SARANAC LAKE — The ski slopes at the Mount Pisgah Ski Area are getting 4,500 feet of new snowmaking water pipes through a North Elba Local Enhancement and Advancement Fund grant, and while the work started on Monday amid snowfall, Pisgah Manager Andy Testo said the construction should not delay the ski area’s regular season opening.
“It’s wild to be doing it now, but it’s getting done, which is great,” Testo said. “It’s a major improvement.”
He said the existing steel pipe is 34 years old now. It had thin walls and was not coated on the outside. The new pipe should be able to support a higher water pressure so village staff there can use their newer, bigger snow guns more effectively and in a shorter window.
“We should be able to open earlier and recover from any thaws and things of that nature quicker,” Testo said.
He said the village requested $175,000 from the North Elba LEAF program, around what the contract is for, and he hopes it will officially be funded today.
Testo said the contractors have no hard end date, but they’re moving fast. He said their work will definitely be done by Christmas, but likely much sooner than that.
“I’m hoping I’m not too behind my regular schedule (to open),” he said.
G.W. Tatro out of Jeffersonville, Vermont is the main contractor. On Monday, subcontractors Tucker Horsford of Horsford Metal Works in Fairfax, Vermont and Matt Keafer of Matt’s Welding out of Saint Johnsbury, Vermont were on site, arc welding.
“It’s original,” Matt said of his company name. “It took me a lot of years to figure out what to name it.”
All these contractors specialize in pipe welding and installing snowmaking water lines.
The snow was falling relatively heavily on Monday in a winter that has been a bit slow to start powder-wise. But when Mother Nature needs a bit of help coating the slopes with powder, the village employees working at Mount Pisgah will be able to pick up the slack faster now.