A number of the ancient native American artifacts unearthed in October near Million Dollar Beach are now on display in the lobby of the New York State Museum, and plans call for a selection of them be on display in the Lake George Visitors Center by this summer. The discovery of these arrowheads, spear points and stone scrapers — a total of about 100 items — is thought to be a significant archeological discovery.
Historical exhibits of the ancient Native American weapons unearthed earlier this year near Million Dollar beach parking lot are likely to be featured in Lake George as well as in the New York State Museum in Albany, village Mayor Robert Blais told his municipal trustees Dec. 16.
Blais said staff members of the State Museum visited Lake George on Dec. 12 to review the suitability of the village Visitors Center as a potential site for a display of these ancient arrowheads, stone knives and a large spear head.
A preliminary viewing case for displaying the relics has already been installed in the main lobby of the museum in downtown Albany, state Museum spokeswoman Antonia Valentine said Dec. 17.
Emails to Blais from past state Museum Director James Blau cite “enormous public interest” in the artifacts, and mention establishing a display of the relics in the Lake George Visitors Center as well as one adjacent to a picnic area near where the artifacts were unearthed.
In October, archeologists discovered the weapons as they were conducting a routine survey prior to launching a $3 million project to reconstruct the Million Dollar Beach parking lot and access roadway. They uncovered arrowheads, stone knives and a spear head about eight inches long — items that are believed to date as far back as 8,000 years.
Extensive sewer plant upgrades pending
In other business, the board also heard from village Public Works Superintendent Dave Harrington that initial work on the $2.2 million project to upgrade the village sewer plant were ready to go forward.
The project entails excavating and replacing sand in the effluent filtration beds, construction of a new sewage disposal station for septic waste haulers, apparatus to separate grit and solids from liquid effluent, and equipment to pump the solids into the main flow of sewage through the treatment plant. The upgrades are expected to make the treatment plant more efficient as well as reduce the residual nitrate levels in the plant outflow — which have concerned state environmental officials for years.
Harrington said that a delay in delivery of a pre-fabricated building to house a portion of the apparatus was holding up the project, so plans were progressing for constructing a building on site. He said that the construction and sewer plant reconfiguration work could begin as soon as mid-January.
Village trustees Ray Perry and John Earl praised Harrington and the village highway employees for the quick cleanup following the snowstorm that blanketed the region Dec. 14 and Dec. 15 with about 13 inches of snow. Harrington responded that the efficient snow removal was because the workers got an early start and kept ahead of the snow buildup.
Blais told board members that the Lake George Polar Plunge held in mid-November had raised nearly $77,000 for Special Olympics.
“It was a tremendous event,” Blais said.
A letter received by the village from officials from the Special Olympics New York organization cited that the sum was a record for the Lake George fundraiser.
“The number of spectators was astounding and created a fantastic buzz,” the letter read.
The board accepted a letter of resignation from village public works laborer Carrie Rabideau, and prompting appreciation for her years of service to the public.
Also, the board received a $3,681 dividend from Utica Mutual insurance company, a rebate for its coverage of the village fire department. The board decided to use the extra money to offset a portion of the village’s increasing premiums — about $9,000 more this year than in 2012 — for Length of Service retirement benefits for village firefighters.
In past years, such dividends werer outinely set aside for firefighting equipment capital expenditures.
Trustee John Earl, a long-time local fire official, objected to diverting the dividend, but he was outvoted.
In other matters before the board, the trustees approved a new mileage rate of 56 cents per mile to refund employee use of personal vehicles for town business.
Blais reviewed a report of a recent independent audit examining how the village accounted and handled funds for projects involving federal aid. Covering purchasing and auditing practices, the audit results were exemplary, Blais said.
“I commend Clerk-Treasurer Darlene Gunther for a job well done,” he said noting that the report echoes results of various prior audits. “And the village is showing a healthy balance as well.”