TUPPER LAKE - The village and town, along with the Franklin County Board of Legislators, are applying for state grant money to expand the village sewer system to accommodate the Adirondack Club and Resort.
They submitted an application, prepared by Plattsburgh-based engineer Jim Adballah, for grant funding for the $2.8 million project to the North Country Regional Economic Development Council when they were due in July.
Village Mayor Paul Maroun, who also represents Tupper Lake on the Franklin County Board of Legislators, and town Supervisor Roger Amell met with the press Monday afternoon to tout the project.
Tupper Lake village Mayor Paul Maroun, left, and town Supervisor Paul Maroun discuss sewer plans for the Adirondack Club and Resort.
(Enterprise photo — Jessica Collier)
They said installing new sewer lines to the proposed Sewer District 27 would make it possible to get rid of on-site sewer and a wastewater treatment plant planned for the ACR, so it should eliminate some of the concerns environmentalists have brought up about the proposed development. One of the major concerns has been the plan to pump wastewater effluent into Cranberry Pond and the surrounding area.
Part of the plan is also to build the sewer with piping that would be large enough to carry both the sewer line and broadband Internet cable. That would facilitate a plan to bring broadband cable south from Tupper Lake into Hamilton County, which has run into problems with breaks in telephone pole connectivity, Maroun said.
"For a number of reasons, this probably should have happened before, when the road was torn up, but it didn't," Maroun said. "We're trying to rectify a wrong."
There are two potential ways for the line to be installed. One would include a directional bore from Skyline Ice Cream on state Route 30 under the water at Moody Bridge, then hooking into an existing pipe along Lake Simond Road. A directional bore would drill a hole sideways underground and then pull piping back through the hole, Amell said.
The other option is an old village water line that isn't in use. It connects to Cranberry Pond from when that was used as a water source. The line crosses some private lands and portions of land set to be owned by the ACR and its subsidiaries. Amell and Maroun said this route would be the easiest and most cost-effective way to go, but there are some challenges. The biggest one is that it crosses Read Road, which is privately owned by the Read family, which has expressed opposition to the ACR in the past. Maroun said the municipalities are currently negotiating with the Reads.
Amell said he and Maroun met with staff from the state Adirondack Park Agency in the spring to talk about the proposal, and they were told that it would require only an amendment to the current permits for the ACR, which wouldn't be difficult. He said APA staff approved of the idea.
THE ADIRONDACK CLUB AND RESORT, proposed by a Pennsylvania-based investment group called Preserve Associates, would overhaul the Big Tupper Ski Area in Tupper Lake and build out the land around it with about 700 luxury housing units and various amenities including a spa, a marina and an equestrian center. The project received permits from the state Adirondack Park Agency on Jan. 20 after eight years of negotiating, reworking the application and an extensive adjudicatory hearing.
In March, two environmental groups and three nearby landowners filed a lawsuit to challenge the APA's decision. That suit is working its way through state courts.
The project must also obtain a number of other approvals, including from the state departments of Environmental Conservation and Health, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the local town-village planning board.
"If it could happen, they'd be really happy," Amell said.
If it comes through, the grant would cover the installation of the infrastructure, which would happen in 2014 and '15, according to the grant application.
The project fits well with the goals of the North Country Regional Economic Development Council, Maroun said: It would help economic development and promote the creation and retention of jobs, it would facilitate broadband infrastructure, and it would be environmentally friendly.
Maroun and Amell said their collaboration on the issue shows a good working relationship between the town and the village, something that hasn't been a characteristic of Tupper Lake at times in the recent past.
"We just want people to understand that the supervisor and the mayor are together in this," Maroun said.
It also shows support from both municipal entities for the ACR. Before Maroun became mayor last December, he and others accused the village board and then-Mayor Mickey Desmarais of not supporting the development enough.
In a press release, Maroun and Amell are quoted as collectively saying that "this grant should be awarded to create and keep jobs in the Tupper Lake area, greatly expand the tax base for town and county residents, assist broadband expansion in Tupper Lake and for our neighbors in Long Lake and Hamilton County, and to enhance the Adirondack Club and Resort project's ability to be viewed in the best environmental light by Governor Cuomo and all concerned citizens."
Contact Jessica Collier at 518-891-2600 ext. 26 or firstname.lastname@example.org.