No takers yet on beach study

SARANAC LAKE – The village may revisit its request for proposals on a feasibility study for returning the village beach to Lake Flower due to a lack of interest from potential consultants.

“We didn’t get any responses back to the request for proposals (RFP), and the one we did get back was from the LA Group and it basically said the scope of what we were looking for seemed to exceed our budget,” village Trustee Paul Van Cott said at Monday night’s village board meeting.

A committee of volunteers that wants the village beach moved from Lake Colby to Lake Flower raised more than $5,000 for the feasibility study. The village had also agreed to contribute $5,000 of its own earlier toward the effort.

In July, the board voted to issue the RFP. It said that the study was needed to “provide the facts” about bringing the beach back to Lake Flower and would include a cost-benefit analysis.

Van Cott said he’s planning to call Jim Martin of the Saratoga-based LA Group to ask about phasing in the study or changing the scope of it “so we can come in under our budget and get what we need to have done.

“Also potentially we have a grant application out there that might bring in more funds for it as well,” Van Cott said.

Trustee Allie Pelletieri said he was surprised by the lack of interest because a preliminary RFP drew estimates of $3,000 to $6,000 from several consultants.

“We must have changed the scope a lot,” Pelletieri said.

“We wrote it with the components we thought would be necessary to give the board the information it would need to make an appropriate response,” said village Community Development Director Jeremy Evans. “That included some economic impact analysis which wasn’t part of those original quotes.”

In addition to contacting the LA Group, Van Cott said he’d reach out to North Woods Engineering of Saranac Lake, which he said had submitted one of the preliminary proposals for the study.

Based on the feedback, Van Cott said he’d work with Evans and village Manager John Sweeney to come up with a revised RFP.

“But one that still has the needed information,” said Pelletieri. “We don’t need a study that’s half-baked or doesn’t give us the numbers.”