H’town OK’s annexation of beach parcel

SARANAC LAKE – The town of Harrietstown has endorsed the annexation of a vacant waterfront lot on Lake Colby into the village of Saranac Lake.

With little discussion, the town board approved a resolution consenting to the annexation of the 0.8-acre parcel off of Moir Road in a 4-0 vote Thursday night. Councilman Ron Keough was absent from the meeting.

Village officials have said they plan to market the parcel, located next to the village beach, for residential development. They plan to connect the lot to village water and sewer, but couldn’t do so unless it was annexed into the village, per a 2010 village law.

“The end result would be in the overall public interest, since both the village and the town would benefit from the increased tax revenues from the new residential parcel and that the overall (Local Waterfront Revitalization Program) goals would be achieved,” village Attorney Charles Noth wrote in an April 19 letter to the town board.

Town officials said after their meeting Thursday that they didn’t have any objections to the village annexing the lot.

“If they sell the lot, somebody puts a house on there and they get it on the tax roll, it would be a gain for the town,” said Supervisor Bob Bevilacqua.

Unlike the village’s recent annexation of the American Management Association campus, this annexation didn’t require submission of a petition, public hearings or any referendum. Under New York General Municipal Law, the village can annex village-owned, uninhabited property that is adjacent to the village with the consent of the town.

Airport cafe

The board accepted a proposal from Melissa and Tracey Uhlik to operate the Adirondack Regional Airport cafe, starting July 1. They’ll pay the town $200 a month in the first year of the contract, and $400 a month in the second year.

Councilman Barry DeFuria said only one other bid was submitted.

“They both had a good plan,” he said, “but I think the general consensus was we got a warm fuzzy from the one that they picked. Either one would do a good job. The one we picked was local, and I don’t know how much that weighed in it. The other one was from Saranac or Cadyville.”

The town cancelled the contract of Lisa Lawrence, who had run the airport cafe since 2009, in mid March. Bevilacqua didn’t say why, other than “things weren’t working out real well.”

Since then, the town’s airport employees have been renovating the cafe space.

“We pretty much gutted it with the exception of stripping the walls,” DeFuria said. “We took up the old floor tiles, ground the floors down and put down new ceramic tiles. We took everything out of the kitchen, cleaned it, repainted it, put new shelving and countertops in and got all new appliances. We replaced the ceiling fixtures with ceiling fans with lighting.”

“Our employees have done yeoman’s work out there,” said Councilman Jim Murnane. “It was the definition of a greasy spoon. The place was in dire need of deep cleaning and serious renovation, and we’ve done it all in-house.”

“They were saying they probably got a $60,000 job done for $15,000,” DeFuria said.

A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held when the cafe reopens, town officials said.

Tobacco law

The board scheduled a public hearing on a local law that would outlaw the use of tobacco in town parks and on certain town properties.

The hearing will be held at 6:50 p.m. May 23 in the lower level board room of the town hall.

The law says the board has determined that the use of tobacco products – including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, smokeless tobacco, chewing tobacco and snuff – should be prohibited “to protect public health, safety and general welfare by eliminating exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke and residue.”

It would prohibit the use of tobacco in the following locations:

the front steps and around the outside of the town hall

LaTour Park, located on Lake Colby across from Adirondack Medical Center

The Rotary Baseball Field, located next to the Saranac Lake Civic Center

The Elks Baseball Field on John Munn Road

Dewey Mountain Recreation Center

The Adirondack Regional Airport in Lake Clear, except in designated “smoking areas.”

The law also bans spitting tobacco or tobacco juice, and tossing cigarette or cigar butts on any of the same properties.

“Any person who violates any provision of this local law may be requested to not use the tobacco product, may lose his or her privileges to use the grounds or facilities, and/or may be requested to leave the property,” the law states.

Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or cknight@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.