To the editor:
After two months of discussion and consideration of the proposed North Country Community College Welcome Center, the Saranac Lake village planning board wisely made the decision to reject the project and preserve the residential character of the neighborhood. The project, which was ill conceived and wrought with problems from the beginning, would have been a boondoggle in the first degree and a waste of taxpayer dollars.
Now is the time for the college board to seriously read and consider the Guest Commentary by Frank Casier published in the Enterprise on Aug. 23. It completely makes sense and is such a "no-brainer" that the college board should be embarrassed that they did not think of it before Frank brought it to their attention. Did they not realize that they already owned the perfect building and, with substantially less expense, could achieve the same objectives in a superior location? If exposure to promote the college was one of the objectives, what better location? You can't help but see the property and the building when traveling along the major traffic corridor through Saranac Lake, especially if you are coming from Lake Placid.
Why is it that only a 94-year-old man has the ability to see what is the right answer for the Welcome Center? It is because all of his life he has been fiscally conservative, and since he was one of the original proponents trying to bring a community college to Saranac Lake, he only had the best interests of the students and their education at heart? At this point, he has nothing to gain from a new Welcome Center coming to Saranac Lake. He is just trying to offer some very wise advice so the right thing will be done by the college board.
I am not convinced that the college even needs a welcome center. It appears to be doing pretty damn well without it, thank you, and I do not see how it will offer students any better opportunity to further their education. The money could probably be spent in other ways that would be of greater benefit to the students.
I would suggest everyone read Frank's letter again or for the first time and put it on the table at the next board meeting for some serious consideration if they still want to go ahead with a Welcome Center.