TUPPER LAKE - After the Franklin County Board of Legislators agreed to give $25,000 to Saranac Lake for tourism marketing, Paul Maroun is going to look for money for Tupper Lake as well.
Maroun is the mayor of the village of Tupper Lake as well as the town's representative on the Franklin County board. He was in San Antonio visiting family for the holidays last week when Legislator Tim Burpoe, D-Saranac Lake, brought the vote to the floor at a county meeting in Malone.
"I'm surprised Tim didn't wait until I got back. He knew my objections," Maroun said. "I don't know what the rush was."
At least one other legislator at that meeting said he was surprised the spending was brought to the floor for a vote that day as well.
Several Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce, Harrietstown town and Saranac Lake village representatives came to the county in November asking for a $25,000 contribution from the county's tourism spending that would go to paying the Lake Placid-based Regional Office for Sustainable Tourism $85,000 for a marketing plan for Saranac Lake. At that meeting, Maroun said he was concerned that the plan didn't include marketing Tupper Lake as well.
Officials said they want to start small with the program, then hopefully expand it to include Tupper Lake in the future.
In a phone call from Texas Wednesday, Maroun told the Enterprise he plans to ask the county to contribute a similar amount of money to a Tupper Lake initiative.
"If they're not going to include Tupper Lake, then the county's going to have to do something for Tupper Lake, too," Maroun said.
He said he hopes the county will contribute money to Tupper Lake's events coordinator position. The job was funded this year by contributions from the village, the town and the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce. Maroun said that if the county pays the bulk of the position's salary, that will free up some town and village money.
He noted that the event coordinator would help coordinate two of Tupper Lake's major events - the Tinman Triathlon and the winter ice fishing derby - both of which bring significant amounts of spending into the county. Like Saranac Lake's tourism marketing program, this would be an investment, he said.
Maroun said he doesn't believe there should be any objection to his request. He noted that Burpoe said he would support an initiative for Tupper Lake if Maroun were to propose one.
Maroun will still be gone the first week of January, so nothing will happen until the third Thursday of the month, the board's second regularly scheduled meeting in January.