LAKE PLACID - The Lake Placid village Board of Trustees will listen to the community before it makes a decision about suggesting a permanent traffic light at the intersection of Saranac Avenue and Wesvalley Road.
The Essex County Highway Department set up a temporary stoplight at the intersection in mid-August to alleviate traffic congestion caused by the closure of Old Military Road between state Route 86 and Mill Pond Drive. Since then, some community members have proposed making the traffic signal a permanent fixture, something that would have to be approved by the state Department of Transportation.
Several business owners near the intersection have spoken out against the idea. On Monday, Anna Szczesna, owner of the Town and Country Motor Inn, told the News the traffic light isn't necessary when construction is not taking place.
The temporary traffic light as seen recently on Saranac Avenue in Lake Placid. The light has since been removed as the reopening of Old Military Road has eliminated the detour that passed through this section of Saranac Avenue. The village will consider adding a permanent traffic light at this location.
Richard Rosentreter/Lake Placid News
"All of the cars stop almost on my property," she said of the stoplight. "They slow down using their brakes, so the noise is tremendously high. On both sides, there are hotels, and people are here resting."
At Monday night's regular board meeting, Trustee Art Devlin said most of the issues at that intersection will go away when Old Military Road is reopened. Mayor Craig Randall said he would ask the DOT to do a traffic study in July and August to find out whether a permanent light is needed.
Trustee Zay Curtis lives near the intersection and seemed to agree that a permanent light would be an improvement. He said sometimes, he will turn right off of Wesvalley Road onto Saranac Avenue, wait to turn left into a driveway, and then turn around because it's faster than waiting to make a left turn onto Saranac Avenue.
What do you think about the traffic light becoming permanent? See poll question on the traffic light issue in right column of the main page of this website
Randall said he wants to hear from the public.
"I don't think it is a rush item," he added.
The board unanimously approved a resolution to purchase three pieces of equipment: a street sweeper for $187,500, a front-end loader for $98,500 and a police vehicle for $23,604.
Randall said the new street sweeper will replace a 10-year-old one at the village Department of Public Works that saw "limited and very careful use" over the summer because it was "basically worn out." He said he's not sure the village will be able to get anything in return for the old sweeper.
The village will pay $143,000 to replace an existing, five-year-old loader. The net cost will be $98,500, Randall said.
The police department will contribute $10,000 in forfeiture funds to the cost of the new vehicle, Randall said.
The board's approval lets village Attorney Janet Bliss prepare a bond anticipation note totaling $309,604. The BAN will be presented to the board at its next meeting.