The article that graced our pages today about $100 million being invested into the Olympic Center in Lake Placid perturbed me a bit, and should bug anyone who enjoys Lake George as well.
The village of Lake George is under state order to build a Cadillac of a wastewater treatment plant, a plant that discharges into the watershed of the lake that the state owns and we love.
So how much of the pricetag has the state satisfied so far? Less than a third of the $24 million needed to protect a natural resource that generates hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for local businesses as well as state tax coffers. The rest of the tab, as of now, will fall on a few hundred village taxpayers who are going to take a massive tax hit.
While the state has been reluctant to provide the help needed to fully protect the lake it owns, somehow four times that amount was found to pay for some major upgrades in and around Lake Placid. As far as I can tell, none of those upgrades addresses a major environmental issue such as a state-mandated sewer plant in one of the biggest tourism venues in upstate New York.
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Of course, the state also sunk $18 to $20 million into a new welcome center on the Northway near Exit 18, and tens of millions on others like it around the state in recent years, and the wisdom of spending the money on those rest stops has been questioned by many as well.
So I guess the state's message is come enjoy the shiny new buildings in Lake Placid, since who knows what will become of the business owners in Lake George who have to shoulder this massive pending tax bill to protect the state's lake.
-- Don Lehman