Village of Saranac Lake doesn’t own parking lot it tried to sell

SARANAC LAKE – The village of Saranac Lake does not own a small parking lot at the corner of Bloomingdale Avenue and Broadway that it tried to sell in late June.

Village Mayor Clyde Rabideau said in a press release that the village recently learned the small, seldom-used parking lot next to the No. 1 Chinese restaurant is owned by the state.

“The sliver of land accommodates three vehicles and dumpsters from nearby businesses and was maintained by the village for decades because of the belief that it owned it after the state DOT improved the state-owned highways on each side many years ago,” Rabideau wrote in the release.

In late June, the village decided the property didn’t serve a municipal purpose and put it up for public auction. It was sold for $9,000 to neighboring property owners Mike and Becky Leahy. The village provided a “quit claim” deed that would have released any claim it may have had upon the property, Rabideau said.

In preparing paperwork for the transaction, however, village Attorney Charles Noth reportedly discovered that the state had never conveyed the parcel to the village and is still its apparent owner.

Rabideau said he subsequently asked village Manager John Sweeney to immediately inform the Leahys, who live next to the lot on Broadway. The mayor said the village will also notify the state of its findings and ask it to either maintain the lot or convey it to the village so it can be re-conveyed to the Leahys, if possible.

“These things happen,” Rabideau said in the release. “We find out unfounded assumptions and unknown facts long after action is taken upon them and then we make corrections, which is all part of our job.”