LAKE PLACID - The Lake Placid Village Board of Trustees must decide in the coming weeks what to do with two parcels of land that the Essex County Department of Transportation needs for the Old Military rehabilitation project.
Village Attorney Janet Bliss told the board Monday night that she received a package that contained paperwork pertaining to the county's purchase of two village parcels. One is a 98-square-foot piece of land at the corner of Mill Pond Drive and Old Military; the other is a .69-acre parcel near the Chubb River Bridge and the Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department.
Essex County needs the land for a multi-million dollar state DOT project to replace the Chubb River Bridge and repave Old Military between state Routes 86 and 73.
The project will also straighten out sections of the roadway that have contributed to several motor-vehicle accidents over the years.
Bliss said that as far as she knows, the county plans to turn the land over to the state as soon as the acquisition is official.
"They want to take fee title," she said. "When we were originally approached they wanted us to donate the land."
Essex County is offering the village $52,600 for the larger parcel and $1100 for the smaller one. The larger parcel includes the snowfields traditionally used for trailers during the horse shows.
Bliss noted that the board could challenge the appraisal of the land if trustees think the numbers are too low.
"If we don't accept now, we can continue fighting later on," she said. "I just want the board to be aware of the situation, because the representatives involved are in town this week if the board has questions."
Trustee Dave Jones noted that local law requires the village to show a "lack of need or surplus land to get rid of village property." He also noted that there are at least 60 residencies along that roadway and wondered how the county planned to acquire those easements.
The county also plans to fund the relocation of 28 power poles along Old Military Road.
In other business, Trustee Zay Curtis introduced a draft for Local Law No. 3 of 2009 - legislation similar to a law passed by the Saranac Lake Village Board of Trustees in July.
The law would provide Lake Placid Police Chief Scott Monroe the authority to request the help of other police agencies without first having to contact the mayor, Craig Randall.
Randall says the law is a matter of common sense.
"Other towns and villages are enacting similar laws," he said. "It basically allows the chief to request mutual aid in the event of an emergency without first having to contact myself."
The mayor is considered the chief law enforcement officer for villages, and as such holds the power to request help from other police departments and emergency services.
A public hearing on the proposed local law will be held during the September 21 meeting of the Board of Trustees.
The board also passed a motion to allow Trustee Jason Leon and Treasurer Peggy Mousaw to travel to Saratoga Springs on August 25 for a meeting with the New York State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Trustee Leon said the purpose of the trip is to get re-approved for a 2006 Parks Office grant totaling $39,000. The village received the 50 percent matching grant several years ago, but the allotted time to use the funds expired. Leon says it expired primarily due to the regime change after last March's election.
The money would be used at the village's three parks for equipment upgrades and to fight a grub infestation at the Teddy Bear Park off Hill Crest Avenue.
Finally, the board approved the appointment of Joshua Wemette to the Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department. Mayor Randall said it's important for young individuals to volunteer.
"At a time when we keep reading about how difficult it is to get young people to volunteer, it's great to welcome a young new recruit to the fire department," he said.