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Lake Placid’s food pantry, thrift shop vote is on Monday

LAKE PLACID — Voters will decide on Monday whether to authorize the Lake Placid Central School District to donate a plot of land to the town of North Elba to house the Helping Hands Community Hub. This vote is one of the final hurdles before construction can begin on the hub.

Voting will be open from 2 to 8 p.m. in the Lake Placid Elementary School cafeteria and the Wilmington Town Offices on Monday, June 24.

Also on Monday at LPES will be a pop-up informational booth about the North Elba-Lake Placid Pathways project, the town of North Elba and village of Lake Placid’s joint comprehensive plan. The booth will be open from 1 to 3 p.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.

The hub is a planned 3,000 square foot building that will house both the Lake Placid Ecumenical Food Pantry, currently located in the basement of St. Agnes Church, and the Helping Hands Thrift Shop, which operated for 31 years on George and Bliss Lane before closing last November. The building is set to go up at the former site of the Lake Placid Central School District’s basketball courts, next to the Shipman Youth Center, and was approved for construction by the Lake Placid-North Elba Joint Review Board on June 5 following a public hearing. No members of the public commented during the hearing.

Last month, the LPCSD Board of Education voted to donate the more than one acre plot of land to the town of North Elba rather than lease the land. District superintendent Timothy Seymour, who has been involved with the development of the project, said at the time that this decision was meant to ensure the longevity of the services the hub will offer.

“Our initial discussions were to allow for a lease of that parcel, which according to New York state education law, allows for a lease to happen for 10 years,” Seymour said. “Due to the success of the campaign and the groundswell of support in the community, it’s become rather apparent to the district that these services not only need to sustain well past 10 years, but that the support for them is overwhelmingly in favor of ensuring that they do.”

After the board passed a resolution indicating that the school district had no present or future use for the land, they voted unanimously to convey the property to North Elba. However, the land donation will not go through unless a majority of school district voters approve it, too.

The LPCSD basketball courts, which were formerly located on the land slated for donation, were torn out in the spring in preparation for the hub project. New basketball courts are set to be built in McKinley Park over the summer.

The 3,000 square foot community hub will be from Simplex Homes, a modular construction company based in Pennsylvania. Homestead Development, which is overseeing the project, previously worked with Simplex to build Fawn Valley, a 22-unit housing development for essential workers that recently went on the market. The custom hub building is expected to arrive in late July, with construction starting the first week of August, pending voter approval. As of Wednesday, $700,000 of the project’s $800,000 budget has been committed by donors.

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