A plan to form a Business Improvement District, incorporating properties in Lake George Village’s central commercial zones, is to go to a public hearing Monday Oct. 7. Endorsed by the village board Monday Sept. 16, the plan calls for levying a tax of 61 cents per thousand in valuation on properties in the district.
A plan devised by village property owners to create a Business Improvement District is to be detailed at a public hearing at 7 p.m. Oct. 7 in the Lake George firehouse.
In a unanimous vote Monday Sept. 16, the village board endorsed the plan and set the hearing date. Village mayor Robert Blais said the board had the option of holding additional hearings before making a decision on enacting the plan.
The plan calls for establishing a special taxing district in the village’s commercial zones, and levying a tax of 61 cents per thousand of assessed valuation. If enacted, a $300,000 property would face an additional annual tax of $183.
The money raised would bankroll improvements to infrastructure in the district and contribute toward special events. The initial year’s budget for the district is estimated at $150,000, with a portion of this sum being contributed by the town and village.
Blais noted Sept. 16 that some of the properties in the district are residential, and a half-dozen or so of the property owners have filed a petition against forming the Business Improvement District. He observed, however, that these property owners would benefit, through the District’s investments, by gains in their property value. These properties, he added, were likely to be converted to commercial use in the future.
He also noted that if 51 percent of the property owners in the district file objections to the District plan within 30 days of the Oct. 7 hearing, the district would need to go to a public referendum, rather than being enacted by a vote of the village board. This is not likely to happen, he said, as the Business Improvement District has widespread support among business owners, and many of them have been involved in the District’s formation, he said.
The target date for the Business Improvement District to be formed is June 1, 2014, he said. Expenses in forming the district are to be covered by the District’s budget. Three Lake George Village Board members are to serve on the District’s governing board, and state law calls for the village board to approve or reject the District’s annual budget.
In other business, the village board:
• scheduled public hearings for 7 p.m. Oct. 27 on amending two local laws, including restrictions on commercial signs. The changes would prohibit business owners from having more than one A-frame sign outdoors, and the other would limit outdoor cafes to one menu board — and requiring plantings on such patios.
• approved spending $1,500 in Bed Tax funds for Lake George Oktoberfest, to be held on Canada Street Oct. 11 through Oct. 13. The festival was highly successful in its 2012 debut, with thousands attracted for German food and music, locally brewed beers, children’s games and a craft fair. The village’s main roadway, Canada St., was closed down for the event.
• endorsed the appointment of four new members to the village Fire Department: Benjamin Sahler, Doni Smith, Scott Smith and Justin Edwards.
• heard that bids for the $2.1 million project to upgrade the village sewer treatment plant are due Oct. 4.
• approved hiring Michael Harrington of Argyle to work full time at the sewer treatment plant at a rate of $15 for an initial training period of three months, with the expectation for the salary to be raised to $18 per hour thereafter. Village Public Works Superintendent Dave Harrington, not a relative of the Argyle man, said the new hire was “extremely knowledgeable” about plant equipment.