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Adirondack Experience Sues to Vacate Village of Lake Placid Effort to Seize Property via Eminent Domain

July 14th, 2017 · No Comments · Adirondack News

BLUE MOUNTAIN LAKE, N.Y. – July 14, 2017 – On Thursday, July 13, Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake, filed a lawsuit to counter efforts on the part of the Village of Lake Placid to seize its property via eminent domain.

The Church of the Nazarene formerly occupied the Adirondack Experience’s property in Lake Placid

The Church of the Nazarene formerly occupied the Adirondack Experience’s property in Lake Placid

The Village asserts that the two parcels, at 2476 and 2478 Main Street, are need to assemble a site for a proposed parking garage. At a public hearing on the issue held on March 13, 2017 in Lake Placid, members of the public were virtually unanimous in their rejection of the Village board’s proposal to build a garage on the site – and the proposal to use eminent domain to seize the property of a nonprofit institution. Press accounts and social media postings have similarly been harshly critical of the plan. Despite this, the Village Board on June 12 held a special meeting during which it issued a determination and findings that there is a public need for the museum’s property. The board meeting was held following the expiration of the 90-day time within which, by law, the Board was required to issue its determination and findings. The Village also failed to hold a public hearing on the environmental impact of the proposed garage project.

Adirondack Experience is petitioning the Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, Third Department, to vacate the Village board’s action. The petition is based on both procedural flaws in the legal steps the Village has pursued and on the fact that the Village has failed to demonstrate that there is a need for the public taking of the museum’s property.

Mayor Randall at the June 12 special board meeting that was held to seize the museum’s property.

Mayor Randall at the June 12 special board meeting that was held to seize the museum’s property.

Within days, Adirondack Experience will also file a separate suit against the Town of North Elba to reverse suspicious punitive actions taken by Town Assessor on March 14 in an apparent effort to pressure the museum and support the eminent domain effort. On March 14, the day following the Village’s March 13 eminent domain hearing, the Assessor revoked the museum property’s tax exempt status and slashed the property’s assessed value from $1,188,000 (it had been $1,888,400 in 2010) to a rock bottom $850,000. The $850,000, not coincidentally, reflects the amount the Village would like to pay for the property, which was appraised at $1,500,000 in 2015. The second lawsuit will be filed in Supreme Court against the Town of North Elba and seek to have the Assessor’s punitive action reversed and the tax exemption restored.

David M. Kahn, Adirondack Experience’s Executive Director, said, “The Village of Lake Placid board’s attempt to grab the Adirondack Experience property for pennies on the dollar is unconscionable. They have damaged the value of the museum’s assets by attempting to manipulate its apparent value though the slight-of-hand reduction of its assessed value. We are confident that the courts will give the museum a fair hearing and put an end to this unprecedented assault on a nonprofit organization.”

About Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake

Visitors at the Adirondack Experience in Blue Mountain Lake

Visitors at the Adirondack Experience in Blue Mountain Lake

The Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake, accredited by the American Association of Museums, shares the history and culture of the Adirondack region in 24 historic and contemporary buildings on a 121-acre campus in the Central Adirondacks, and in free programs at schools throughout Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Lewis, Oneida, Saratoga, St. Lawrence, Warren and Washington Counties. The museum is supported in part with donations from the general public, with some general operating support made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo York State Council on the Arts
with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. For additional information, call 518-352-7311 or visit www.theADKX.org.

Petition to Annul Condemnor’s Determination (PDF)

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DEC to Reopen Lower Locks on Saranac Chain of Lakes on Saturday, July 1

June 30th, 2017 · No Comments · Adirondack News

Boaters Again Able to Access Five Lakes and 5,000+ Acres of Water Starting this Weekend

Repairs and rehabilitation work on the Lower Locks that provide passage on the Saranac River allowing boaters to access the waters between Lake Flower and Lower Saranac Lake have been completed and the locks will be open for use on July 1, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Robert Stegemann announced today.

“The Lower Locks have long been a unique and essential structure for recreating on more than 5,000 acres of water, including five large lakes, in the Saranac Lake area,” said Director Stegemann. “These improvements improve lock operations and greatly reduce the number of times, and possibly eliminate, lock closure for minor repairs.”

Improvements included:

  • Rehabilitating the fill and release doors and the wicket (main) doors, including replacing all seals and bearings;
  • Completely replacing the hydraulic system including hydraulic arms, lines and operating system;
  • Repairing concrete walls;
  • Replacing and re-equipping the Locks Operator Shed; and
  • Replacing all tie downs, ropes, and other equipment.

DEC staff will be present to operate the locks from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Site cleanup of materials and equipment associated with the repair and rehabilitation work has not been completed, boaters should remain in their boats while at locks.

Repairs were also completed this spring on a broken swing arm on the Upper Locks, providing additional access for boaters between Lower Saranac and Middle Saranac lakes.

The $1.2 million project was funded through NY Works under a New York State Office of General Services contract. CHA Companies of Albany, NY, provided the design and inspection. Friend Construction and Dow Electrical, both of Malone, NY, completed the work under DEC supervision.

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BoatUS Says More Boaters on the Water for July Fourth Holiday

June 28th, 2017 · No Comments · Adirondack News

8 safety tips for boating’s busiest time of the year

ANNAPOLIS, Md., June 27, 2017 — The nation’s largest advocacy, services and safety group for recreational boaters, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), says July Fourth is shaping up to be the busiest time of the year on the water for the nation’s recreational boaters, with boating traffic potentially surpassing last year’s levels. This also means boaters will face additional safety concerns with waterway congestion and nighttime operation.

In a recent survey of more than a half million BoatUS members, 88 percent of respondents say they are “very-to-extremely likely” to go boating during the 2017 July Fourth holiday period (June 30 through July 9). That compares to 73 percent who went boating over the similar period last year.

4th of July Boating FireworksThe BoatUS member survey also shows that about one in three (36 percent) of respondents are “very-to-extremely likely” to operate a boat at night to view a July Fourth fireworks display from the water. Three percent said that fireworks displays are the only reason they will venture out after dark all year long.

“With nearly 12 million registered boats on the water, boaters will need to take special safety precautions during the holiday period,” said BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water President Chris Edmonston. The Foundation is the nonprofit safety arm of BoatUS. “The mayhem of fireworks shows, overburdened launch ramps, crowded waterways and long days spent under the stressors of wind, waves and sun will require everyone to up their safety game and be courteous to fellow boaters.”

The BoatUS Foundation has these eight holiday boating tips:

  1. Wait to celebrate with alcohol. It could be a long day on the water, but waiting until after you’ve returned to homeport for the night before celebrating with alcohol is a wise move. Added to the effects of sun, wind and waves, alcohol lowers situational awareness and increases reaction times.
  2. The more lookouts at night, the better. Having extra sets of eyes – family members or guests – can help prevent accidents.

  3. Go slow after the fireworks. After viewing fireworks from the water and pulling up anchor, you may have the urge to rush home. Don’t. Slow down. Be cautious, and the odds for a safe return increase.
  4. Get kids’ life jackets for free. Everyone has extra guests this time of year, but they don’t always have properly-sized life jackets for everyone on board. The BoatUS Foundation’s free Kids Life Jacket Loaner program gives boaters a chance to borrow child-size life jackets for the day, afternoon, or weekend.
  5. Don’t overload the boat. Everyone should have a seat inside the boat, and be careful about adding extra coolers and gear. It’s also a bad idea to allow to passengers to ride on the top of a boat with an enclosed bow while underway.
  6. Be a safe paddler. Kayak, canoe or stand-up paddlers should understand all of the nautical rules of the road, practice defensive paddling and assume no one can see you. At night, paddlers are required to show a white light – colored glow sticks around the paddler’s neck don’t cut it. Avoid crowded anchorages and congested ramp areas.
  7. Never swim near a dock with electricity or in a marina or yacht club.
  8. Avoid the two biggest hassles. The nationwide TowBoatUS on-water towing fleet traditionally reports hundreds of battery jumps and anchor-line disentanglements over the holiday. To avoid having to contact BoatUS 24-hour dispatch (BoatUS.com/app) monitor your battery drain, go slow while hauling anchor line, and be super vigilant so you don’t run over someone else’s anchor line after the show ends.

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