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Marina vital to Saranac Lake livelihood

To the editor:

Dear Mr. Jorling,

We are writing to express our extreme disappointment in the all-too-familiar tactic of those that don’t want to see development and progress in the Adirondacks — as you, Mr. Jorling, have called it before, NIMBY (not in my backyard). NIMBY, and your tactic of just keeping swinging until they go away or go bankrupt, seem simply wrong. The people of Saranac Lake deserve better!

Seven years ago when the Saranac Lake Marina first started the process of renewing the marina, it seemed the neighbors were on board for this change as the boathouses were referred to as unsafe and an eyesore. They were dilapidated and falling down. The marina has wanted to make improvements that are badly needed, and they have sought to balance environmental preservation while keeping the lake accessible to generations of families that have grown up here. Keeping the lake accessible is a vital part of doing something to help keep our town alive, or there won’t be anyone here. It seems environmental nonprofits and some mostly retired state officials are the ones speaking out against the approval. Why is it so many environmental groups are buying up property in the Adirondack Park with the intentions of selling it to the government? Who is profiting from that, and what is the expense to those of us who live and are trying to make a living here?

The Saranac Lake Marina has gone above and beyond working on these processes with the planning board of Harrietstown, the Adirondack Park Agency and the Department of Environmental Conservation enduring seven years of expensive and complicated zoning regulations and their bureaucratic review processes. Seven years is a ridiculous amount of time when a small local business is trying to get by, follow the rules, and do something that will benefit our community and all those who live, work and love this area. The marina has jumped through hoops to come up with a state-of-the-art, attractive, green-based-marina design that uses solar power, will have a boat washing station to clean boats of invasive species as well as a hiring a local company to manage the invasive milfoil species annually, and more.

Your lawsuit states you hope “the court will send the matter back to the APA for more meaningful consideration of the project’s impacts and how to minimize those impacts.” You had the opportunity to speak and submit comments at the last public forum. Evidently a number of your comments were misleading because your “submitted comments about the project to the APA” that were provided to the Adirondack Almanack have been removed “because it contained inaccuracies.”

The lawsuit states, “The project will greatly impact the use and enjoyment of the petitioner’s property.” Is it about the environment really? Or NIMBY?

You have lost your credibility. The Saranac Lake Marina has balanced preserving our environment along with helping to preserve a part of history that will help our community survive and thrive. The Adirondack Park is the largest publicly protected park in the lower 48 states, encompassing 6 million acres, with over 3,000 lakes and 30,000 miles of rivers and streams. One of the main reasons cited in the establishment of the park in 1892 was that is was for “the free use of all the people for health and pleasure.”

Mr. Jorling, we hope and ask you to please drop your lawsuit and allow this project to move forward. Please consider the livelihood and love of the Adirondacks many neighbors share, but feel after seven years balance in this project has been found.

Sincerely,

Colleen and Bob Farmer

Saranac Lake

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