A month after a Lake George business owner complained about the condition of sidewalks in the northwest end of the village, Mayor Robert Blais said he and village trustees would be seeking grant funding for design and construction of streetscape improvements and beautification to make the area more pedestrian-friendly.
Photo by Thom Randall
LAKE GEORGE — The north end of Lake George Village will become more pedestrian-friendly in several years if the municipal leaders’ plans are realized.
Mayor Bob Blais said March 13 that the village will soon be seeking a state grant to pay for streetscape design work on the stretch of Route 9 between Mario’s Restaurant northwest to the town line.
He said he envisions the work to be similar to other projects completed in the core of the village to include such amenities as new sidewalks, curbing, trees and benches on both sides of the street up to the Exit 21 overpass, and on the northwest side of the highway from there north to the town-village line.
Blais said that a grant application seeking money to design such upgrades would be prepared in early summer, and hopefully approved by fall.
The plan to move forward on enhancing the village’s northwest end follows a complaint voiced at the Feb. 13 village board meeting by Michael Stafford, owner of a motel on that stretch of roadway.
Stafford, who serves as one of the town’s two judges, said sidewalks along state Route 9 in the north end of the village were crumbling or non-existent, and the roadsides are unkept and littered.
“I’ve been to third-world countries with better sidewalks and lighting,” he said, adding that the roadsides were “an “eyesore” and “dangerous” for pedestrians.
“I don’t disagree,” deputy Mayor John Earl replied. Blais was not present at the Feb. 13 meeting.
Stafford said that the village’s pending streetscape beautification project from McGillis Avenue in the heart of the village south to West Brook Road was a “wonderful” effort, but higher priority should be given to the northwestern end of the busy roadway.
He said that eight motels and two restaurants are situated on this northwest section, and they represent millions of dollars in property value.
“These businesses pay a lot of property taxes,” he said, adding that people staying in the eight motels in the northwestern end of the village expect a pleasant and safe walk downtown.
Trustee Ray Perry responded that the village had in a prior year applied for state grant money to design improvements in the northwest end of the village, but that application was not approved.
This week, Blais predicted that a new grant application to address these needs would be awarded, observing that the village has applied for streetscape enhancement design funding five times, all of which were successful. Grants for construction of those designs have been approved four times, he added, predicting the village would be applying for a construction grant for the village’s northern streetscape in summer 2018.
Pending right now is construction of streetscape improvements in the south end of the village — on Route 9 from McGillis Avenue south to the town line. The design for beautifying this stretch of highway has been completed, but applying for a grant for construction work is on hold until money is lined up for the sewage treatment plant improvements, he said, noting that the latter was a higher priority.
Blais said he also expects the north-end streetscape improvements to include a cross walk and a modest road median like in the village’s south end.
“We’d like for it to be more pedestrian-friendly,” he said.