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Time for some sidewalk salting alternatives to save Mirror Lake

January 28, 2016
Lake Placid News

To the editor:

I'm writing in response to recent discussions regarding clearing village sidewalks and the use of salt or a salt substitute.

We're fortunate to have an abundance of natural and manmade amenities to attract and satisfy our guests. These include our natural beauty, lakes, mountains, trees, our Main Street USA shopping, our warm and friendly community, etc. etc. Mirror Lake is in a somewhat critical point in its life in that strong usage, runoff from streets and homes and particularly salt are compromising the quality of lake. Our lake is one of the things that set us apart from resort communities out West or in Vermont or New Hampshire, which for the most part don't have the year-round advantage of lakes and mountains. Salt will continue to compromise the integrity and value of Mirror Lake, not to mention the mess it makes inside of buildings.

Where I grew up, homeowners and businesses were responsible for the sidewalks in front of their domain. If it snowed, they shoveled them. If it became icy, they sprinkled a little sand or salt. Plattsburgh basically does this now. I think we, as a community, expect too much from the village on this issue.

I would suggest the following:

Everyone maintain their own sidewalks. For the Mirror Lake Inn, that would amount to more than an eighth of a mile.

When it snows, the village should make one pass with the sweeper (no salt or solution dropping). After that, it's up to individual owners to maintain until the next snowfall. The benefit for the Main Street properties is that they can control the amount of mess and salty slush tracked into their stores damaging their carpets and floors. They would do this by carefully and periodically pushing snow out of the way. If it became icy, they could carefully sprinkle a little sand or salt and once the slipperiness is taken care of, they can push the residue into the street to keep the mess from coming into their stores.

The Mirror Lake Inn would be glad to volunteer to maintain its sidewalks under these conditions.

It appears that if everyone is willing to pitch in, we have an opportunity to do a lot for the quality of Mirror Lake, which is so important for all of our pleasure and economy and I'm sure the village could find good use for the money saved.


Edwin H. Weibrecht


Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa

Lake Placid



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