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For Release: Tuesday, June 25, 2019

DEC to Construct New, Accessible Restroom at Lake Flower Boat Launch

Full-Service Restroom in Addition to Improvements Completed as Part of the Pontiac Bay Cleanup Project in Village of Saranac Lake

An accessible full-service restroom will be constructed at the Lake Flower boat launch in the village of Saranac Lake, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Region 5 Director Bob Stegemann announced today.

"DEC is actively encouraging New Yorkers to get outside and enjoy the outdoors and we're pleased to announce this new full-service restroom will be available for boaters and visitors to the village of Saranac Lake's nearby parks," said Regional Director Stegemann. "The cleanup of Pontiac Bay and Brandy Brook provides Saranac Lake with a cleaner and healthier environment. Completing the restoration work this spring will improve habitat for plants, fish, and wildlife, the scenery along the shores of Lake Flower, as well as the use of the boat launch. The new restroom will be the final touch to our restoration effort, complementing both the appeal and functionality of the area."

The restroom will be built in the western corner of the boat launch property near the sidewalk along River Street and is expected to be ready for use in next year's boating season. DEC will connect the restroom to the municipal water and sewer. The facility, with restrooms for both men and women, will have four toilets and two sinks.
DEC has worked closely with the village of Saranac Lake throughout the planning and completion of the cleanup of contaminants from the Saranac Lake Manufactured Gas Plant to ensure minimal impacts and maximum benefits for residents and visitors. During the cleanup project, DEC undertook the following steps in close coordination with village officials and other stakeholders:

  • Prioritizing the project and expediting its completion;
  • Keeping the boat launch open for launching and retrieving boats during the 2018 boating season;
  • Providing parking for users of the boat launch at the former Nona Fina restaurant;
  • Changing the final grade of the Ice Palace Parcel from two to one percent to help in the annual building of the Palace;
  • Changing the slope of the shoreline to facilitate removal of ice blocks for the Palace;
  • Ensuring the site was properly restored in time for construction of the Ice Palace; and
  • Using the village's landscaping plan for the planting of trees, shrubs, and flowers this spring.

"We are very pleased that DEC will be building a bathroom at this location," said Village of Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau. "We appreciate the efforts of DEC and Commissioner Basil Seggos. We are most appreciative of Regional Director Bob Stegemann who has been a strong advocate for Saranac Lake throughout the cleanup project and in other matters."

DEC is completing final restoration activities in and along Brandy Brook and Pontiac Bay, as well as the boat launch and adjacent parkland. DEC will plant trees, shrubs, and other vegetation in and along the shores of the bay and banks of the brook and put down topsoil and grass seed on the village parcel. In addition, DEC will complete paving and landscaping of the Lake Flower Boat Launch and install a fence along the boundary of the launch and the village park.

Saranac Lake Gas Company operated a manufactured gas plant (MGP) at the site off Payeville Road from the late 1800s to the 1940s, using coal gasification to produce gas for lighting and the village of Saranac Lake. This activity resulted in the generation of coal tar and other contaminants which were dumped into Brandy Brook and transported downstream into Lake Flower's Pontiac Bay.

DEC continues to work on plans to address the contaminants present at the former MGP site. Due to the local hydrology, these contaminants cannot enter Brandy Brook. The Saranac Lake MGP Remediation Project was funded by and conducted under the State Superfund program.

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