Village OKs biotech loan

SARANAC LAKE – The village has approved a loan of nearly $390,000 to the biotech company Active Motif.

The loan, which has to be paid back in 68 months at 2 percent interest, is meant to replace a loan the company was getting from the Essex County Industrial Development Agency. The IDA will call in Active Motif’s loan because the company has moved across the county line from Lake Placid to the Franklin County side of Saranac Lake. The biotech firm is leasing the second floor and part of the first floor in the former village Water Department building.

The village Board of Trustees unanimously approved a resolution Monday to execute a loan agreement with Active Motif. The resolution says the $389,046 will come from a village Community Development account and will assist the company with its relocation and expansion to Saranac Lake.

Community Development Director Jeremy Evans said the money is being taken from a fund that supports job creation, housing and public facilities.

“It’s there because of previous loans people have paid back to the village over the years,” he said. “It’s a lot of money, but it’s good to have it out there and gaining interest. The village will get it all back eventually with modest interest. It’s better than letting it sit there.”

“In 68 months we’ll get that money back for job creation and economic development; we’ll get to reuse that money,” said Mayor Clyde Rabideau.

When the deal to bring Active Motif to Saranac Lake was announced, village officials said they would provide the company with a bridge loan in the event Essex County called in its loan; language to that effect was included in a memorandum of understanding the village signed with the biotech in June 2011.

The village spent roughly $450,000 renovating the former Water Department building for Active Motif and its eight employees. The company moved in in November.

Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or