Local News

Lake Placid looks to annexation prior to CRA study

LAKE PLACID - The town will seek annex agreements on properties in the enterprize zone along U.S. 27 for possible inclusion in the proposed community redevelopment agency.

At Monday's council meeting, Town Administrator Phil Williams updated the council on the initial efforts to establish a community redevelopment agency.

Williams said Councilwoman Debra Worley described an area outside of the town, the enterprize zone, that she would like to see annexed into the town.

It would involve asking the property owners if they would like to be part of the CRA and if they want to annexed into the city, he said.

Worley said most of the property owners are agreeable to being annexed. The CRA needs to include undeveloped areas for it to be successful.

"We cannot just take a small developed area and expect it to work," she said. A CRA helps the town in the ability to obtain grants for projects to help the redevelopment areas and undeveloped areas.

Worley asked Councilman Ray Royce that, if the enterprize zone properties outside the town were annexed, would he support those properties being part of the CRA?

Royce responded, "I will vote to include them in the CRA 'study.'"

Councilman Steve Bastardi said he agreed with Royce.

"The key word here is the study. How can you guarantee to make them part of something and we don't even know if it makes any sense to do?" he said.

Mayor John Holbrook said he had no problem with trying to get the people annexed into the town.

"What I don't want to do is promise some people that we are going to put them in the CRA and then have the wheels fall off [the CRA effort] after they are in," he said.

Worley said she would not promise something she couldn't provide.

She wants to go with Williams to talk to the property owners about annexation, Worley said.

Royce made a motion to delay on seeking a bid for a CRA study until an update on Worley and Williams' annexation efforts at the March 10 council meeting.

Worley said she would try to complete the annexation effort in about a month. She doesn't want to delay the CRA effort because if it established this year there could be some developing properties that could pay for the CRA start up costs.

Williams added, "I would actually love to study these properties anyway."

Council voted 3-1 to support Royce's motion. Bastardi cast the "no" vote.

Worley said Tuesday that the proposed annexation area includes properties west of U.S. 27 that are south of the overpass and properties east of U.S. 27 that are north of the overpass.

The area has about eight or nine property owners, she said.