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Tupper mayor puts Family Dollar on warning

Family Dollar in Tupper Lake (Provided photo — Jim Lanthier)

TUPPER LAKE — Mayor Paul Maroun says the village’s Family Dollar is one mask-related violation away from having its certificate of occupancy temporarily revoked.

Maroun said he has received several complaints that employees at the store are not wearing masks. Two of these complaints were relayed to him by the Franklin County district attorney’s office, one by the state attorney general’s office and “several” from locals coming to him unofficially.

He said he sent the chief of police there “a couple of times” and the code enforcement officer “several times,” and he said he went there himself last week to speak with the store manager. He said he told the store and its regional manager that if he receives another credible complaint, he will pull the store’s certificate of occupancy for at least 48 hours.

“The governor has said the pressure is on the mayors to enforce the law,” Maroun said.

An April 1 memo from the state about its PAUSE Enforcement Assistance Task Force states that “Subsequent non-compliance by businesses … may be subject to enforcement from primarily local, but in some cases state, authorities.”

Maroun said the governor’s executive orders are law. An April 12 executive order states that any employee working with the public must wear face coverings and be provided them by the employer.

“This provision may be enforced by local governments or local law enforcement as if it were an order pursuant to … the Public Health Law,” the executive order says.

Maroun said when someone makes a complaint about a violation online of over the phone, it is sent to Albany, then to the Regional Control Room, then to Franklin Country and then to him. He said he gives out warnings, which have for the most part been effective.

He said he does not want anyone to lose an occupancy certificate or license to operate.

“I want businesses to survive in Tupper Lake; at the same time I take an oath to follow the state of New York laws,” Maroun said. “I don’t want to do this. … But I don’t want anyone to get sick from COVID and die. That’s my main issue.”

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