With grant OK’d, developers ask to change terms

Saranac Lake Waterfront Resort is new name

This composite image shows what the Saranac Lake Waterfront Resort would look like from across Lake Flower. (Image provided)

SARANAC LAKE — The Saranac Lake Resort Owner corporation, which plans to build the recently renamed Saranac Lake Waterfront Resort — formerly the Lake Flower Resort and Spa — is asking the village to change the terms of a $750,000 federal grant now that it has been awarded.

No village Board of Trustees members at Monday night’s meeting voted to approve the resolution. Instead, the board voted to table it for their next meeting. The vote was not unanimous. Trustee Melinda Little voted yes, Trustee Paul Van Cott voted yes, Mayor Rabideau voted yes, and Trustee Rich Shapiro voted no. Trustee Patrick Murphy recused himself.

Shapiro said he voted no because he would rather see the reimbursement plan stay as is.

No representative from the resort was present at the meeting.

The Community Development Block Grant is federal money administered through the state, given to local governments to disburse. In January and February, the village board approved sponsoring and submitting a grant application on behalf of Saranac Lake Resort Owner for $750,000 to purchase the resort’s furniture, fixtures and equipment.

The site of the future Saranac Lake Waterfront Resort is seen Tuesday, on Lake Flower Avenue, Saranac Lake. (Enterprise photo — Jesse Adcock)

When the original resolution was approved, the village board outlined a reimbursement structure tied to job creation. For every $15,000 of grant money for which the village would reimburse the resort, one full-time equivalent job must be created — with the full grant amounting to 50 FTEs.

“Now that the grant’s been awarded, the resort has made the request that we revisit the reimbursement structure and have proposed an alternative,” village Community Development Director Jamie Konkoski said.

She said that because purchases for furniture, fixtures and equipment are supposed to be made this summer, and hiring would not start until next summer, the developers want the money sooner.

“And so they are asking for consideration of an alternative funding structure where they could have some funds once the purchases are made,” Konkoski said, “then receive the rest of the reimbursement later.”

The resolution put before the board on Monday would place a lien on the property to the amount of $750,000. It would authorize Saranac Lake Resort Owner to receive reimbursement of up to $684,000 to buy furniture, fixtures and equipment. The remaining $50,000 would be paid to the company after proof of hiring 50 FTEs has been submitted. The village would then remove the lien once all required documents were submitted by the state Office of Homes and Community Renewal.

Jacob Wright, who is managing the project for Saranac Lake Resort Owner, declined to comment for this article.

Lee Pillsbury of Maryland and Mark Pacala of Washington, D.C., own Saranac Lake Resort Owner. Skyward Hospitality will manage the resort.