TUPPER LAKE - Village board members voted Monday night to hire the Hudson Group to prepare information and Cantwell Law Firm to represent the village in the Adirondack Club and Resort adjudicatory hearings, which begin today.
The Hudson Group is an Albany-based consulting team that the town of Tupper Lake hired to advise it and the planning board, which represents both the town and village, on the large-scale development.
The group issued a number of reports questioning plans for the project based on its application to the state Adirondack Park Agency and materials submitted to the town.
Lead developer Michael Foxman paid for the consultants through an memorandum of understanding with the town.
Mayor Mickey Desmarais said village board members decided to use the Hudson Group "because they're familiar with it."
He noted that the village's issues that it plans to argue in the hearing are limited. They mainly plan to make arguments in Issue 5, which is set to examine public and municipal vulnerability in case the project fails.
Board members voted to spend up to $15,000 on the Hudson Group, and they voted to hire Cantwell on an as-needed basis.
On the same night the board voted to hire the Plattsburgh-based law firm, village Attorney Doug Wright tendered his resignation to the board. Desmarais said Wright resigned because he's too busy to give the village the attention it deserves.
The hearing, which begins today and runs intermittently through June, is to develop a record for the APA on the potential environmental and municipal impact of the ACR to help the agency decide whether to issue the project a permit.
The ACR is the biggest development ever to come before the APA board. It would overhaul the Big Tupper Ski Area and build out the land around it with 651 luxury housing units and various amenities like a 60-unit inn, a spa and a marina.
The public is welcome to attend the hearing sessions, though only about 40 groups and individuals who were awarded party status to the hearing can participate.
The first group of hearing sessions, set to discuss the potential visual impact of the resort, starts today and runs today through Friday this week and next. Today's and Wednesday's sessions will be held at the Tupper Lake Train Depot, and the rest will be held at APA headquarters in Ray Brook.
Contact Jessica Collier at 518-891-2600 ext. 25 or firstname.lastname@example.org.