Saranac Lake village wants $150k for Lake Colby lot

SARANAC LAKE – Village officials are expecting a big windfall from the auction of a vacant, village-owned lot on Lake Colby.

The village Board of Trustees declared that the Moir Road parcel is surplus Tuesday night and agreed to auction it on Nov. 15. The minimum starting bid will be $150,000, which was the appraised value of the 0.8-acre property, said Mayor Clyde Rabideau.

“This could pay good dividends,” Rabideau said. “It’s an acre of lakefront property. That doesn’t come around every day for a $150,000 minimum price. I think it’s a good investment.”

Acquired from the Fobare family in 1978, the parcel is separated from the village beach and park on Lake Colby by a chain-link fence. There’s a gravel driveway and an old building foundation on the overgrown property, which was annexed into the village earlier this year.

Trustee Paul Van Cott asked what the village would do with the proceeds from the sale.

Village Manager John Sweeney said the money would go back into the village’s general fund and could be redirected from there.

“This seems like it’s money that could be used for investment purposes by the village rather than just making sure we stay within a certain budget,” Van Cott said. “Then it’s just a one-shot deal, and it doesn’t really help us.”

“First we have to get the money,” Rabideau said. “Then I would really welcome the discussion of what to do with it. Let’s see if we get that minimum bid. Once we cross that bridge, there is a windfall. It may not be the biggest windfall in the world, but certainly $150,000 is equal to like 4-and-a-half percent of our budget. So there could be long-term investment opportunities for it.”

Trustee Allie Pelletieri said the parcel had been considered parkland, and he believed the village had previously agreed to use some of the proceeds of its sale on its parks.

Rabideau said the village has earmarked $1,000 to advertise the sale of the property.

The board also declared a second municipally owned property as surplus Tuesday. The 0.23-acre, vacant, land-locked parcel is located between Broadway and McComb streets at the end of a right of way that was once called Alpine Terrace. It will also be auctioned on Nov. 15.

Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or