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Village seeks compromise on Mirror Lake Beach costs

May 10, 2013

LAKE PLACID - The village of Lake Placid and town of North Elba appear to be making progress on a cost-sharing agreement involving Mirror Lake Beach.

Village Mayor Craig Randall, speaking at the Monday April 29 village Board of Trustees meeting, said the beach agreement "is moving forward." Under the proposal, the village and town would split the cost of running the beach 50-50, he said.

"We'd flow the money into the (North Elba) Park District so it has the money to pay its people," Randall said. "It's not all that the town wanted, but it's a compromise. It meets in the middle."

At a joint meeting last fall, during which the town and village updated numerous shared-services agreements, North Elba Supervisor Roby Politi indicated that the town could no longer afford maintenance and upkeep at the beach on its own. The beach is part of the park district, which covers Olympic venues as well as all village parks.

At the time, Politi said the cost of lifeguards, bathing suits, toilet paper, telephone bills and other items has become too great. He also noted that the park district's only source of revenue is property taxes.

Randall said last week that the village can't take over the whole beach operation.

The town's current appropriation for the beach is about $50,000, Politi told the News. Under the village's proposal, the municipalities would split that expense, although Politi said he may want to figure in a management fee.

"What they want to do is they want the park district to manage it," he said. "I've got to figure out some kind of cost for management, which would also be borne 50 percent by the town and 50 percent by the village."

Politi called the beach a village venue. He said the park district typically manages town properties.

"But we had a separate service agreement on parks - in this particular case, the beach," Politi said. "But things have changed. Costs have gone up. It just doesn't make any sense for us to be paying for that particular venue, which is owned by the village."

Politi said he hasn't discussed the village's proposal with the mayor or the board, but he thinks it makes sense for the two municipalities to share the cost of the beach. He noted the town and village share other costs, like operation of the trolley service.

"The beach is utilized by both people in the village and people in the town; the trolleys are utilized by people in the village, people in the town," Politi said. "It's a service that's provided to both, so why shouldn't we pay for both?"

Contact Chris Morris at 891-2600 ext. 25 or cmorris@



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