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Economic development council meets at Indian Lake Theater

JOINING FORCES - Morehouse Town Supervisor Bill Farber heads the Adirondack Park subcommittee of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. Their Oct. 19 Indian Lake forum was among the best-attended, council members said.

JOINING FORCES - Morehouse Town Supervisor Bill Farber heads the Adirondack Park subcommittee of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council. Their Oct. 19 Indian Lake forum was among the best-attended, council members said. Photo by John Grybos.

— George Virgil of Indian Lake reminded the audience of what they can do when they pull together. A bus garage that would have cost $500,000 was built for only $140,000 with cooperation from the school and town. A ski building was erected for $100,000.

The people of the town can keep succeeding as long as they keep working together, Virgil said.

Web and cell service

That’s not to say Indian Lake couldn't use help. Broadband internet service was a top talk item from the gallery, with Jack Valentine of Indian Lake, Ann Melious from the Hamilton County Industrial Development Agency and David Cole of North Creek all emphasizing the need for broadband in the park.

“You're not going to get recently-graduated college couples up here with their iPads and iPhones,” Farber said.

Access to broadband increases quality of life, opening up business and education options and accommodating second homeowners who want to work from the Adirondacks during the warm season, Farber said.

Bill Murphy stood up from the audience and said telecommuting should be a priority of the county Industrial Development Agencies in the park. The sooner they get started, the better, he said, because if there's a workforce or education issue it can be addressed.

Cell service is another communications’ weak spot that needs quick action, said Kevin Elkin from Indian Lake.

Elkin used to work for the county as a drug and alcohol prevention coordinator, and works now running a tree service.

His job is mostly done solo. When he's alone with a chain saw and no cell reception, he worries about how fast a slip with the power tool could turn deadly.

He does have a radio, but if he debilitates himself and can't get to it after an injury, the safety net of a cell phone in his pocket is non-existent.

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