Saranac Lake Board of Trustees
The salaries of the Saranac Lake mayor and trustees will double starting in 2014.
Village Board members unanimously approved the pay raise during their Monday, Aug. 13 meeting at the Harrietstown Town Hall. At the same time, they removed the health insurance benefit for all board members, effective immediately. No board member had village health insurance at the time of the vote.
The current salary for the mayor, according to the 2012-13 budget, is $5,000.32. For trustees, it is $2,500.16. After the end of each current term, the salaries will be $10,000 for the mayor and $5,000 for each of the four trustees.
In the resolution, village officials cited several reasons for the raises:
•They have not received any raises since 2000.
•The village no longer extends health care benefits to the mayor or trustees.
•They get paid less than other elected officials in neighboring municipalities.
•”The current village of Saranac Lake mayor and trustees recognize that increased compensation for future mayors and trustees may encourage other citizens to step forward and to make the same level of commitment and service to the village and people of Saranac Lake.”
Village Board members approved the creation of a recreation director’s position, which is an extension of the Mount Pisgah manager’s position currently held by Charles Martin. The annual salary is $31,200.
Martin is now the village’s recreation director. In addition to managing and marketing the Mount Pisgah ski center, he will be managing and marketing the village’s beach and parks, which are heavily used by organizations holding special events throughout the year. The resolution was brought to the board by Trustee Elias “Allie” Pelletieri, who said the village receives about 140 park use applications per year.
“That puts a lot of work on (Village Clerk) Kareen (Tyler),” Pelletieri said. “A lot of the permits that come in, two of them came in today, and they’re not complete with insurance. So obviously it does mandate more staff time.”
Pelletieri said he’s worked with Village Manager John Sweeney and Village Treasurer Paul Ellis on creating this position.
“We feel we are in need of somebody full time to take care of our parks and our events,” Pelletieri said. “We have at least 15 parks listed in the park use form, so that’s quite a few parks to keep up with.”
•Chris Lawton, of the engineering firm Barton & Lojuidice, updated the Village Board on the water improvement project, which he said is “95 to 99 percent complete.” They are scheduling the startup of the well site at the end of August or early September, and they started to fill the new water tank on Aug. 13. “We’re pretty close to the end here,” Lawton said.
•Trustees approved a resolution applauding the state for resurfacing State Route 86 this summer, sending their thanks to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald. They also invited Cuomo and McDonald to visit Saranac Lake on the newly surfaced highway, by vehicle or bicycle. They made special note of the DOT’s decision to make more room for cyclists along the roadway by reducing the width of the vehicular lanes. And they took this thank-you opportunity to lobby for more highway improvements, particularly along Lake Flower Avenue, which is State Route 86, “to provide safe and enjoyable passage within the village and along Lake Flower for pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles.”
The Village Board meets again at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 27 at the villages offices on the second floor of the Harriestown Town Hall.