5 Year Plan Update March 2007 Approved by Town and Village of Tupper Lake    BACK

Community Development Goals:

1. Improve Community Appearances
2. Revitalize Commercial Districts
3. Complete the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks
4. Study the Feasibility of Reopening Big Tupper Ski Area
5. Reconstruct the Railroad Depot
6. Construct Multi-Use Recreational Trail System
7. Create Additional Youth Programs and Activities
8. Foster Municipal Communications and Cooperation
9. Improve Municipal Parks
10. Build the Adirondack Observatory
11. Build the Tupper Lake Heritage Museum
12. Support the Tupper Lake Country Club and Golf Course

Vision Statement

Tupper Lake is the home of the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks, “The Wild Center”. The community is a friendly clean and attractive all-season outdoor family recreational destination that has maintained its small town character, capitalized on its crossroads location, and preserved it scenic beauty while creating ample employment opportunities for its residents. These qualities have made Tupper Lake a desirable place to live, work, raise a family or retire.

Community Development Goals


1. Improve Community Appearance:

a. Sidewalks

Much of Tupper Lake’s business district’s sidewalks are in disrepair, with large cracks caused by frost heave and salt damage from constant salting by merchants. Presently the State of New York is responsible for snow removal along Route 3 and 30. These routes travel through the business districts, however, because of state budget restraints snow removal is minimal thus creating large snow banks making it difficult and dangerous for residents and visitors to get in and out of their car. Often snow is plowed onto the sidewalk itself. When snow is finally removed the large bucket loaders have to drop their buckets on the sidewalk further damaging the walkways.

At present the sidewalks are not wheelchair accessible. It is difficult for a handicap person to go into a store because of the step-ups.

● Design safe, attractive and functional sidewalks that are inviting to residents and visitors during the winter months as well as the summer season Sidewalks should be handicap accessible from street to store entry.

● Design sidewalks with bump-outs. Bump-outs will allow for lamppost, decorative plantings of, shrubs or trees that will further beautify the community. Provide information as to shrub and tree species that could be planted. How the bump-out look and what will be their impact on parking.

● Consider installing heated sidewalks. Provide a cost analysis as weighed against the cost of snow removals.

● Provide a variety of sidewalk design options with comparable cost. Sidewalk design should be consistent throughout the entire village. Build a “yellow brick road” that connects the downtown with the uptown through Demars Boulevard.


Accomplishments to date: A streetscape plan was designed by Barton & Loguidice from a grant obtained by _______________. The plan was meant to implement when the DOT completes the Route 3 & 30 renovation.

b. Lighting

Lighting is very important to a community’s visual appearance. Although lighting is sufficient on many of Tupper Lake’s street the design is out of date and many electrical wires are visible. Visible electrical wires diminish the scenic beauty of the community.

● Design the appropriate lighting that matches the vision statement. Lighting should be consistent in design throughout the Village. It should warm and inviting enough to encourage evening stroll while at the same time be functional and specific for the task.

● Evaluate and make recommendations as to what wires should be hidden or buried.

● Consider lighting with the (Adirondack Public Observatory), APO in mind, and encourage the village and town to subscribe a membership to the International Dark Sky Association and to develop a Model Lighting Ordinance.

● Much of the residential lighting we have is outdated and glutinous. In "light" of our current power situation we should encourage our residents to consider their home lighting also. This in turn will help to keep our new transmission line viable for years to come. Rapid growth will tap this line faster and steps need to be taken now to educate the general community. Local retailers and contractors should be provided information and access for purchase of the newest lighting available. This information can be provided by the Franklin County I.D.A.

● Informational packets regarding energy efficient and non invasive, "good neighbor lighting" could be made available either in public offices or through a mailer sent to residents. The information should contain such things as what energy efficient means, what constitutes good lighting and how lighting should be mounted to keep your neighbor happy and your home safe and enjoyable.

● Good lighting systems need to be encouraged at the very start of any development project and the Town/Village planning board should be encouraged to adopt standards for developers or any projects that come before the review board. The Town and Village should be able to supply them with information on their lighting requirements and the purpose it will serve.

c. Vegetative Plantings and Preservation

Tupper Lake main streets like Demars Boulevard, Park and Main Street have lost many of the larger mature trees that once lined their roadsides. Many of the larger trees are uplifting sidewalks as their root systems grow. Strategic plantings of flowering plants and shrubs, the placement of flowerpots and preservation of mature trees adds to the scenic beauty of a community.

Specific plantings of certain species of shrub will encourage use by wild life, specifically birds.

The Tender Loving Care (TLC) Committee creates a yearly journal of flower containers and gardens planted and maintained through the community. It is not only useful as a record of this year’s planting activities, but also provides guidance and recommendations for the planting, budget, purchasing and planting for each year.

● Produce a strategic plan for the preservation of existing mature trees and for the planting of trees, flowering shrubs and plants.

● Consideration should be given to flowering native plants and shrubs. Plants and shrubs that are planted together should flower at different times.

● Work with TLC to locate planting areas for shrubs and trees and the summer installation of flowerpots and gardens.

● Develop a shoreline-planting plan to encourage wildlife viewing.

Accomplishments: A wildlife viewing area and community kiosk will be installed next year as part of planning that took place with the Department of Transportation between the Wild Center and the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce. Power lines will be buried along the Moody Marsh Causeway and paved bicycle/walking ROW to allow safer egress.

We improved thee appearance of trash receptacles throughout the village. (Ellen, can you add to this?)


d. Façade Management; Over the years Tupper Lake has lost many of its historical buildings to fire and disuse. As you drive through the community you will see some sections where buildings have be modernized by removing the upper stories. There are spaces and gaps between buildings, and new buildings built that are seemingly out of place by their design. Although many of Tupper Lake’s original building are still standing they are in need of a facelift. The overall look of the Village is not appealing because it has lost its consistency of design.

Accomplishments: Money obtained from a HUD grant has helped to restore facades on __?__ store fronts on Park Street.


f. Address the general appearance of the Village as well as the appearance of major entrances into the community and signage to encourage those passing through to stop

● Establish a campaign to encourage property owners and renters to assume responsibility for clean up of areas surrounding homes and businesses.

● Establish and enforce littering laws, cite violations.

● Create system for low income residents to apply for trash vouchers

● Establish set dates for community clean-up days once or twice a year.

● Assess and address absentee landlords, cite violations

● Assure attractive, appropriate placement of trash receptacles in the Village.

● Provide incentive for residents to recycle used appliances and large household items

g. Design overall theme consistent with overall planning.

● Develop incentives to willingness of owners to invest in the community

● Focus efforts toward joint Towm-Village cooperation to merge codes and zoning laws.


2. Revitalize Commercial Districts:

a. Build the Tupper Lake “Crossroads or Base Camp Community Information Center” at the Junction of Rt. 3& 30

General information on the Adirondack Park is not easily accessible to most visitors and residents. In 2001, the two existing Adirondack Visitors Interpretive Centers served 74,000 people; the Adirondack Museum served 90,000. The Wild Center expects to see 85,000 to 125,000 visitors. These numbers seem large, but pall in comparison to the nine million visitors the Adirondack Park sees each year. Only two percent of the visitors are learning about the Adirondacks through existing facilities. Tupper Lake’s unique positional location in the center of the Ten Rivers Region and as the crossroads to two Scenic Byways will provide visitors the opportunity to get the information they need to understand and enjoy the Adirondack experience.

Background: Adirondack Community Information Center (ACIC):

Empty storefronts and vacant downtown spaces are abundant inside the Adirondack Park. Boarded up windows and broken-down buildings create a negative ambiance which mars the Adirondack landscape and detracts from the quality of life in the region. The 92 towns, 12 counties, innumerable private organizations, and state government have only recently started to work together to improve these downtrodden buildings and offer residents and visitors a product in which we have the ultimate comparative advantage - an Adirondack experience.

The Adirondack Community Information Centers (ACIC) project is a cooperative effort modeled after the series of thematic visitor centers in Abruzzo National Park, Italy. This effort revitalizes rural town centers and surrounding communities through an information based approach to the development of town resources and Adirondack Park amenities. The ACIC project improves community infrastructure by converting abandoned storefronts or underused downtown areas to attractive centers that provide essential information on local history, local recreational opportunities and activities, local sights, near-by public land, significant natural resources, tourism attractions, and key conservation and development issues. The ACIC project provides a long-term vision for linking community resources to the natural environment that will improve rural development, conservation efforts, and quality of life in the Adirondack region.

The Adirondack Community Information Centers project is a region wide effort focused on selected towns that volunteer to participate. The Towns of Inlet and Johnsburg opened the first ACICs in 2001. The development process is currently underway in the Town of Fine. The goal of these centers is to increase the flow of information among institutions, organizations, residents, and visitors and thereby foster greater understanding and appreciation for the stewardship of the Adirondack Park's natural resources and human settlements. In addition, the ACIC project sparks new development in town centers thereby increasing economic activity on Main Streets.

Summary of the Inlet Experience:

The Town of Inlet is a small community of about 350 year round residents in the west-central Adirondacks. In recent years, the Town has taken progressive steps to improve the quality of life and plan for its future. The Town Board and the Chamber of Commerce formed an Inlet Area Economic Development Group with a broad base of local participation. This group conducted two surveys on community visioning and desired economic development, while also actively supporting a tourism assessment in Inlet. Town leaders participated in a Gateway Communities training course and an exchange visit to the Abruzzo National Park. These activities and the residents’ sense of pride sparked the community's initial interest for developing an ACIC.

The Town of Inlet opened the first temporary ACIC in May 2000. The building sits on Route 28, the Central Adirondack Trail Scenic Byway and primary thoroughfare in downtown Inlet, next to the Town Offices and right of way to the public beach. A vacant gas station was renovated and converted into the ACIC. Other stores have "spruced up" their appearance by adding Adirondack features, a coat of paint, and other facade improvements. In 2001, the ACIC reopened with permanent exhibits. The interior was renovated to resemble a boathouse and exhibits depict the Town’s history and natural resources under the umbrella theme of “Waterways.”

The Town staffs an employee to greet visitors and direct them to local and Adirondack attractions. The Inlet ACIC is open to the general public and from May 2001 to May 2002, almost 3,000 visitors signed in at the information desk. Prior to the ACIC opening in Inlet, many empty storefronts lined the hamlet’s main street. As discussion of where to place the ACIC and renovation of the building occurred, new businesses opened their doors. Since it’s opening, eight new businesses have opened on Main Street, all of them located in once vacant buildings. Other stores have “spruced up” their appearance by adding Adirondack features and a coat of paint.

As Tupper Lake looks to establish an ACIC, it looks to the Town of Inlet as the ACIC proto-type. Inlet has served as the pioneer in the overall ACIC project and in turn, the ACIC has contributed to the community’s sense of pride and continued economic activity. The ACIC project has fostered an emerging vitality in the downtown core and has provided opportunities for economic development, tourism, education and awareness among residents and visitors, while building an appreciation for regional history and human and natural communities. These successes serve as a model for revitalizing Tupper Lake’s uptown area and will be helpful as we move forward in this project.

Primary Contacts Organizations:

The Wildlife Conservation Society's Adirondack Communities and Conservation Program (WCS) has been the acting coordinator/facilitator of the Adirondack Community Information Center Project since September 1999.

Adirondack North Country Association is overseeing the development of the Corridor Management Plans for the Olympic and Adirondack Trails Scenic Byways. An approved NYS DOT Corridor Management Plan is now required to access any future Transportation Enhancement funds. Information Centers are eligible as potential fundable projects under this granting source.

The New York State Department of Transportation has been designing a new intersection for construction in year 2007 and can help with the location and size of the Center.

The Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce can provide the workforce to run the Center.

The Tupper Lake Village can provide infrastructure information for designers, electric, water and sewer systems.

Outline of Needs:

On many occasions we have heard throughout our Village "How do we get the people to stop in Tupper Lake and not just drive through?" The proposed ACIC will encourage motorists to stop, get out of their vehicles and move about on foot in downtown Tupper Lake and the Village’s municipal park. Further exploration of Tupper Lake will be complimented by the implementation of pedestrian and cyclist friendly project such as the proposed multi-recreational trail system. These companion projects offer an integrated network of positive experiences benefiting travelers and locals.

● The Tupper Lake Information Center should reflect Adirondack design and incorporate the flavor of Tupper Lake’s historical past in its decor.

● Signage (map) and displays at the Center should direct the visitor to the local venues (National History Museum, Railroad Station, Big Tupper Ski Slope if it re-opens), and the Scenic Byways

● The Visitor Center should provide information to enhance the visitor experience with shelf design to exhibit Adirondack brochures and for brochure storage.

● The Visitor Center should have adequate space to sell merchandise for small promotions.

● The Visitor Center should be designed to have adequate parking, bathroom facilities and connectivity to the Village Municipal Park and Park Street business district.

● The Village will work with the Department of Transportation and other contact groups to incorporate Visitor Center Design and location.

● A major kiosk or information panel should be incorporated to include the Tupper Lake recreational map. This map should show all recreational resources within twenty miles of Tupper Lake. Those resources would include items such as the Village’s multi-recreational trail, boat launches, other trails and trailheads, snowmobile corridors, fire towers, parking lots, beaches, golf course, campsites, lakes, parks, etc.

● Three major themes to express: Tupper Lake is located in a region of ten rivers and 1,000 lakes. We are at the crossroads of the Adirondack and Olympic Trail Scenic Byways. We are the base-camp for visitors to begin their exploration of the Adirondacks (The Adirondack Museum, The Two Vic Centers, The Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks and Paul Smiths College all within 40 minutes of Tupper Lake) and the Scenic Byways

Accomplishments: Although the road construction date has been backed up, the Tupper lake Chamber of Commerce has taken the lead in this goal with opening of the Tupper Lake Visitor Center at 121 Park Street. The Center is presently functioning at the best of its ability considering current funding. The center is funded by the Town of Tupper Lake ($11,000 annual) The Wild Center ($1500) and the Adirondack Club and Resort ($1500). Annual rent is $6,600. The current cost of part time salary (6hrs a day, 5 days a week) is $15,600 not including pay-role taxes. (Desiree can fill in more detail here) The Chamber of Commerce runs the Visitor Center and supplies the balance of all funding that includes computer costs, brochure creation and maintenance.

A parking area overlook and kiosk will be installed near the bowling alley on Route 30. It will include information about the community with the ability to change information in the display.

b. Restoration of the movie theater

Accomplishments: The inside of the movie theater has been completely renovated with the addition of a new viewing screen and comfortable seating. The theater is now fully insulated. The front façade has been renovated. Work is ongoing. (Sally Strasser can add more here)

c. Plan façade management for consistency of design and overall theme (any work done here?)

d. Parking plan for the entire Village (no work done here)

e. Provide amenities for all recreational vehicles (part of overall plan)

f. Provide vendor locations for specific recreational items (snowshoes, cross- country skis, snowmobile, etc.) (no work done here)

g. Restore the Grand Union Hotel (no work done here, should we remove this?)

h. Promote speedy permitting for projects and obtain Class B jurisdiction from the Adirondack Park Agency ( Jim fill in)

Accomplishments: Addition of Planned Development District to community zoning law. (Jim fill in).

A brochure was created for hand out in the Visitor Center Business brochure rack.

3. Complete the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks
Accomplishments: Done! (Stephanie will write this up)

4. Study the feasibility of reopening Big Tupper Ski Area.

3,100 Businesses in Clinton, Essex, Franklin and northern Warren Counties were asked in a survey by the North Country Chamber of Commerce if they supported the Adirondack Club and Resorts proposal to reopen the Big Tupper Ski Slope. 95 % of the responders supported the position and recommended approval by the APA (Adirondack Park Agency) and other agencies.

For years there has been a decline in accommodation businesses. This lack of infrastructure has greatly prevented the success of past owners to make the ski slope successful. The Adirondack Club and Resort associates have came forward with a plan to make the slope economically feasible.

At present, there are about 138 (motel) rooms and 104 units or cabins available to rent during our summer season. Saranac Lake and Long Lake rooms are only a half hour away and there are over a 1000 campsites available between the three communities. For the most part, during the summer season, our motel owners do business within the industry standard occupancy rate of 55%-60%. When winter rolls along. The campsites close, the cabins shut down, leaving Tupper Lake with just over a 100 rooms available to the visitor.

There has been an overall decline of Tupper Lake’s accommodation industry. Table 1 depicts the current inventory of accommodation businesses in Tupper Lake for the current year 2006. Table 2 was taken from a Chamber brochure published in the sixties, about 40 years ago. The Asterisks note that the business was open all year.

Table 1. List of Local Accommodation Businesses in Tupper Lake / 2006.

Coccia Pines Curtigay Cove Faust Motel
Hauser’s Haven Lakeview Motel * Northwood Cabins
Park Motel * Quinn Cottage Red Top Inn *
Rock Bay Camps Shaheens Motel * Sunset Park *
The Three Pillars Timber Lodge * Top Notch Motel *
Tupper Lake Motel * The Wawbeek Mountain Gate Motel
Adirondack Lakeside Cabin Camp Dancing Bears Green Bay Camp
Little Wolf Cabin Moody Cabin Mt Arab Lodge
Tall Pines Cottage


Table 2. List of Local Accommodation Businesses in Tupper Lake / circa 1966.

Adam’s Guest House * Alpine Motor Court * Baileys Motel *
Bellevue Motor Court Bliss Haven Cambridge Cottage
Camp Kirk Camp Lure Camp Phyllis
Clear Vallee Colonial Hotel * Country Cottages *
Doll House Dumoulin Cottage Faust Motel
Greenway Terrace Motel Halbigs Motel * Hillcrest Cabins *
Honeymoon Cottage Hutts Cottages Hutts Motel *
Iroquois Hotel * Jackman’s Imperial Motel * Lakecrest Cottages
LaRocque’s Cottage Martins Cottage Millstone Cottage *
Lake Shore Cabins Lakeside Motor Court * Lake Simond Cabins
Lambie Cottage Mt. Morris View Oberland Cottage
Panther Point Cottage Bull Point Motel Cottages Daly’s Cottages
Foresters Lodge Indian Spring Camp Peace Haven Cottages
Pine Terrace Motor Court Plaza Hotel * Quinn Cottage
Red Top Cottages Roland Richer Cottages Sekon Lodge
Shore Acres Motor Court Storm Cove Sunset Park Motel
The Lumberjack Three Pillars Tope’s Motel
Tupper Lake Motel * “U” Motel * Upper Saranac Lodge
Waukesha Lodge * Wawbeek Hotel and Motel Windsor Hotel *
Grand Union Hotel Wood’s Guest House * Waverly House *


During the late sixties, about 40 years ago, there were 60 accommodation businesses. Currently, we have 25. 19 of them were open year round (we’re down to 9). Some of the businesses like the Plaza Hotel still exist but function differently.

There are many reasons for this decline. The 1980 Olympics re-invigorated Lake Placid making them a major destination and allowed for the growth of their current infrastructure. The building of the Adirondack Northway changed the way people traveled through the Adirondacks and the tourist industry began to change as motels and cottages found themselves no longer on the main travel corridors. Lake cottages, that were once rentable, have become second homes and the low occupancy rates during the winter have caused many of our motels to close their doors. Visitor expectations have also changed; today they want indoor pools, internet connections, restaurants and other amenities provided by modern inns and hotels.

Our current hotel base in Tupper Lake consists of scattered motels and cabins and is inadequate to meet the expanding needs of our community. Our new museum expects to have a number of educational conferences, workshops and exhibits throughout the fall and winter, but how successful can we be with only a hundred rooms available during the winter, where road conditions constitute the willingness of a person to travel.

According to the Resort Associates, if the Adirondack Club and Resort becomes a reality it will eventually add an additional 400+ rental units and a 40 room hotel. Rental units in Tupper Lake are necessary to enable the success of the Big Tupper Ski Slope, the new Wild Center and main street businesses. If we accept the $50,000 per room number using the above mentioned statistics, when fully developed the Adirondack Resort Project will infuse $22,000,000 a year into the local economy.

Without a winter destination and adequate visitor accommodations, Tupper Lake will not be able to become a viable all season tourist economy and current trends will most likely continue. We will continue to lose accommodation businesses and increase the tax burden of our citizens as we lose our tax base and become out-competed by other tourist destinations.

The re-opening of the Big Tupper is now beyond the feasibility stage with plans under review from the Town of Tupper lake and the Adirondack Park Agency.


5. Reconstruct Railroad Depot and Restore Rail Service from Utica to Lake Placid

a. Next Stop! Tupper Lake A community-based effort to return the romance of railroading to a tourism-lean Adirondack community

For many decades the sound of the locomotive whistle was a familiar one in Tupper Lake, where a round house, shops, and a sizable rail yard developed to make our Adirondack community the most important rail junction point between Utica and Malone. For many years around the turn of the century Tupper Lake was the junction of John Hurd’s Northern Adirondack Railroad and Dr. Seward Webb’s Adirondack and St. Lawrence, the two pioneer railroads that transected the Adirondack region.

It is some of the historical flavor and nostalgia that a group of hardworking Tupper Lake volunteers are trying to recreate with the resurrection of the Tupper Lake railroad station. For the past 4 years a cross section of community residents, who were organized under the banner of “Next Stop Tupper Lake” have been hard at work building interest and raising money to rebuild the old “Tupper Lake Junction” train station. The new station will be a historic recreation of Tupper Lake’s first train station built about 1895, which was razed in the 1920s and replaced with a more austere version.

The group began its work with a petition drive and letter writing campaign, which generated hundreds of pieces of mail and thousands of signatures of people in Tupper Lake eager to see the train return. Resolutions of support were collected from over a one dozen local governments in the North Country region.

An anonymous donation of $100,000 by a community benefactor permitted the new group to purchase the 1.5 acres Junction site which had been in private hands. Ownership was initially turned over to the then Town of Altamont, the committee’s sponsor. The committee at that time was not in a position to take ownership of the parcel.

The volunteers in recent years raised over $60,000 through various fundraisers, including the sale of souvenir coffee mugs and t-shirts, all supporting the “Next Stop Tupper Lake “logo at various membership community events. Hundreds of people have joined the “Junction Depot Gang” and their membership fees to date have totaled over $20,000. At the time of this writing, a new membership drive is about to be launched.

Using old photographs, the committee member Dan Mecklenburg sketched drawings of the first train station. They were forward to John Edwards, a former Tupper Lake native and now a civil engineer living in Vermont, who prepared professional drawings for the new station. The engineering details of his plan were certified by Andy Abdallah of Architectural and Engineering Design Associates of Plattsburgh.

In 2005 the foundation of the 100-year old station was studied by a foundation engineer, Elmer Richards of New York City and Gull Pond. That fall the committee contracted with a north country firm, Moore’s Flatworks of Plattsburg, to extend the 19’ wide foundation by nine feet, making the size of the new foundation 28’ by 120’. The cost was approximately $11,000.

In late 2005, “Next Stop Tupper Lake” became a not for profit corporation with Dan McClelland as chairman, Richard Garrelts as vice chairman, Sandra Strader as treasurer and Chiprle Bishop, secretary. Board members include Nellie Staves, William Delair, Jim Frenette, Kathleen Lefebvre, and Dan Mecklenburg.

In the spring of 2006, the “Next Stop Tupper Lake” volunteers installed a state of the art in-floor heating system in the foundation at the cost of $5,000 and a six inch slab was poured atop the resized foundation (approximately $11,000 in cost). In preparation of the slab pouring, several times that spring, high school students were used to level and tamp the sand in the foundation area.

In a series of weekend work bees in September, 2006, framing work began atop the new foundation, with a goal of framing and enclosing half of the new structure by winter. The second half of the station will be erected in 2007.

The new facility which will be a replica of the old 1895-era wooden Tupper Lake train station, which stood for many decades will not only be a welcoming place for railroad riders on the New York State’s Adirondack rail line. It will be a host place for hikers and bikers, snowmobilers and tourists of all sorts four seasons of the year. It will also be home to a new Tupper Lake museum, a place to showcase local artifacts connected to Tupper Lake’s history of railroading and logging. A talented member of the local committee, Dan Mecklenburg, created a scale model of the train station, in miniature detail, which had been used at public showings around the area this past year. The model of the proposed site has also been carried with the committee to Albany and around the North Country in its conversations with many of this area’s elected officials. It can be seen at the Tupper Lake Visiotr Center.

The “Next Stop! Tupper Lake” volunteers know in their hearts that the new train station complex will be an important lynch pin in Tupper Lake's effort to transform its economy to one, which is becoming increasingly more dependent on tourism. It sends a clear message to the world that Tupper Lake is proud of its railroading heritage and it wants to share that interest with the many visitors to the Adirondack region. The committee members believe too that the creation of a new station will encourage state leaders to look favorably on extending the Adirondack Railroad from its current operation between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake to a new terminus here- opening a new path for visitors to come to our community.

The Town and Village of Tupper Lake recognize the importance that the railroad represented to the growth of the community in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Officials also realize the significance of this cultural resource and the impact it revitalization can have on the local economy. The Town and the Village are hopeful that the Adirondack Scenic Railroad will be restored Tupper Lake. Community leaders are confident that the project being proposed will bring broad economic success not only to Tupper Lake but all of the Adirondack Region.

b. The Adirondack Scenic Railroad has established a prominent role in the industry by drawing nearly 700,000 thousand passengers to the area. Projections show that ridership in the Tri-Lakes area would double in the first year of operation when we can extend service from Saranac Lake to Tupper Lake.

The rail corridor, when completed, will allow visitors and residents access to areas of the Adirondack Park that are not accessible by road. This provides opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, kayaking and canoeing in areas that most people would not be able to visit otherwise. Increased recreational opportunities will translate into longer, more frequent stays by visitors to the area and increased sales for outfitters, guides and the hospitality industry.

The Tupper to Saranac expansion will link the new museum in Tupper Lake to the established Olympic venues in Lake Placid. Travelers will enjoy the experience of seeing the Adirondacks by rail and be more likely to visit the attractions at both ends of the Tri-Lakes region.

The railroad provides a way for people with disabilities to experience the heart of the Adirondack Park. The Adirondack Scenic Railroad is continuing its efforts to make its equipment more accommodating to passengers with special needs.

When fully operational the railroad could be used to carry freight in and out of the region. Raw materials, packaging and fuels can be brought in while materials and finished goods can be carried out. Removal of recyclables and refuse would extend the life of existing landfills and reduce truck traffic on the highway system.

The track between Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake is only part of the line that connects Utica to Lake Placid. When the entire corridor is open for passenger service the potential for increased travel explodes. Our estimates suggest that we could see as many as 150,000-200,000 riders each year. The economic impact of increased tourism to the area can be calculated by using existing data. We know that the average visitor spends about a$100.00 per day. That would translate to an impact of up to $20,000,000.00 on the economy of the Adirondack Region.

c. Local Benefits: The project includes the reconstruction of the old railroad station that was located at “the Junction” in the Village of Tupper Lake. The Tupper Lake community considers this building to be an important cultural component, albeit missing, of the Town’s history. Rebuilding this facility will protect an important aspect of the community’s past and will provide a unique perspective of the area’s early growth for residents and visitors, for many generations to come.

The plan set forth by Michael Architectural Services, P.C. proposes keeping much of the exterior detail of the original building. The interior of the building will be completed in keeping with the spirit of the original building but will incorporate amenities to comply with program requirements and applicable codes and regulations. A copy of architectural reports, including specifications and cost estimates, are included in this proposal. Michael Architectural Services, P.C, completed these documents between June and July of 2001. A copy of a cost estimate to construct the building, submitted by Rosch Brothers, inc., General Contractors, has been attached.

The Town of Tupper Lake will retain ownership of the property in perpetuity. Both the Town and the Village of Tupper Lake will share the cost of maintaining the property.

Perhaps more importantly, the proposed project will have significant impact on the local economy of the region. The construction of the railroad station will result in the immediate creation of construction jobs. The project will also provide long term economic and employment benefits that will begin to be realized immediately upon the opening of the facility. Community officials anticipate that the new welcome and information center will become an area of heavy visitor traffic, especially during the summer months. These numbers will grow exponentially once the Adirondack Scenic Railroad adds Tupper Lake to its regular stops.

Eventually, the Town and Village will need to hire full time or full time equivalent employees to staff the center. Surrounding businesses will see expanded economic opportunities to meet the needs of the visitors to the community. In addition, the welcome and information center will be clearing house of local information that can use its status as a cultural and historical center to promote local businesses. The introduction of this center will also stem the tide of economic stagnation that has plagued the area for years. Again, economic activity will be directly related to the increase of visitors to the area.

It is anticipated that approximately 10,000 tourists per year will visit the train depot and visitor and information center prior to the introduction of the Adirondack Railroad. The annual number of visitors will increase to approximately 20, 000 tourists annually once the railroad is connected. The Town and Village are sensitive to the needs of all visitors.

Tupper Lake, Lake Placid and Saranac Lake are all cornerstones of the Adirondack region. Tupper Lake is the next logical connection for the Adirondack Scenic Railroad. Although the existing rail bed requires extensive improvements before the connection can be made, the tracks are already in place. The expansion of the railroad to Altamont and Tupper Lake is a cost effective, logical choice that is consistent with the overall revitalization of the Adirondack Region.

The reconstruction of the Depot will also have a stabilizing effect on the immediate area. The neighborhood immediately surrounding the area is made up of commercial uses, limited green space, and a recreational park. The area in the immediate vicinity of the proposed site of the new Depot contains buildings that are in poor and good condition. The new facility will bring an immediate improvement in the aesthetics of the area, and will no doubt encourage neighboring property owners to improve their properties. The Village does have anecdotal evidence that this chain reaction does indeed take place. For instance, the Village has undertaken a number of housing rehabilitation programs where a number of properties within the designated target area received improvements. It is not uncommon to observe other property owners that have not received assistance to undertake improvements to their home. As a result, the entire area experiences revitalization. The community anticipates the same type of ripple effect for this project.

Finally, the new structure will be compliant with all appropriate laws and guidelines. The architectural report completed by Michael Architectural Service, P.C. is included in the appendix of this application and discusses this issue in more detail. The following photograph shows the project site and surrounding areas.

The Tupper Lake Train Depot will be open to the public immediately upon completion of the building. The building will have regular hours, but they are not yet set. The project team anticipates that the building will be open a minimum of 56 hours a week, including weekend hours. The community also anticipates utilizing the facility throughout the year to hold special occasions.

Fees: The project team does not propose any fees for public usage. When the Adirondack Scenic Railroad eventually includes Tupper Lake on their Adirondack run, passengers will be required to purchase tickets, but visiting the Depot will remain free to the public.

Access will be available to the general public during normal hours of operation. There will be no limitations to access unless a special event has been scheduled for the facility. The primary function of the building will be:

• Welcome and Information Center for the region to help visitors find the services they need and to promote businesses within Tupper Lake and surrounding area.
• Display photographs and historical artifacts of Altamont and Tupper Lake, especially items that relate to the railroad and old depot. Home of the Tupper Lake Heritage Museum?
• Serve as a Railroad Depot for Tupper Lake and a new stop on the Adirondack Scenic Railroad.

The Town and Village, at their discretion, will prohibit uses of the facility that are not consistent with the activities described above.

Local Benefits: The project team has contracted other train depots located on Adirondack Scenic Railroad in order to ascertain the number of visitors that each facility experiences on an annual basis. Based on the number of visitors stopping at the Lake Placid and Saranac Lake depots, as well the number of passengers that utilize the Adirondack Scenic Railroad on an annual basis, the project team projects that they will host a total of at least 20, 000 visitors annually.

The facility will also realize a number of visitors that already vacation in Tupper Lake will interested in visiting the new depot to see what this welcome and information center has to offer. While it is difficult to approximate the number of visitors from this segment of the population, the project team is confident that at least 5, 5000 visitors to the area will venture to the new Tupper Lake train depot.


6. Construct multi-use recreational trail system

a. Snowmobiling: Over the past decade we have seen a rebirth in the snowmobiling industry. Machines are built better and more reliable. Towns and Municipalities have recognized the economic value of attracting visitors to their communities by investing in trail groomers. Trails systems have become much improved. During the winter, snowmobilers are now filling rooms of motels that were once empty. Inns and restaurants have begun to see their impact.

After meeting with the local snowmobilers and motel owners and reviewing existing snowmobile maps it was found that there were many things we could do to encourage and facilitate this economic activity as well as addressing community concerns. Some of those concerns are the lack of signage, inefficient existing trail system, and the lack of trails to existing venues (food and lodging).

For any trail system to work efficiently, especially for visitors, trails must be marked with the proper signage to accommodate their needs. At present the local snowmobile club has been responsible to place a majority for signage, however it is often difficult to keep the signs in place. Trails signs that are off the beaten path are often torn down or used as target practice during the off-season.

Many of our trails are in locations that are inefficient and unsigned. For instance, suppose a group of travelers on the railroad corridor were looking for lodging for the night. Would they be able to find it easily or with difficulty?

Some trails are unsafe. Should our snowmobile maps direct people across the Raquette Pond? During a snowstorm or squall visibility can drop substantially making it very difficult to get your bearings. A slight miscalculation can send a driver into the Raquette River Channel where the current makes for thin ice. Thaws can also be dangerous.

Outline of Needs: Tupper Lake is fortunate to have the railroad corridor travel through it village. At times, during the winter months, there is more travel on this corridor than the major roads. This provides an opportunity to garner income into the Village and create jobs provided we create the amenities for the traveler. Connecting visitors to venues with safe, well-marked trails will create wealth and jobs for the community.

● Create and maintain efficient, safe trails to local Venues


● Identify trail locations that are appropriate for each particular use such as walking, biking, horseback riding, snowmobiles

● Highlight wildlife and scenic viewing areas by trail locations

● Design areas of trail system for biking, skateboards and rollerblades


Accomplishments: Tupper Lake now has a developed Tupper Lake Multi-Use Recreational Trail and Transportation Network Master Plan, the proposed Tupper Lake Multi-Use Trail Connector will play a large role in the ongoing revitalization efforts of our community and region.

The primary goal of the Trail Connector is to provide linkages and mobility within the Tupper Lake community. The initial phase in implementing an overall trail and transportation system will be the design and construction of a multi-modal transportation connection that will connect two separate neighborhoods within Tupper, the area known as Faust, and the Tupper Lake Village Center.

This multi-modal transportation corridor follows the alignment of an abandoned railroad corridor and a sanitary easement, conceptually identified within the Master Plan as Junction Pass. This connection will provide a key link between the Village Downtown and residential neighborhoods to the surrounding cultural, recreational, and educational resources within the community and region. Specifically, key linkages will be provided to the Raquette Pond and River Waterfront, the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks, the future Big Tupper Ski Mountain Development, the Adirondack Scenic Rail Station, and the Regional Adirondack Trail System.

The Tupper Lake Multi-Use Trail Connector (Junction Pass) will strengthen partnerships between the Village, Town, and private stakeholders; encourage economic development and the continued revitalization of our downtown; conserve open space and critical environmental resources; and enhance transportation corridors to encourage more livable neighborhoods.




7. Create Additional Youth Programs and Activities

a. Promote ice skating and other Civic Center uses.

b. Incorporate Respect and Responsibility committee into youth planning. (Mark will provide text)

c. Hire a youth activity director (Mark will provide text()

8. Foster Municipal Communications and Cooperation

a. Concerted efforts by the Town and Village to combine services that will eventually lead to the combining of both the Village and Town government.

b. Any revitalization of Tupper Lake needs the support of both political parties. It is expected that each party after elections builds on the successes of the past and continues to work in a bi-partisan way.

c. Hire a community development director who would be able to sustain his/her position with the grants they obtain. Must be a grant writer and well rounded in economic development experience in the Adirondack Park.

9. Improve Municipal Parks ( we need to review the items below)

a. Consider Civic Center use in overall plans for youths. Work with the Tupper Lake Hockey Association

b. The village should assume the overall responsibilities of the Village Municipal Park (take over the shoreline walk) (Do we still want to do this?)

c. Appoint a park planning committee to work with the Park Planner. (Do we still want to do this?)

d. Work to incorporate use activities from the “Tupper Lake Municipal Park Use Survey” to include sunset and scenic viewing, motor boating, canoeing/kayaking, jet skiing, cross country skiing/snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ATV, sporting activities, picnicking, events, fishing, photography, biking, walking, swimming, playground.

e. Develop plans for a public beach. (Summarize work that has been done up to this point: Ben, can you handle ?)

f. Winterize the Club House at the golf course (Text will be provided by john Moore)

g. Implementation of cross country ski trails at golf course with graded trails.

h. Create an overall plan for the sustainability of the things we accomplish on our municipal Parks





10 Build an Astronomical Observatory “The Adirondack Observatory”

In 2000, two local amateur star gazers began to develop a plan to build an observatory that would become a focal point for the study of Astronomy within the Adirondack Park. In 2003, the APO was established as a nonprofit entity [501(C)(3)]. Their vision was to open a facility that would allow local students and the general public an opportunity to enjoy viewing the night sky from a state of the art facility that would;

• enhance public awareness and advance the science of Astronomy,
• integrate with area schools, colleges and universities and support their education programs,
• encourage and support amateur astronomers of all generations from student to senior citizen,
• provide families, civic and community groups the opportunity to view the night sky with various telescopes,
• add to the enjoyment and quality of life in the Adirondack Mountains,
• contribute to scientific discovery,
• collect historic astronomical related items,
• invite the public to hear lectures and view seminars from experts in the field of Astronomy.
The goal would be to establish a center that is; easily accessible and open year round, large enough to accommodate seminar groups of 25 –30 individuals fitted with a dome for the main telescope and a retractable roof building for outside viewing along with individual telescopes. It should be equipped with computer stations for local and remote viewing, handicap accessible with full utilities and the focal point for the study of Astronomy in the Adirondack Park


Progress to Date / Notable Events:

• September 18, 2006: The APO has retained Claudio Véliz, Architect (CV A) to design the observatory. The architectural firm's design work includes collaborating on prospective lunar and other designs with NASA and aerospace subcontractors, as well as developing energy-efficient lighting and conservation systems. CV A has also been commissioned to restore the telescope that was owned by Abraham Lincoln's eldest son, Robert Todd Lincoln, at the Hildene Estate in Manchester VT.
• July 4, 2006: The APO was invited to participate in the grand opening of The WILD Center, The Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks located in Tupper Lake. Telescopes were set up to view the sun, and astronomy questions were answered.
• January 31, 2006: The Associated Press interview with APO board members Marc Staves and Jan Wojcik entitled "Adirondacks a sky-gazer's paradise" has appeared on many news websites, including CNN and CBS News (you can Google more copies of this interview).
• June 2, 2005 (as reported in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise by Geoff Hayward): The Tupper Lake Town Board passed a resolution Thursday which will allow the Adirondack Public Observatory to purchase 1.5 acres of land at the intersection of North Little Wolf and Big Wolf roads. The land will cost the not-for-profit organization $15,000.
• April 7, 2005: NYS Assemblyman Chris Ortloff met with the APO board of directors to offer his support to the observatory. Assemblyman Ortloff discussed lighting issues and briefly talked about pending Legislation in Albany. He was pleased to hear about the efforts being undertaken by local politicians that will support our project and he was very impressed with our fund raising efforts to date.
• March 23, 2005: The new APO website goes live!
• June 8th, 2004: The APO holds a public session to observe the transit of Venus across the Sun. Over 50 people were able to view the transit and will forever be able to say..."I saw it".
• December 2003: 501(c)(3) paper work is submitted to the Internal Revenue Service.
• November 2003: The Adirondack Public Observatory is Incorporated in the State of N.Y.
Project Budget by Phases:
Phase I. Land Purchase (completed)

Board Members identified land owned by the Town of Tupper Lake, located along Big Wolf Road, as an ideal spot for the Observatory. The cost of the land was $15,000 with a $2,000 survey cost. Other associated cost amounted to about $3,000 for a total phase 1 cost of $20,000. The phase of the project is completed.

Phase II. Site development and construction of the “DOME” (work in progress)

This portion of the project shall include clearing of the site, as well as constructing the classic looking DOME that is closely associated with other observatories, the installation of the telescopes, and the installation of other infrastructure.

Site Development: $22,000 (includes removal of trees, create an entry road with “rough” parking area, water/sewer, electric, etc.)

Architectural & Engineering Fees: $29,000 (includes initial design and layout of the project, with additional consulting during the construction phase, fees for Adirondack Park Agency & Town approval, etc.)

Construction: $135,000(includes the concrete pour for the DOME, the roll top observatory, and additional outdoor viewing pad, as well as the construction of
the DOME itself, paving of the driveway and parking area)

Telescopes: $226,000(includes a 24 to 30 inch “Main Telescope” for the DOME (202K), as well as six smaller telescopes ranging in size from 8 to 12 inches for the roll top Observatory (24K)

Other Equipment: $107,000 (includes computers, cameras, other items that will offer remote access, etc.)

Total Cost of Phase II = $519,000

Phase III. Construction of the Roll Top Observatory

This portion of the project approximatlely $5,000 and will include the construction of the Roll Top Roof building, which will allow larger groups to have access to additional telescopes. The pad will be completed in Phase II Construction: $78,000 (includes construction of the building with a special mechanism to operate the “roll-back” roof) Total Cost of Phase III = $83,000

Phase IV – Final Construction of The Chart House

The Chart House is the final phase and will have approx. 3,000 square feet over two levels that will include an open room for small public presentations, a display area for items that hold historical or other astronomical significance, a conference room, sleeping quarters for researchers & educators, plus be the technology center. The total construction cost is $485,000



Initial Architect’s Renderings:




Board of Directors

Who we are: amateur and professional astronomers, science teachers, business men and women from across the North Country united with one goal: to build a state of the art facility and the first public observatory in the Adirondack Park


Executive Committee

President: Marc Staves, , founder, amateur astronomer, Power Lineman, Tupper Lake Electric Dept.

Vice President: Timothy Moeller, founder, amateur astronomer, NYS Correctional Officer, Tupper Lake

Secretary: Jim LaValley, owner/broker, LaValley Real Estate, Tupper Lake

Treasurer: Mark Moeller, President, TLNB Insurance Agency

Other Members of the Board

Phil Bogdanovitch, natural resource consultant, Bay Pond Park, Paul Smiths

Gib Brown, WPTZ Meteorologist, science teacher, Ausable

Dr. Robert Dixon, Professor of Astronomy, SUNY Canton

Gordon Duval, physics and astronomy teacher, Tupper Lake High School

Carol Levy, amateur astronomer, Tupper Lake

Dr. Jeff Miller, Professor of Physics, Saint Lawrence University, Canton

Dr. Glenn Myer, director, North Country Planetarium and professor of physics, SUNY Plattsburgh

Dr. Aileen O'Donoghue, Associate Professor of Astronomy, Saint Lawrence University, Canton

Joe Thomas, Physics & Astronomy teacher, Clifton-Fine Central School

Dr. Jan Wojcik, Director of the Clarkson University Reynolds Observatory, Potsdam