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TL mayor fires back in wake of criticism

Tupper Lake Village Mayor Mickey Desmarais outlined his stance on the Adirondack Club & Resort Monday night in the wake of criticism from Franklin County Legislator Paul Maroun.

Maroun announced last week that he would run for mayor of the village of Tupper Lake, promising to do more to make sure the resort becomes a reality.

He said Desmarais has been too critical of a sprawling 800-unit resort planned for the slopes of Mt. Morris in Tupper Lake. He criticized Desmarais for retaining an independent firm called the Hudson Group to study the pros and cons of the project, and for a "behind closed doors" meeting with an environmental group.

Desmarais countered these claims during a regular board meeting on Monday, pointing to a letter in which the Tupper Lake Planning Board recommended the retention of the Hudson Group to study the project and its impacts on the municipality.

According to Desmarais, the information the group provided is critical to making informed decisions about how the resort will relate to the village departments, including fire, water, sewer and electric.

He said details are still being drawn up for the resort's fire and police protection, but that sewer, electric and water logistics had already been worked out.

Desmarais suggested that his role in the process is to ask responsible questions on behalf of village taxpayers, not to blindly cheerlead for the project.

The APA is expected to make a final decision on whether to approve the resort project in the fall, months before Tupper Lake's mayoral election.

But some ACR advocates worry that environmental groups might sue if the APA permit is approved, a development that could delay the project for months.

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