Catillaz calls for a website to market it; if that doesn't work, houses or ballfields
SARANAC LAKE - Harrietstown supervisor candidate Tom Catillaz is calling on the town board to create a website for its business park in Lake Clear so it can better market the venue, which is currently home to just two tenants.
Democrat Tom Catillaz, left, and Republican Bob Bevilacqua are running for Harrietstown town supervisor.
(Enterprise file photos)
"It's been more than twenty years since the town's business park was established and the Internet became a part of everyday life," Catillaz said in a press release from the Friends of Tom Catillaz. "After those two decades, it's way past time to start marketing the park on the Internet and to at least establish a link to a business park website from the town's website."
Catillaz also said the business park should be featured on Facebook, with its own page, so Harrietstown residents and other people can share their ideas and prospects.
"We can easily dialogue with our citizens and come up with hundreds of fantastic ideas with their great resources," Catillaz said in the release.
Catillaz recently visited the site to produce a promotional video, posted on the Friends of Tom Catillaz Facebook page, where he outlines his strategy to fill the park. Catillaz wants to jump start the site with a modest investment or find another use for it that generates tax revenue for the town.
"Picture this," Catillaz said in the release, "a website listing the attributes of the Business Park, including its proximity to the airport and the Saranac Lake area. We can do an overhead Google map of the park, subdivided, with 2-acre lots, showing potential industrial sites. If that doesn't juice things up, we'll market it as a residential subdivision and get some houses built out there with maybe a ball-field or some rugby fields.
"Either way, we will get this land back onto the tax rolls. Just think of the progress the Town of Harrietstown would then have compared to the stillness we now have."
Catillaz, a Democrat and current village trustee, is running against Harrietstown Councilman Bob Bevilacqua, Republican, for a one-year supervisor term in the Nov. 6. election.
Bevilacqua says town is laying groundwork for thriving park
By the Enterprise staff
SARANAC LAKE - Harrietstown supervisor candidate Bob Bevilacqua has announced his platform on economic development and his plan for the town's Lake Clear business park.
Bevilacqua, a Republican and a current town councilman, said in a Thursday press release that economic development is the biggest issue facing the town.
"We cannot afford a wait and see attitude," Bevilacqua said in the release. "We also cannot go it alone, or dismiss valuable existing resources by being short-sighted. We need to aggressively address this issue cooperatively with our neighboring municipalities and regional partner organizations."
The business park, located in Lake Clear next to the town's Adirondack Regional Airport, is a specific area where Bevilacqua said he sees opportunity for economic growth. His opponent, village Trustee Tom Catillaz, a Democrat, has said the business park is too remote and too far from an interstate highway system to attract airport-related industry. Bevilacqua says that "demonstrates poor judgment and would represent a large step backwards." Bevilacqua said the interstate highway that the site needs is better broadband Internet access, which could open up possibilities for more investment there.
"Harrietstown has been laying the groundwork, and now with the (state Adirondack Park Agency) permit approvals just received last spring, the park is well positioned to be marketed effectively," Bevilacqua's platform states. "We should not waste taxpayer monies on a speculative 'move-in' building plan, in the hopes that a manufacturing firm will find it attractive. Rather, we should focus on a regional outlook for business and tourism, and use the business park for locating incubator facilities which match that research."
Bevilacqua proposed several steps that he said wouldn't require additional taxpayer support. His first step, "Economic Preparedness," includes aggressively marketing the community and building an economic profile for the region that spells out what it can offer: its labor force, demographics, infrastructure and quality of life. Bevilacqua also wants to create development teams made up of representatives from the industries the town wants to target, like biotechnology and tourism. He also called for cooperative planning among local towns and villages to attract industry.
"Let's start now," Bevilacqua said. "This is too important to wait until after an election. We can work together now."
Bevilacqua said the town needs to be forward-thinking when it comes to the economy by developing a vision and strategy for where it wants to go. He also said the town has to measure its progress and adapt to challenges along the way.
Among other things, Bevilacqua said he'd like to work with the village board to grow the village's Local Development Corporation "from a single-municipality program to one that works with several local governments." He also wants to ensure that the current businesses in the community are supported.
Bevilacqua also wants to strengthen the town's competitive position by promoting the local work force, supporting graduating youth and using the area's natural resources and quality of life as advantages.