At their special meeting held Jan. 19, Lake George Village Board members and village Public Works Superintendent Dave Harrington (left front) locate on a map a plot of land near the Berry Pond Tract that the Lake George Land Conservancy offered to sell the municipality. Village leaders passed on the opportunity.
Concerned with boosting revenue, the Lake George Village Board is considering allowing boats to stay overnight at their public docks — which would be a reversal of their decision about a decade ago to prohibit the practice.
Now, boats may dock at the village’s Beach Road piers — for a charge of $2 per hour — only between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., for a maximum of 10 hours, during summer.
The proposed change would allow docking for a maximum of 24 hours. The concept was raised at a special Village Board meeting Thursday, Jan. 19.
While the prohibition of overnight docking was put in place to prevent a few boaters from monopolizing the docking spaces through a weekend, Blais said the rule had substantially reduced the use of the six village docks off Beach Road.
Allowing overnight docking would not only boost revenue for the village, Mayor Robert Blais said, but it would boost public safety by allowing boaters patronizing bars to get some sleep before driving off in their craft.
“We’d be providing a good service,” he said. “Last year, we had very low use of the docks, and we received e-mails from people asking to stay overnight.”
Other village board members, however raised questions about how the overnight per-hour fees would be accurately calculated and collected.
Village Trustee John Root said some boaters might pull away shortly before the piers were patrolled each morning at 8 a.m. by a dock attendant checking the boats for the pay-and-display tickets.
Trustee John Earl said he also had concerns.
“If we go ahead with this, we need a plan in which people will not be able to take advantage,” he said. “We should figure out how to enforce it.”
Blais suggested that a dock attendant make both a late-night and early-morning tour of the docks to assure compliance.
In other business, the board decided to turn down a request from the Lake George Land Conservancy for the village to buy a plot of land from the conservation group, about 81 acres, adjacent to their Berry Pond Tract — to provide public access to the trails there. The landlocked plot has been offered for sale for about $68,000 although it is presently assessed for about half that sum, village officials said.
In other topics discussed at the special meeting, Blais also warned the board members that the village would be facing a budget shortfall due to the loss of about $85,000 in collectable property taxes. The decrease stems from the reduction of about $1 million in the village’s total assessed value.
The falling market price of commercial properties, including several hotels, has been blamed for the decrease.
A revaluation project underway for months, is scheduled for completion this year. A public informational meeting to explain the revaluation process and its impact on taxes is set for Wednesday Jan. 25 at the Lake George Town Hall.