or