Press-Republican

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September 15, 2013

NCCC Welcome Center in planning

(Continued)

SARANAC LAKE —

“If it is solely a SUNY construction-fund project, it does increase our cost.

Materials don’t usually drop in price. But we have a lot of state regulations, well-intended to protect the public good, though processes to monitor those regulations are not always cost-effective.”

Blending state resources with private donor funding would provide a different measure of cost control, he said.

BROADENS MASTER PLAN

The Welcome Center is not part of the existing NCCC Master Capital Plan developed over the past five or six years. The campus-wide renovation/restoration program is in somewhat of a holding pattern, due to fiscal constraints.

“The addition of a Welcome Center broadens and actually improves the Master Plan,” Tyrell said.

“At some point in time, some aspects of the Master Plan may be implemented, but the funding on both the state and federal level has shifted since the plan was developed.”

So far, the design has been through several rounds of meetings with the Village of Saranac Lake Planning Board.

At the last session, a motion to approve was left undecided.

Asked about the planning approval holdup, Rabideau declined comment, deferring to his client, NCCC.

“We don’t comment on our client’s behalf,” he said.

Saranac Lake Community Development Director Jeremy Evans said a measure of caution stems from how the project fits on the site proposed.

He does not speak for the Planning Board, but he is coordinating the newly adopted Comprehensive Plan for the village.

“The project overlaps two different zones: B4 and C2,” Evans said. “B4 is primarily commercial; C2 is primarily residential.

“So this does mean it (Welcome Center proposal) is also in two different areas of the Comprehensive Plan. The board is evaluating how the project does and doesn’t fit for those plan areas.”

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