LAKE GEORGE - Lake George Village passed a law Monday that prohibits boats from mooring at the municipal docks for overnight stays, a practice that has peeved citizens and local officials alike.
With this law now enacted, it will be illegal for watercraft - unless specifically authorized buy the village board - to be moored at the village-owned docks between the hours of midnight and 8 a.m. any day of the week. Presently, boats are not allowed to dock for more than 10 hours.
Exceptions for police, fire and special event vessels may be granted by the board, however. The village docks are located at the south end of the lake adjacent to Blais Park.
Village Mayor Robert Blais said as many as 12 boats at a time were mooring at the village docks for an entire weekend, blocking the use of the docks for others.
"We've had problems with boaters using our docks as marinas," he said.
Blais said he's received complaints not only on the overnight stays - primarily by larger boats - but noisy, disruptive drinking parties on the boats that park at the docks long into the night.
"I've heard that boaters who drink in our bars don't want to drive their boats home," he said. "But to this, I say, 'Get a designated driver!'"
The new law takes effect in several weeks when it is filed with the Secretary of State, trustee Ray Perry said.
The board also voted for Elan Associates of Saratoga Springs to apply for a grant on behalf of the village for as much as $150,000 to build permanent "crib" docks with foundations, rather than the less permanent "stake" docks now in place.
Blais said the heftier village docks would mean a reduction in the $15,000 to $22,000 spent annually on repairing the structures. He said Secretary of State Lorraine Cort s-V zquez, during her visit last week, suggested the village apply for a matching grant.
Village superintendent of Public Works Dave Harrington said municipal employees could perform much of the work, leaving local taxpayers shouldering about $100,000. He said if a grant were approved, the work could be accomplished next spring.
The village board also passed a law allowing residents to pressure-wash or hose down their sidewalks or driveways - only after sweeping them and removing debris - on certain days between the hours of 7-9 a.m., in an effort to enhance the cleanliness of the village.
Until now, the village had prohibited hosing down sidewalks because the debris would be carried into the storm drains, perhaps clogging them.
The walkways and driveways on all properties east of Canada Street can be washed Mondays, and all those west of Canada Street can be so cleaned Tuesdays.
The board enacted yet another new law Monday.
They voted to prohibit motels and other accommodations for posting claims on their signs that their rates are low, special, or the lowest. Posting the terms "off season" rates or "special" rates are also prohibited.
The actual rates can be posted, as long as rooms are actually available at that price, however, "Going out of business" signs are illegal, unless it is actually occurring. State law already regulates such advertising, requiring all businesses that are ceasing operations register with state authorities and follow through with their claim.
In other business, the village board:
• Endorsed the initiative of the village Fire Department to seek a federal grant of $142,557 to replace Scott Air Packs, or firefighters' breathing apparatus, as the existing equipment is now substandard. The local share of the cost of such equipment would be $7,503, according to fire chief Jim Barber.
• Passed a motion to offer new retirement incentives to employees age 55 and older with at least 25 years of service, and those workers 50 and older with at least 10 years of service to the village. The program offers one month of additional service credit for each year of service up to 36 years. About five village employees are eligible, village officials said.