Local Enhancement and Advancement Fund Grants Awarded

Village of Lake Placid, on the shore of Mirror Lake in summer with green trees, blue water and sunshine.

06 Apr Local Enhancement and Advancement Fund Grants Awarded

The Town of North Elba has awarded more than $800,000 to several local organizations through its North Elba Local Enhancement and Advancement Fund (LEAF). LEAF grants are available to nonprofits, local governments and public sector organizations within the Town of North Elba. This is the third round of grants made available to local organizations since the program’s inception in 2020.

A local committee representing businesses and local organizations was established to develop application criteria and ensure a robust and transparent process for allocating these funds. The 10-person committee reviews each organization’s  application and presents  its recommendations to the Town of North Elba Board of Directors for final approval.

Criteria used to consider an organization’s funding request includes background information about the organization, plans for the proposed project or equipment purchase, budget, and how the proposed project will benefit local communities, residents and visitors to the area.

According to Derek Doty, supervisor of the Town of North Elba, “LEAF grants have been used for some incredible projects that benefit everyone in the area – residents and visitors alike,” he commented. “I also believe that, since our strong north country values dictate that our towns and villages often work together and share resources, when one community derives direct benefit from something, our entire region benefits.

Local Enhancement and Advancement Funds are derived from a dedicated 2% Essex County occupancy tax, implemented by the Essex County Board of Supervisors in 2020. The occupancy tax is collected when people stay at a resort, hotel, motel, bed and breakfast or short-term rental property within Essex County. Funds are allocated to the region’s 18 towns on a pro-rated basis depending on where the tax was generated. Funds must be used to benefit residents and the experience of visitors to the region.

According to Mary Jane Lawrence, chief operating officer at the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST), this funding has proven to be invaluable. “ROOST worked with town supervisors and Essex County to create this dedicated fund to enhance communities in the region. It is always so exciting to see the results of the projects that are funded, which may not have been possible otherwise.”

Projects recommended by the LEAF committee and approved by the Town of North Elba were submitted by the following organizations: Lake Placid Public Library; Mirror Lake Watershed Association; Lake Placid Horse Show Association; Homestead Development Corp.; Barkeater Trails Alliance; Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department; Village of Saranac Lake; Village of Lake Placid – winter decorations; Village of Lake Placid – McKinley Park; Ecumenical Charity Program; Educational Opportunity Fund for the Lake Placid Central School District; Lake Placid Central School District; St. Agnes School; Lake Placid Municipal Electric; New York Ski Education Foundation; Ausable River Association. A portion of the playground equipment at McKinley Park will be donated from Ampersand Biosciences from the former Lake Clear Elementary School.

The Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism is the destination marketing and management organization for Hamilton and Essex counties, along with the communities of Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake, all located within the Adirondacks in New York state. 


Lake Placid Public LibraryRenovate ramp entrance
Mirror Lake Watershed AssociationExtension of previous grant to assist with continuing education and research
Lake Placid Horse Show Assoc, Inc.Electrical upgrades to front area of the grounds.
Pendragon TheatreAssistance with summer program to enhance theatrical programs.
Homestead Development Corp.Affordable housing development
Barkeater Trails AllianceTrail improvements to two areas of the Jackrabbit Trail
Lake Placid Volunteer Fire DepartmentPurchase of a UTV to be used on trails
Village of Saranac LakeMatching grant program to assist Lake Flower Business District
Village of Lake Placid – Winter DecorationsWinter decorations for Main St
Village of Lake Placid – McKinley ParkPlayground upgrades
Ecumenical Charity ProgramAppliance, storage and technical upgrades
Educational Opportunity Fund for the Lake Placid School DistrictEndowment for annual 5th grade Albany trip
Lake Placid Central School DistrictCommunity schools program to support local families
St. Agnes SchoolElectrical and Heating & Cooling Systems Upgrade
Lake Placid Municipal Electric (LPME)Preparation for the installation of electric car chargers
New York Ski Education Foundation (NYSEF)Purchase of a new van
Ausable River AssociationCommitted multi year funding

April 7, 2022

Media Contact:

Jane Hooper, Communications Manager, Regional Office Of Sustainable Tourism518.621.3662 | jane@roostadk.com

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