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Lake George merchants to meet on business improvement district proposal

Visitors walk through downtown Lake George on a recent Fourth of July weekend. In an attempt to lengthen the tourist season, enhance the area's attractiveness as a destination and boost the region's prosperity, village officials are seeking to establish a Business Improvement District, make architectural standards more stringent and establish incentives to spur businesses to upgrade their storefronts.

Visitors walk through downtown Lake George on a recent Fourth of July weekend. In an attempt to lengthen the tourist season, enhance the area's attractiveness as a destination and boost the region's prosperity, village officials are seeking to establish a Business Improvement District, make architectural standards more stringent and establish incentives to spur businesses to upgrade their storefronts. Photo by Thom Randall.

— A second meeting of Lake George Village merchants, landlords and property owners to explore the creation of a Business Improvement District is scheduled for Tuesday, March 19.

More than 60 business proprietors attended the first meeting, encouraging Mayor Robert Blais to move forward with plans to create a special taxing district, village officials noted this week.

Business Improvement Districts are created to raise funds for events and improvements, which benefit commercial areas —pursuits that municipalities generally do not provide. These quasi-public entities also create new initiatives to support downtown economies.

The meeting will include a presentation by Anthony Capece, Executive Director of the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District. Capece is to answer questions during the session.

Village officials are encouraging local merchants to form a BID to assist them in future promotions and improvements in keeping them competitive with other resorts.

This movement is just one of several planned to move the Village forward with new investments and developments, Mayor Robert Blais said this week.

In addition to changing village zoning regulations to allow taller buildings and upgrade architectural standards, Lake George trustees are also considering a new business investment credit on real property taxes, as well as forming a local development corporation to assist businesses with improvements or start-up funding.

Public meetings, scheduled to be held in April, are to provide an overview of these initiatives.

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