The village of Saranac Lake has hired Luck Brothers to fix sections of Alpine Terrace, seen here behind the Rusty Nail bar on Broadway, that were damaged during the spring storms of 2011.
While discussing two appointments at a recent meeting, some Saranac Lake Village Board members said employees should live within the village limits.
And while there is no residency requirement now, a few trustees said they would be in favor of having one.
The first time the issue was raised at the July 23 meeting, board members were in the middle of approving the appointment Gerrid Salls to the position of water and wastewater maintenance helper. Salls is formerly from the area and wishes to move back, according to Village Manager John Sweeney.
“He’s going to move back here. Where?” asked Trustee Tom Catillaz.
“I didn’t ask for specifics,” Sweeney replied. “By contract, he has to live within 30 minutes of the village.”
Catillaz said he thinks village employees should live within the village limits. Mayor Clyde Rabideau said the board could pass a local law mandating residency for village workers. Trustees Elias ‘Allie” Pelletieri and Paul Van Cott agreed with Catillaz; however, no trustee proposed adopting a local law.
When board members discussed hiring Malone resident Jeff Dora as superintendent of public works, the residency question became even more pressing.
“I feel this is a very important position,” Pelletieri said. “He is superintendent of public works. He should be right here. It there’s a water line that breaks, he needs to be here immediately, not coming from Malone.”
Mayor Rabideau said the residency question came up during Dora’s interview.
“I said, ‘Look, this is provisional. That means we can boot you out at any time. I want you to live in Saranac Lake,’” Rabideau told the board. “He said, ‘I promise I’ll live in Saranac Lake.’ I said, ‘Fine.’”
According to the village’s job posting for the DPW superintendent position, the Franklin County residency was waived and “if appointed you will have 60 to 90 days to relocate to the Village.”
“He (Dora) was, by far, our best candidate who had the most experience across the board and five years of working knowledge with the village of Saranac Lake,” Sweeney told the board.
In February, Village Board members appointed Dora to be the clerk of the works for renovations to the village buildings at 3 and 17 Main St. in anticipation of the new tenants.
Dora replaces Robert Martin, who died in April at the age of 52. Martin had worked for the village for 25 years and was the DPW superintendent for the past 13 years. Dora’s salary is $52,000. This is deemed a “provisional” appointment since Dora still has to pass a Civil Service exam for the job.
In other business, Village Board members approved Sidewalk Replacement Contract 2 at a cost of $371,776. They awarded the contract to Luck Brothers, Inc., of Plattsburgh. The work includes Academy Street, Helen Street, Shepard Avenue, McClelland Street, Charles Street and portions of Main Street.
Board members also approved a $1.184 million contract for Luck Brothers to complete storm damage rehabilitation projects, funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This is the first contract awarded to help repair infrastructure damaged by flooding in the spring of 2011, and the project comprises three “large” projects: the reconstruction of Pelkey Lane, Hydro Park and Alpine Terrace.