Residents in Saranac Lake, New York, which fought off a Wal-Mart in the 1990s, are now celebrating a second victory against sprawl. Village elections yesterday resulted in a new Mayor and Trustees who are opposed to big box stores. Here’s the report Sprawl-Busters received late last night from the front lines: “We won our first victory! Here are the unofficial results of the Saranac Lake Village election: Tom Michael won for Mayor, 818 vs. 566. Trustees winning were Christy Fontana, and Susan Waters. This is the beginning of a new era in Saranac Lake politics!” This week Saranac Lake was also listed as one of the best tourist towns in the United States. The National Trust For Historic Preservation, a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., named Saranac Lake as one of its elite tourist towns in the United States. Out of 93 towns nominated from 39 states, Saranac Lake made the top 12. One Chamber of Commerce member said, “We’re the only one for the state of New York, so that’s very special and we’re very proud of that. We thought we had a good chance just because of our history, our architecture and our main street.” This is not the kind of place that needs a Wal-Mart supercenter. And it appears from yesterday’s election, that Saranac Lake won’t be getting one anytime soon. But a proposal from Wal-Mart is looming again, and residents aren’t taking anything for granted.
For earlier stories, search Newsflash by “Saranac Lake.”