Saranac Lake While Harriestown supervisor candidates debate the future of the business park in Lake Clear, town officials are defending the work they’ve accomplished at the site since it was established in the 1990s.
The first tenant — Franklin County ARC, now called the Adirondack Arc — moved into the business park in 1997. Since then, only one other business has moved into the development, Bionique Testing Laboratories. There is no marketing or business plan for the park and no information about it on the town of Harrietstown’s website.
That’s enough to spark debate between the two supervisor candidates this fall — town Councilman Bob Bevilacqua (R) and village of Saranac Lake Trustee Tom Catillaz (D).
“It’s been more than 20 years since the town’s business park was established and the Internet became a part of everyday life, and I say, after those two decades, it’s way past time to start marketing the park on the Internet and to at least establish a link to a business park website from the town’s website,” Catillaz said.
Moreover, Catillaz said the town should create a stand-alone website for the business park to attract tenants, which would add to the town’s tax roll.
Although it’s not been quite 20 years — only 15 — since the business park has been operational, Town Board members were asked at their Sept. 27 meeting why it took this long to create a business plan for the site.
Councilman Ron Keough said a business plan wasn’t in place because the town just received Adirondack Park Agency approval for seven lots in June.
“How do you have a business plan until you know what you’re going to do?” Keough said. “When we finally saw where the economy was going and looking at the APA, we cut that footprint way down. That had to include buffer zones off the road, trees, a much smaller footprint, so it totally revamped what we could and could not do out there and how we market that.”