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Placid expects eminent domain procedure to resume in January

LAKE PLACID — This village’s officials anticipate the next step in its eminent domain process with the Adirondack Experience museum will be in January, though there won’t be a definitive date set any time soon.

Mayor Craig Randall added that the village and its Clifton Park attorney Patrick Seely are confident they will win. The museum sued over the village’s handling of its eminent domain proceeding to seize the museum’s property on Main Street. In a separate suit, the museum contests a reassessment of its property that brought its value down. Under eminent domain, a municipality must pay market value for a property as determined by a judge.

“The museum has until the end of August to submit their issues with our process,” Randall said. “We then get a month to respond to those.”

Randall added that if the court rules against the village, officials will need to re-start the eminent domain process.

“Discussions that I’ve had with counsel handling that is we appear to be in good condition and the appeal on the part of the property owner may be nothing but an effort to delay the project.”

The Blue Mountain Lake institution, formerly known as the Adirondack Museum, asserts there were procedural flaws in the village’s legal steps to acquire the property and that the village failed to demonstrate a need for taking the two parcels at 2476 and 2478 Main St., next to two parking lots the village owns. Village officials want to build a 250-space garage on those two adjacent lots.

The museum contends a required eminent domain board meeting was held one day after the expiration of the required 90-day period. The museum also claims the village didn’t hold a proper public hearing on the environmental impact of the proposed garage project.

Other projects

The parking garage is part of a planned downtown reconstruction, several elements of which Randall also elaborated on at the village’s regularly scheduled board meeting Monday.

He said milling of Parkside and Mirror Lake drives, where the village installed new sidewalk earlier this summer, will wait until next spring, to give the ground there time to settle.

Randall added that the village will reseed the soil around that project, as he and village attorney Janet Bliss described the look as that of weeds. It’ll be of no cost to the village, he added.

“It’s terrible,” Trustee Peter Holderied said.

Randall also said the village’s electric department continues to bury electric lines underground on Parkside Drive between the intersection of Mirror Lake Drive and the post office on Main Street.

“Some heavy-duty lines are now under the ground, that feed the back side of the Adirondack Inn,” Randall said.

“There is quite a bit more work for our electric department to do along the Parkside section of the beach park,” he added.

Holderied added the existing sidewalk there will be ripped up after the Sept. 10 Ironman 70.3-mile triathlon.

Randall also reported that final information for the village’s planned Main Street sewer project has been submitted to the state Department of Environmental Conservation, with an accompanying application to the state Department of Transportation to follow.

The village’s plans require permits to open up Main Street from the intersection with Saranac Avenue southward to Mid’s Park.

“Where we may need to make some different connections in that sewer line,” Randall said. “We don’t expect any visible construction, digging or opening of that, until the spring which includes the Lake House property, which will be opened up as well because of this.”

Holderied added that the project will result in the blocking of at least one lane of traffic on Main Street.

Randall said the village expects bids on the process as early as September.

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