State of the Saranac Lake Local Development Corporation
This is the first annual State of the Saranac Lake Local Development Corporation, prepared by the Governance Committee of the LDC. In the future, it is expected that this message will follow the mayor’s State of the Village message. This message will highlight the accomplishments and any lack of accomplishments for the year previous and outline the objectives targeted for achievement in the coming year.
The Saranac Lake Local Development Corporation exists to relieve and reduce unemployment, promote and provide additional and maximum employment, improve and maintain job opportunities, attract new industry, retain existing industries and lessen the burdens of government.
The public objectives of the corporation are to apply for grants and loans to achieve its purposes; to acquire real or personal property, or interests therein, for use by others as industrial or manufacturing plants or commercial enterprises; to foster and encourage the location or expansion of industrial or manufacturing plants and other commercial enterprises in the village of Saranac Lake.
The Saranac Lake Local Development Corporation is comprised of several standing committees for which annual goals and objectives are set forth to accomplish the overall mission. The standing committees are Governance, Audit and Finance, Economic and Business Development, Downtown, Housing, and Tourism and Events.
The Saranac Lake Local Development Corporation was established in 2011 and organized and focused toward its mission in 2012. The SLLDC is currently comprised of the following directors: Stacy Allott, Lindy Ellis, Kim Godreau, Clyde Rabideau, Barbara Rice, Paul Van Cott, Keith Wells and Katy Van Anden (advisor). Wayne Newman and Doug Brownell also served on the SLLDC in 2012.
The committees have set forth their objectives for 2013. They are included below.
The Governance and Audit and Finance committees have developed and implemented internal systems for the SLLDC operation.
Economic and Business Development
In 2012 a comprehensive, wide-ranging set of goals was established, both short-term and long-term. For 2013 the objectives to be achieved are:
-Establish and implement program for determining Saranac Lake arts.
-Community economic impact
-Establish programmatic activities to grow the arts segment of the community.
-Develop program for establishing business entrepreneurships and incubators.
-Work with biotech, artists’ community, colleges and others to position ourselves for the 2014 round of North Country Regional Economic Development grant(s).
The Housing Committee spent the fall of 2012 developing its goals for 2013, deciding to focus on grant applications for improvement of a commercial/residential building and at least one historic residential building. The committee’s efforts included meetings with potential partners including business owners, individuals, Historic Saranac Lake and a representative from the Helen Hill Neighborhood Association. The committee also developed a request for proposals for a consultant to assist with grant applications in 2013, which the LDC endorsed and the village board resolved to issue. The committee will also focus on local legislation to address foreclosed properties and to provide incentives for landowners to improve their properties.
The Downtown Committee achieved a number of goals in 2012 beginning with the establishment of periodic meetings and regular communication with downtown business owners. The ideas and information gathered from these meetings have led to new branding and marketing efforts, events, signage, expanded retail hours and partnerships with both the Adirondack Scenic Railroad and large, local employers. In addition, a Downtown Saranac Lake Facebook page, website and logo have been established. Merchandise, including T-shirts and stickers with the new logo, has been produced and is being sold in a number of downtown businesses as well as on the website and Facebook page.
In addition to continuing the above efforts, the 2013 goals for the Downtown Committee include implementation of a structured Main Street program as developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The focus of the program will be to assist revitalization by creating interest, ownership and investment in the downtown. Subcommittees composed of downtown residents, business owners and property owners will be formed to assist in this effort. Funding sources and grant opportunities specific to Main Street initiatives will be explored in cooperation with the village Community Development program.
Tourism and Events
The focus of the Tourism and Events Committee in 2013 will be on implementation of the destination master plan for Saranac Lake. The committee will partner with the village and the Healthy Infrastructure Advisory Board to begin implementation of way-finding signage in the village, seeking corporate sponsorship to match village and grant funds. The committee will also participate in the tourism council as one of the stakeholders focused on developing and marketing Saranac Lake as a tourist destination.
We invite all members of our community to participate in the SLLDC events and programs to aid in Saranac Lake’s development. For more information, contact any of the directors noted above or join us at an LDC meeting.
Keith Wells lives in Saranac Lake and serves as vice chairman of the Saranac Lake Local Development Corporation.