In planning emergency services, the village must do what is best for us | News, sports, jobs

Emergency services are an important conversation for the Village of Saranac Lake, and I am grateful to the Board of Trustees that solicited questions from the community regarding the proposed shared services complex planned on the former St. Pius School property at 33 Petrova. Community involvement is a valuable step and emergency services facilities must be improved. However, it is important to make improvements at the size, scope, location and cost that best benefits the village.

The feasibility study currently guiding the project was conducted by Wendel Five Bugles and is based on what would fit into the St. John’s School building. The current Pius and the wants (not needs) of each section. As now proposed, the existing structure cannot support the weight of vehicles, so instrument bays, holding cells and other facilities would be modern additions to the building, expanding the complex to the size of three Saranac Lake Civic Centers or 4.6 times the size of the Tupper Lake Emergency Services Building. , which includes all three of its sections.

For this reason, it is important to ask the Village of Saranac Lake to reconsider the project from a practical standpoint and conduct a study based on the department’s needs. Leadership cannot make an informed decision about how, with what and where to move forward if it does not seriously analyze the needs and start from there. This is how Nordic families live, and it is fair to ask our local government to do the same. Especially when there is so much potential to do more for the community than what is currently proposed.

For example, if emergency services can be improved where they are currently located or elsewhere in the heart of the community, the property at 33 Petrova may be freed up for housing expansion, an immediate, short-term and long-term community need.

Simply put, why not do both? Or at least try honestly.

For context, Lake Placid’s newly proposed apartment complex (“Developers propose new housing in Lake Placid,” Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Oct. 20) is slated for 60 new apartments and 20 new townhomes on 8.7 acres. The Adirondack Apartments are located across the street from 33 Petrova on 4.26 acres and consists of 39 apartments.The St. Pius/33 Petrova property, which is also the current home of the Hot House, has an area of ​​13 acres.

Please consider asking our community leadership to work to do what is best for the village as a whole. This will require honest and open discussion with elected leaders focused on gaining all the knowledge possible to make the right needs-based decisions. It also involves speaking to major employers, school administrators and business owners as well as residents.

My personal feeling is that housing at 33 Petrova would do more for the village as a whole – added tax base, workforce, children in schools etc – than an emergency complex built with a size and scope based on existing needs and structure.

As proposed, the project cannot generate revenue, create any local non-government jobs, or house a family. It would only cost the community – either to build or to maintain the proposed facility in perpetuity which is out of scope for a community with a shrinking population and school enrollment.

Your voice matters. Please consider joining the conversation.

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Doug Haney is a resident of the Village of Saranac Lake.

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