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New Lake George B.I.D. plan lowers levy, exempts owner-occupied residences

At an Oct. 7 Lake George Village public hearing, area developer and business owner John Carr talks of both the advantages and concerns associated with establishing a Business Improvement District in the village. Since this hearing, the BID proposal has amended to exclude owner-occupied residences and to lower its levy, reducing its impact on tax bills. The new proposal was approved by village trustees, and now headed to a public hearing at 7 p.m. Wednesday Dec. 4 at the Lake George firehouse.

At an Oct. 7 Lake George Village public hearing, area developer and business owner John Carr talks of both the advantages and concerns associated with establishing a Business Improvement District in the village. Since this hearing, the BID proposal has amended to exclude owner-occupied residences and to lower its levy, reducing its impact on tax bills. The new proposal was approved by village trustees, and now headed to a public hearing at 7 p.m. Wednesday Dec. 4 at the Lake George firehouse. Photo by Thom Randall.

— In another concession to the past criticisms, the new proposal requires a super-majority of the property owners in the district to approve borrowing substantial sums of money.

That first plan prompted criticism at the Oct. 7 hearing, with business owners and residents of the district raising concerns about the funding, budget, and powers of such a district in the village, and whether it would create an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy as well as add substantially to property owners’ tax bills.

In making a motion to endorse the BID plan, Village Board member John Root said the plan was now viable.

“You’ve answered all the objections heard at the public hearing,” he told Gregor before the board voted unanimously to endorse the plan and present it to the public.

Lake George Mayor Robert Blais has said the BID would provide a new public entity to improve the local streetscape, market the village to the public, promote local special events and spur improvement of store facades.

While the village board has the power to establish the district, the public is able to override their decision by collecting signatures on a petition to stop it from being formed. If either 51 percent of the individual property owners oppose a proposed BID, or a number of votes that represent 51 percent of the assessed property value, the proposal is defeated.

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