Press-Republican

Local News

August 11, 2010

Officials gearing up for Lyon Mountain closure

(Continued)

CHALLENGES

In discussing the closure, some, including Little and Town Councilor Lori Stacey, noted the geographic challenges of the site, including issues with broadband and cell service.

Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce President Garry Douglas said that finding an alternative use could "take some creative thinking.

"I think it will be challenging ... and there's no guarantee that it will be reused."

But, Douglas said, he and others, including officials with Empire State Development, have pledged their complete support and assistance to the town in seeking an alternative.

"We're just here to help you whichever way you decide to move forward."

Also at question was whether the area is under strict Adirondack Park Agency regulations, though officials believed the agency would have less jurisdiction since some of the land falls in a hamlet.

The property is considered state-administrative land and would likely revert to prior zoning regulations in the event of a sale.

SUGGESTIONS

Local businessman Andy Chase, who owns a convenience store adjacent to the property, wondered whether the site could help the Department of Homeland Security accommodate its growing local staff and services.

"What a great use that would be," Chase said as he discussed the site's security and proximity to the border.

Little said the town should discuss possible incentives to attract a new owner, such as phasing future development into the tax roll.

Though she seemed optimistic about the site's future, in reality, she said, the town should also prepare for long-term non-use of the site.

She and Assemblywoman Janet Duprey (R-Peru) said they will stand by the town through the transition.

"We're not walking away from Lyon Mountain," Duprey said.

E-mail Andrea VanValkenburg at: avanvalkenburg@pressrepublican.com

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