LAKE GEORGE — Lake George Mayor Robert Blais is proposing an increase in village parking fees to help pay for the village’s new wastewater treatment plant.
Blais said Tuesday that he plans to ask the Village Board to increase hourly parking rates to $3 an hour to help generate revenue for the village’s debt for the state-mandated sewer plant.
Blais has gotten a tentative agreement with Warren County to use the county’s portion of revenue from the Beach Road parking lot to help pay for the $24 million wastewater project. The county gets 25 percent of the take from the lot, which amounted to about $67,000 last year.
Blais was hoping for a $100,000 annual contribution from the county for the sewer plant, using parking revenue. He detailed his plan to county supervisors on Tuesday, saying that raising the rate from $2 an hour to $3 an hour will increase both the village and county take enough to cover the needed revenue.
“I believe that would meet our needs, and there would be money left over for the county, too,” Blais explained. “That would allow us to come in under the (state property) tax cap.”
Blais said he anticipates the Village Board will approve the rate hike under the circumstances.
He said he reviewed parking rates in other resort towns, and found that Lake George’s rate is far lower than many other resort towns. For instance, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, charges $7 per hour, he said.
To help cut the village’s expenses amid the rising bills for the sewer project, the village has eliminated two jobs in the public works and wastewater treatment departments, Blais added.
The county Board of Supervisors Public Works Committee endorsed the plan to give the village up to $100,000 in parking revenue annually for the next 10 years.
“This seems to be a clearer way of doing it,” Lake Luzerne Supervisor Gene Merlino said.
Officials had also discussed using some money from the county-owned parking spots along West Brook Road in the town of Lake George, but there is no plan to put that revenue toward the wastewater project at this point. County supervisors discussed whether the parking rate should be increased there to match the increase in the village, but the decision was made that the rate should be left intact, as of now.
Don Lehman covers police and court matters, Warren County government and the outdoors. He can be reached at 518-742-3224 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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