Chamber, village at odds over funding

"So what are we going to do? We're going to have to find other sources of income, because we cannot sustain all of the governments looking to say, 'We're not going to contribute anymore,'" Wells said.

According to Wells, making up for the expected shortfall could mean asking chamber members for more money. A potential occupancy tax in Franklin County would also help, he adds.

Helene Gibbons owns The Center for Core Release and is a member of the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. She says it's unfortunate that the village plans to withdraw its financial support of the chamber.

"I think that the chamber plays a really important role in our community," she said. "Certainly, there's a part of it that's for us businesses, but more importantly they also provide the support and promotion for the town that's so vital to our businesses."

Following Thursday's press conference, Mayor Clyde Rabideau said double-taxation is a "cause celebre" because Adirondack communities need to cut costs wherever possible.

"If somebody can explain to me why it's fair for somebody on one end of Duprey Street to pay once for the chamber of commerce and somebody on the other end of the street has to pay twice, then I might rethink this issue," he said.

Earlier this week, the village agreed to reinstate funding for the chamber and other civic organizations in the 2011-2012 budget - with the stipulation that the practice of double-taxation would end starting next year.

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