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There is a better plan for North Country Community College Welcome Center

Guest viewpoint

With reference to remarks made by Village of Saranac Lake Trustee Allie Pelletieri published in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise on July 13, 2012, who gave good reasons to oppose the proposed NCCC project.

And an Adirondack Daily Enterprise 600 word editorial of July 25, 2012 – “College should explore options for welcome center.”

Plus a letter to the editor from Joseph Blitt dated June 5 questioning a conflict of interest.

Also a Press Republican article of Aug. 4, “Welcome Center Questioned,“ Quotes from Franklin County Legislature Paul Maroun, who said, in part, about Rabideau Corporation, owned by Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau – “Will it go out to bid?,” “It doesn’t look good, it doesn’t sound right, and it doesn’t smell right,” and “There may be something wrong with it ….”

I agree with these four pieces and would like to offer a better idea for NCCC Welcome Center. The bottom line is the decisions should be narrowed down to using River Street Hall (a former grade school).

I would like to propose that the Welcome Center be placed in your own River Street hall property. It is a natural. It has location, parking, 10,000 square feet of space, three stories, historic charm and an appropriate look for a treasured former school obviously being recycled to continue good works efficiently, with fiscal consideration.

The building is in operation but needs some renovation which perhaps could be done in the present budget. It requires NO variances, NO new zoning, NO need for a new road, NO loss of tax base, NO purchase of two homes to demolish to make another entrance to the college from an already crowded street.

The village board would be wise to reconsider this plan. It is not complete enough to be acted upon until more fundamental information and costs are provided.

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