Woman criticizes Saranac Lake’s response to snow

SARANAC LAKE — The village’s superintendent of the Public Works Department was challenged at the village board meeting about his address and his department’s response to a late-season snowfall.

Ruth Sofield, a Saranac Lake resident, had several complaints to air at the meeting. “I’m going to be here every time there’s a water main break on Lake Flower Avenue,” she said. “Because you put in the new sidewalk before replacing the water mains, now every time there’s a break they have to dig up the new sidewalk.

“You don’t listen,” she said to the board.

Sofield criticized Jeff Dora, superintendent of public works, for living in Malone. “Living in Saranac Lake was one of the requirements of the job,” she said.

Mayor Clyde Rabideau agreed that it was required before the village hired him. “We don’t have the authority to make him move here,” he said.

Later in the meeting Rabideau asked Dora to explain the DPW’s delayed response to a six-inch snowfall during the first week of May.

“I was out of town,” said Dora. Dora said he was taking a planned vacation.

Village Manager John Sweeney said all the village vehicles had been converted from winter usage, and that he and village DPW workers had to put plows back on to deal with the wet, heavy snow.

Rabideau, who owns a construction company, said he, too, had taken the plow off the company truck. “And son of a gun, I had to call Trudeau [to plow for us],” he said.

After the meeting, the Enterprise asked Dora about Sofield’s complaints. He said the recent water main break happened where there was no sidewalk, so he wasn’t sure what she was referring to. As for his place of residency, he declined to comment.