A better plan for our public safety facilities
To the editor:
In 2018 the village of Saranac Lake commissioned an engineering study of 3 Main St., the Paul Smith’s Electric Power & Light building, owned by the village since 1986. Until 2011, the building housed village offices and overflow offices from the police department’s connected 1 Main St. building. Since 2012, 3 Main St. has been leased to a series of short-term tenants. It sits only partially occupied today.
The 2018 study by Landmark Consulting encouraged Saranac Lake to use 3 Main St. for its police department. Ever since the village removed police offices from the building in 2011, the department has been crowded into its present location next door.
By reclaiming 3 Main St. for an expanded police department–with room to build a garage for its vehicles in the adjacent parking lot–Saranac Lake would have ample space to upgrade and expand the facilities for fire and rescue services in the lots surrounding their current locations on Broadway.
Mayor Williams has stated he is open to considering all ideas for expanding service facilities. So far he has not said why this is not an option. Instead, the mayor and village trustees are pushing a plan to combine public safety services at 33 Petrova Ave., a too-large, too expensive project that would take years to build.
Before next week’s public meeting to introduce the Petrova Avenue plan, Mayor Williams and village trustees need to explain why a better solution has been taken off the table.