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Lake George Village considers allowing overnight stays at public docks

At their special meeting held Jan. 19, Lake George Village Board members and village Public Works Superintendent Dave Harrington (left front) locate on a map a plot of land near the Berry Pond Tract that the Lake George Land Conservancy offered to sell the municipality. Village leaders passed on the opportunity.

At their special meeting held Jan. 19, Lake George Village Board members and village Public Works Superintendent Dave Harrington (left front) locate on a map a plot of land near the Berry Pond Tract that the Lake George Land Conservancy offered to sell the municipality. Village leaders passed on the opportunity. Photo by Thom Randall.

— Concerned with boosting revenue, the Lake George Village Board is considering allowing boats to stay overnight at their public docks — which would be a reversal of their decision about a decade ago to prohibit the practice.

Now, boats may dock at the village’s Beach Road piers — for a charge of $2 per hour — only between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., for a maximum of 10 hours, during summer.

The proposed change would allow docking for a maximum of 24 hours. The concept was raised at a special Village Board meeting Thursday, Jan. 19.

While the prohibition of overnight docking was put in place to prevent a few boaters from monopolizing the docking spaces through a weekend, Blais said the rule had substantially reduced the use of the six village docks off Beach Road.

Allowing overnight docking would not only boost revenue for the village, Mayor Robert Blais said, but it would boost public safety by allowing boaters patronizing bars to get some sleep before driving off in their craft.

“We’d be providing a good service,” he said. “Last year, we had very low use of the docks, and we received e-mails from people asking to stay overnight.”

Other village board members, however raised questions about how the overnight per-hour fees would be accurately calculated and collected.

Village Trustee John Root said some boaters might pull away shortly before the piers were patrolled each morning at 8 a.m. by a dock attendant checking the boats for the pay-and-display tickets.

Trustee John Earl said he also had concerns.

“If we go ahead with this, we need a plan in which people will not be able to take advantage,” he said. “We should figure out how to enforce it.”

Blais suggested that a dock attendant make both a late-night and early-morning tour of the docks to assure compliance.

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