In an effort to boost businesses that are tackling the challenge of staying open year-round, the Lake Village Board is considering amending their sign law to be more accommodating to A-frame sidewalk signs and banners that draw in customers.
In an effort to assist the efforts of businesses attempting to stay open through the winter, the Lake George Village Board is considering relaxing restrictions on temporary signs.
Whether it’s an A-frame sign placed on the sidewalk in front of a shop or a banner above a store’s entrance, such temporary signs are important to attract customers off-season, Mayor Blais said at a monthly board meeting held Jan. 14.
“Making the sign law more business friendly is another way we can help folks struggling to stay open during winter,” Blais said.
He suggested that the board amend the sign law to allow businesses to apply for one blanket permit for the winter season, without having to apply for individual permits, event after event.
Also, the village board voted to make erecting signs more affordable. They voted unanimously to charge $100 for a permanent sign permit, and to charge $50 for a temporry sign permit — the former charge for either version was $250.
In beginning the board meeting, Blais launched a new feature. He introduced several of the many former village notables, depicted on a mural on the back wall of the public meeting room of the village hall. The mural was painted by scenic artists Laurie Wilson of South Glens Falls and Marisa Muratori of Lake George.
Pointing to one figure, he noted that former Mayor Bob Caldwell, whom Blais defeated in 1971, routinely carried a Derringer pistol strapped to his ankle. He also pointed out Harry Cohan, proprietor of Cohan’s Sport Sop in Lake George, who was named state Boxing Commissioner. Blais also gestured to Wayde Earl, father of village Trustee John Earl, noting how the elder Earl had been a town board member, town supervisor, as well as the village Police Justice. Blais also reminisced about community pillar Howard McDonald, and how he regularly brought his dog Betsy to the village board meetings, hiding her under the table during municipal proceedings.
“I’m so pleased I knew all these people personally,” Blais said.
In other business, the village board:
•set the 2013 village election for Tuesday March 19. Up for re-election are trustees John Root and Joe Mastrodomenico.
“Our citizens will be very happy to see the old mechanical voting machines back in play,” Blais said, noting that state officials approved their use in village elections.
•approved spending $731,000 for improvements to the village sewage pumping station in Shepard Park. The sum includes $72,000 in savings from having village employees conduct much of the work. The village is making every attempt to have the upgrades in place by May 15, a deadline imposed by the state Dept. of Environmental Conservation.
•scheduled a special meeting for 4 to 6 p.m. Jan. 23 for Lisa Nagle of Elan Planning to present recommended zoning changes, including liberalizing building height restrictions, to the board and public.
•heard a report from Mayor Blais that the Charles Wood Park project is about $300,000 short of the money needed to fully develop the features of the festival space and its surroundings. He announced that the Charles Wood Foundation has pledged a $150,000 matching grant, and the village would be seeking corporate sponsors as well as seeking individual donations from the public to raise the matching $150,000. Blais said that if a corporate sponsor sought to have the park’s water feature or playground named in their honor, they could donate an appropriate sum to make it happen.
• rescinded a resolution to raise fees charged to septic haulers when they dump a truckload of sewage at the sewer treatment plant. The board decided to reconsider fee increases after improvements at the plant were completed.
• heard from Mayor Blais that the village code enforcement officer had issued warning letters to 11 property owners for various violations of town code. He said the properties owners were given until May to take necessary actions to correct problems, whether it meant repairs and upgrades to their structures, removing debris or hauling away junk cars.
• gave permission to Americade motorcycle Rally organizers to set up their Tour Expo trade show in the Beach Road parking lot from June 4 to June 8, and approved the Lake George Community Band Festival to be held July 19 and 20 in Shepard Park.