LAKE GEORGE — A Lake George hotel owner has been forced to close his business because of flooding problems, which he claims the village has not addressed.
Mohammad Tariq, owner of the Howard Johnson Hotel on Canada Street, said he has been closed since the Halloween storm that dumped several inches of rain across the region.
He said 7 feet of water came into 35 of his rooms.
“The rooms are all messed up,” he said.
Mattresses and furniture are all ruined, and the rooms will have to be completely gutted, according to Tariq.
Tariq said this has been an ongoing issue, with stormwater runoff coming from the state-owned parking lot at Prospect Mountain.
He pleas for village officials to address the issue have been ignored, even though he pays a large tax bill every year, he said.
“This is what I’m getting from their end. That’s ridiculous,” he said.
He even bought the old McDonald’s restaurant property next door to try to improve the drainage off the site, he said.
Tariq operates his hotel year-round.
Mayor Robert Blais said he is aware of Tariq’s concerns. Blais also blamed the drainage problems on a stream that flows from the top of Prospect Mountain.
“That stream has had problems on several occasions handling the stormwater that comes down,” he said. “Everything from the mountain and the Northway drains through the village on that particular stream.”
The village has enlarged the stream bed. Unfortunately, the stream runs under the street and goes through Tariq’s property, which is in a gulley, according to Blais.
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“He’s got the motel units right next to the stream in that gulley,” he said.
The pipe carrying the water is undersized, Blais said. During big storms, debris enters the stream and clogs up at the entrance to the pipe.
“We’ve been told that all the problems are occurring right here on his property. That it’s his responsibility, unfortunately,” he said.
He believes Tariq has made changes on the site that have worsened the drainage.
Village crews have gone into one of the manholes to look at the pipe, which goes under Route 9 and crosses Beach Road before emptying into the lake. They have removed debris such as rubber boots and all kinds of trash.
“What happens is it dams up there after awhile and it starts to back up,” he said.
Blais said the village did refer Tariq to Warren County officials, who have said that some damages on private property may qualify for federal disaster aid.
Blais believes that construction of the Adirondack Northway caused these flooding problems, which worsened with the construction of the Prospect Mountain Road and parking lot.
The state has made some fixes, according to Blais. Lake George high school’s ballfield used to flood during big storms, but the state has improved drainage on the Northway, installed some catch basins and enlarged a pipe under Route 9 near the Courtyard by Marriot Hotel, which seems to have fixed the issue.
“It’s one of those red tape things that no one wants to take responsibility for, but we’re pretty certain, it’s not our responsibility,” he said.
Tariq said one of the reasons he bought the McDonald’s property is so the village would have a way to access his hotel site to fix the runoff problem.
He said a highway superintendent told him that village officials would address the issue, but they have other priorities.
“It’s the village that this is on,” he said.