The mayor of the village of Saranac Lake is pledging his support for Trudeau Institute as the organization struggles with a 25 percent loss in revenue.
Reports surfaced this week that Trudeau Institute is beginning to cut scientists and support staff. Emails obtained by the Adirondack Daily Enterprise revealed that some jobs have already been lost.
The revenue loss is partially due to evaporating federal stimulus monies received through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Late last month, Trudeau's Board of Trustees opted to remain in Saranac Lake despite rumors the institute would leave as part of a long-term strategic plan.
In an interview with WNBZ before Tuesday night's regular board meeting, Saranac Lake Village Mayor Clyde Rabideau said he's worried about the staffing reductions.
"We're very concerned about those who lose their jobs," he said. "We know that anyone who supports a family depends on a job, and we depend on people with jobs to make the community vibrant. Our hearts go out to the people affected."
"I don't know the severity of the layoffs, but in any event the village stands ready to assist Trudeau in any way the village can," Rabideau added.
Rabideau was among the many elected officials who pleaded with Trudeau to stay in the Adirondacks.
He also says the village can help Trudeau with at least two projects that have the potential to improve the institute's economic standing - a new access road and an incubator building.
"Right now the access to Trudeau Institute goes right through a residential neighborhood along Algonquin Avenue," Rabideau said. "We thought, with Trudeau, they'd have better curb appeal and better access directly from state Route 3 and there is a way to do that just west of the village line - we'd have to annex some property to do that."
"But we can also build an incubator building should Trudeau decide that's the way they want to go and if they want to spin-off any for-profit enterprise," he added. "We stand ready to help."
Trudeau's president and director, Dr. David Woodland, has stated that the staffing reductions and the revenue loss are in no way related to the board's decision to stay in Saranac Lake.