Marina letter misunderstood

To the editor:

I returned from Easter in Canada’s frozen Muskoka to find my April 7 note was misunderstood by my old friend Corey Laxson in his April 19 letter. As it was characterized, I may be denied service at local eateries, so I’ll try to improve on my communication skills.

I pretty clearly stated, in the first and final paragraphs, that I support the Crescent Bay Marina and Annex renovations. The existing structures have degraded to the point they are sad eyesores and public safety hazards.

My hip-pocket analysis of local waterway dockage included lakes Flower, Kiwassa and Oseetah, but erred in not including First and Second ponds. I purposely excluded Middle Saranac Lake because the river/lock access seems less used than the Lower Locks. Corey and I can disagree about acreage; it’s moot as New York state boat-density standards are not established.

I did not “propose” a $5,000 slip fees, just suggested that slip costs will increase with costs. For 2014, unimproved CBM slips rent for $1,500, an increase over previous fees. New, covered and illuminated docks must raise costs and fees. Increasing price usually lowers demand. That was an observation, not a preference.

I expressed frustration with the intrusiveness of the proposed Crescent Bay expansion and suggested the proposed “development window” was unpermitted and that the proposed dockage would be ugly. (www.friendsoflowersaranaclake.com offers a view of the planned visuals.) I proposed a “Quick Launch” format that could reduce costs, minimize visual impacts and significantly increase potential user numbers. Quick Launch capability would not “slow use” but would increase access.

The invasive species washing station is nice but ineffective. A recent article by Simonis and Ellis in Ecology, based on early work by Chas Darwin, suggests that invasive species arrive with waterfowl. We’ll need to wash the feet and feathers of ducks, geese, gulls and loons as well as watercraft to control invasives.

It’s all on hold. An independent engineering firm hired by the township found 45 issues in the application, which has been passed on to the Adirondack Park Agency, Department of Environmental Conservation and Army Corps of Engineers for rework, reapplication and permitting. The report may be accessed from the Harrietstown planning department. The report does not address dockage expansion onto public waters or deed restrictions.

Changes will be made in the plan, permits granted and both projects advanced as soon as possible. I’m hoping to be able to order a sandwich in Saranac Lake and enjoy an attractive marina on Crescent Bay. I support these projects – just suggesting a few small improvements to the plan.

Charlie Wilson

Saranac Lake