North Elba OKs 10 LEAF grants | News, Sports, Jobs

LAKE PLACID — The North Elba City Council is distributing more than $600,000 in funding to local organizations through its fourth round of Local Improvement and Advancement Fund grants.

City Council last week approved LEAF grants for 10 local projects. Two of the organizations that have received funding in previous rounds – Homestead Development Corp. and the City of North Elba – also received funding in the fourth round.

In total, more than $2 million in grants have been disbursed to local organizations through LEAF since the fund’s inception in 2020.

The grants are funded by revenue generated from the county’s 5% Occupancy Tax – a tax levied on all stays in hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and short-term vacation rentals in the county of Essex. Of the 5% tax, approximately 3% goes to the Regional Sustainable Tourism Office and 2% goes into a fund that distributes money to each of Essex County’s 18 towns. The county also retains a portion of the revenue to pay for administrative costs.

A 10-person committee, made up of representatives from businesses, schools and local organizations, reviewed each grant application and presented its recommendations to city council last week. Councilor Emily Kilburn Politi has recused herself from approving the city grant. Politi sits on the board of the Homestead Development Corporation, which received its third grant in this round of LEAF funding.

The 10 organizations approved for funding under the fourth LEAF grant cycle include:

¯ Adirondack Film Society, $20,000 for new filmmaker and residency program

¯ Adirondack Rail Trail Association, $25,000 for local marketing

¯ Adirondack Sports Council, $22,350 for the Mac Pac program, an immersion program offered to Lake Placid students in grades K-8 during school closures related to the 2023 FISU Winter Worlds

University games

¯ Essex County Industrial Development Agency, $264,000 for grants to local businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and construction-related closures on Main Street in Lake Placid

¯ Homestead Development Corporation, $124,975 for the Fawn Valley housing development on Westvalley Road

¯ John Brown Lives!, $11,500 for his Freedom Story project and June 19 celebration

¯ Lake Placid Horse Show Association, $16,000 for new whiskey casks at the North Elba Horse Show Grounds

¯ Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute, $25,000 for buoys that will aid in a study of the shores of Lake Placid

¯ Saranac Lake Civic Center, Inc., $50,000 for a lift barrier for disabled access to the center’s mezzanine

¯ City of North Elba, $48,000 for new fencing to separate the beach volleyball and pickleball courts from the lacrosse fields and to install new gates to further secure the landfill and construction and debris pit areas from the city.

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