Placid obtains funds for new salt shed

LAKE PLACID — The village of Lake Placid is slated to receive state funds to help construct a new salt storage facility designed to prevent contamination of groundwater.

The $225,000 grant will come from the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Water Quality Improvement Project, a program that awards funding to improve water quality, protect drinking water and reduce the potential for harmful algae blooms. The funding for Lake Placid was announced as part of this year’s Regional Economic Development Council Awards, which saw 83 projects across seven North Country counties receive a total of $67.9 million in grants from various state agencies.

It’s unclear when construction will start, how long it’s expected to last and whether the $225,000 will be enough to cover all of the costs. Mayor Craig Randall deferred questions about the details of the plan to Department of Public Works Superintendent Brad Hathaway, who could not be reached by deadline.

The village’s existing salt shed is located on Cascade Road, near the Olympic Jumping Complex. The village had previously applied for funding to replace the aging structure in 2018, but the application was rejected, according to Randall. The village reapplied last year with help from the Essex County Planning Department.

“We’re very happy to have that (funding),” Randall said. “It’s one of those projects we’ve been aware of, and we’ve wanted to replace the existing salt shed for a while.”

Randall hailed the funding award as “good news” for the village, and said anything that can be done to modernize its facilities to curb salt runoff — particularly this shed, which is located in the vicinity of the AuSable River — is a positive step forward.

Groundwater contamination — as a result of not only road salt disbursement, but inadequate salt storage — has been a concern to many North Country municipal leaders for years. In Dannemora and Beekmantown, both in Clinton County, groundwater contamination — which residents in both towns believed was a result of runoff from uncovered or aging storage sheds — impacted some private drinking water wells, which caused locals’ appliances to rust or forced them to find an alternative source for water.

In Dannemora, a 2013 study conducted for the state Department of Transportation pointed to road salt aplication and storage by both the DOT and the county as likely sources of contamination. The state later agreed to fund a new $3.2 million water system for the 18 residents whose wells were found to have sodium levels more than 250 milligrams per liter, according to the Plattsburgh Press-Republican.


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