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Saranac Lake board discusses residency for employees

More sidewalks to be rebuilt

The village of Saranac Lake has hired Luck Brothers to fix sections of Alpine Terrace, seen here behind the Rusty Nail bar on Broadway, that were damaged during the spring storms of 2011.

The village of Saranac Lake has hired Luck Brothers to fix sections of Alpine Terrace, seen here behind the Rusty Nail bar on Broadway, that were damaged during the spring storms of 2011. Photo by Andy Flynn.

— While discussing two appointments at a recent meeting, some Saranac Lake Village Board members said employees should live within the village limits.

And while there is no residency requirement now, a few trustees said they would be in favor of having one.

The first time the issue was raised at the July 23 meeting, board members were in the middle of approving the appointment Gerrid Salls to the position of water and wastewater maintenance helper. Salls is formerly from the area and wishes to move back, according to Village Manager John Sweeney.

“He’s going to move back here. Where?” asked Trustee Tom Catillaz.

“I didn’t ask for specifics,” Sweeney replied. “By contract, he has to live within 30 minutes of the village.”

Catillaz said he thinks village employees should live within the village limits. Mayor Clyde Rabideau said the board could pass a local law mandating residency for village workers. Trustees Elias ‘Allie” Pelletieri and Paul Van Cott agreed with Catillaz; however, no trustee proposed adopting a local law.

When board members discussed hiring Malone resident Jeff Dora as superintendent of public works, the residency question became even more pressing.

“I feel this is a very important position,” Pelletieri said. “He is superintendent of public works. He should be right here. It there’s a water line that breaks, he needs to be here immediately, not coming from Malone.”

Mayor Rabideau said the residency question came up during Dora’s interview.

“I said, ‘Look, this is provisional. That means we can boot you out at any time. I want you to live in Saranac Lake,’” Rabideau told the board. “He said, ‘I promise I’ll live in Saranac Lake.’ I said, ‘Fine.’”

According to the village’s job posting for the DPW superintendent position, the Franklin County residency was waived and “if appointed you will have 60 to 90 days to relocate to the Village.”

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