In the first two segments of this three-part series, we outlined our accomplishments and unresolved issues in 2011, and the challenges facing us in 2012. We respectfully submit the following agenda for the coming year and stand ready to be judged by it 12 months from now. This is not the end-all and be-all plan, but it is a good-faith commitment to our constituents. We invite your comment and dialogue about any of the plans presented.
Job retention and growth initiatives
1. Trudeau Institute growth: The Institute was just awarded over a million dollars by the state to retain scientists and maintain its presence in Saranac Lake while SUNY Albany was also awarded another grant to create a partnership with Trudeau. The village will reach out with its resources to lessen operating costs through water and sewer rates by annexation and assist with a new street entrance - direct from Route 3 - as we market the Saranac Lake bioscience cluster with Trudeau as its anchor.
2. Myriad-RBM: We will complete the retrofit of the former village office building and locate this company within it.
3. Active Motif: We will complete the retrofit of the village water building and locate this company within it.
4. IDA: Establish a relationship with the Franklin County Industrial Development Agency and encourage it to build a "spec" industrial building within the village limits with a focus on biotech.
5. Local development corporation: Leverage the talent of this group of individuals to address our industrial space needs, retail needs and tourism needs of the community.
6. Tourism: The fastest growth segment of our tourism draw is coming from the arts community. The village will reach out to assist in promoting its events and venues.
7. Homeward Bound Adirondacks: Continue our support of this timely and important endeavor.
Strategic village growth initiatives
1. Complete the update of master plan (carry-over). Work with the LA Group to complete the updated plan in the first half of 2012.
2. Leverage our water and sewer service for added annexation of adjacent town properties (carry-over) with a focus on Trudeau Institute.
3. Complete the annexation of the American Management Association campus and assist the group on developing its lands.
4. Trudeau Institute annexation: Explore this option as we continue our retention efforts for this important economic mainstay.
1. Sand pit (carry-over): Continue the expansion of the 7-acre Lake Flower Avenue sand pit (behind Aldi) so it can be marketed to retailers and/or retail building developers.
2. Retail (carry-over): Leverage our LDC into our marketing arm for added retail.
3. Youth and recreation initiatives (carry-over): Complete conversion of the former landfill property to at least one athletic field, with a focus on rugby and lacrosse use.
1. Personnel freeze: Maintain our current staffing levels and not add any positions, excepting part-time police officers; see below.
2. Part-time police officers: Work with labor to establish new part-time positions which will save money for the village and add scheduling flexibility.
3. Health insurance options: Now that almost every employee is co-paying 20 percent of their health insurance premiums, labor and management have an incentive to find lower-cost health insurance options.
1. Maintain tax cap: Keep tax increase at or below 2 percent property tax cap.
2. Water and sewer rates (carry-over): We will fairly adjust water and sewer rates to meet the requirements of the new water system capital program.
3. Initiate online bill paying by credit card for all village invoices.
1. Rebuild Saranac Lake bond project (carry-over): Work is bonded and scheduled to start in spring.
2. New water supply (carry-over): Complete all phases of our new $13 million water supply project.
3. Water meter installation project (carry-over): Though mostly complete, this project still has a number of meters requiring full operability.
4. Fire station/public safety building: Develop five-year plan for either the retrofit or expansion of existing fire station into a new public safety building, or plan for a new location.
5. Street assessment: After the installation of so many new water lines throughout the village this year, we will assess street conditions anew and put together a repavement schedule along the lines of our new sidewalk rebuild project, as funding allows.
6. Multi-municipal composting system: Continue our exploration and assessment of a centrally located composting operation, a project brought to the attention of the New York Power Authority, which committed its support and resources.