PORTHENRY - Lakefront development is the key to Moriah's economic future.
That's the belief of local officials and a reason they're thrilled with recent Adirondack Park Agency approval of a marina project.
"We all know the lakefront is the key to our future," Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava said. "We're excited about this project. That property is a key to the economic future of the community."
The APA approved a series of variances in January, clearing the way for the renovation and expansion of Velez Marina on Lake Champlain. It is located in the village of Port Henry.
Moriah and Port Henry officials worked to secure the APA approval.
"The town and village worked hard to make this a reality," Scozzafava said. "That's a key piece of property for the town of Moriah and the village of Port Henry."
Velez Marine occupies 1,255 feet of Lake Champlain shoreline in Port Henry, just north of the state Department of Environmental Conservation boat launch.
The site is currently in decline but owner Rick Dolliver has plans to build 30,000 square feet of breakwater to create 94 new boat slips.
The project will add a new two-lane boat launch ramp, boat-hauling and maintenance facilities and a pump-out station.
"This is something the community has been hoping would happen for as long as I can remember," Scozzafava said. "It's great news."
Moriah and Port Henry have two municipal campgrounds on the lake, a state boat launch, a pier and public marinas.
"There aren't many communities that can boast as many public amenities as Port Henry can," Scozzafava said.
Moriah trustee Tim Garrison is now heading up a committee studying the town's lakeshore, Scozzafava said. The committee will explore economic development along Lake Champlain.
Scozzafava praised the efforts of Dolliver, who also owns Pre-Tech Plastics in Mineville.
"He's a good friend and good member of the community," Scozzafava said. "He's more than shown his commitment to our town."
The supervisor noted the marina project will be completed entirely with private money.
"The beauty is that this is all private money going into this," he said. "This is an investment from the private sector, which is very refreshing to see for a change."