Tupper Lake chamber moves to town hall

TUPPER LAKE – The Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce has settled into its new home in the town hall, and a recent resolution will save it even more money.

Town board members discussed the move during their meeting Thursday and unanimously agreed to lower the annual rent from $2,000 to $1,200. That will bring it in line with what the Franklin County probation department pays to use space in the town hall.

“We’re charging probation $1,200, and we’re charging our own chamber $2,000,” town Councilman Mike Dechene said. “The chamber, they’re on fire right now, and I’d really like to back them and see what we can do to help them and see our community be successful.”

Dechene made the motion to amend the lease agreement, which quickly passed. Councilman John Quinn then questioned the new location of the chamber, which until recently had offices in a storefront on Park Street.

“I’m certainly happy to help the chamber of commerce out, and I think this is a pretty good deal for them,” Quinn said. “The problem is, I don’t think this is a good location for them. … People now have to go around behind the building.”

Newly sworn-in town Supervisor Patti Littlefield said she thinks the relocation is temporary and that having the chamber near the grandstand in the nearby Municipal Park has been discussed. Dechene agreed.

“There could be an information center, public restrooms for people stopping in, and information on what’s going on with the chamber,” Dechene said.

The town board approved the relocation in early November after Dan McClelland, president of the chamber’s Board of Directors and owner-editor of the Tupper Lake Free Press, approached the town board to request the move.

“Businesses in Tupper Lake have disappeared, and our chamber membership is smaller than it’s ever been,” McClelland told the board.

The relocation is expected to save the chamber about $20,000 annually by lowering the organization’s rent and sharing utility costs with the town. McClelland said winter heating bills can cost the chamber $1,000 a month and added that there are other benefits besides financial ones.

“There’s lots of parking during the day, and it’s handicap accessible,” McClelland said of the town hall. “We don’t need a lot of space, so the foyer here could be used for brochures. If we can save $15,000 or $20,000, we could earmark that money for promotion or tourism and brochure design and advertising, which I’d like to see more of.”

Contact Shaun Kittle at 891-2600 ext. 25 or skittle@adirondackdailyenterprise.com.