Saranac Lake DPW chief leaves for Franklin County job

Shuffle means Olive Street will be repaved but not reconstructed this year

Franklin County Highway Superintendent Brad Marsh, left, introduces the county’s new Deputy Highway Superintendent Jeff Dora, right, who recently left his position as head of the village of Saranac Lake’s Department of Public Works. (Enterprise photo — Kevin Shea)

SARANAC LAKE — On Tuesday morning, 11 days after he stepped down as the village’s head of the Department of Public Works, Jeff Dora was announced as being the new Franklin County deputy highway superintendent.

The county position Dora is filling is new, according to village Trustee Rich Shapiro, deputy mayor and husband of county Legislator Lindy Ellis, D-Saranac Lake. In early May, Dora announced to the village that at the end of the month he would step down to take the new position, according to village Manager John Sweeney. Dora is originally from Malone and took the job to be closer to his family.

Now the village is trying to catch up, as the loss of Dora has resulted in it falling behind on maintenance of certain roads. It has also pushed off the major reconstruction of Olive Street. Now the village will only do pavement milling, which is the process of removing the older surface of a road and replacing it with asphalt. First, however, the village will inspect the sewers with cameras to see if there are any cracks in the old clay tile lines that must be repaired.

As of yet the village has no replacement for Dora. Sweeney said there are four candidates who will be interviewed, potentially, in two weeks’ time. The village board would then have to approve the hire.

In the meantime, Sweeney said he has two managers filling in for Dora: Dustin Martin and Chris Blanchard. Both have been helping with the jobs Dora did as head of DPW, and with their effort the village will still be able to work on the three other road projects for this year. Only the Olive Street project will be backed off somewhat.