Today, NCPR and the Adirondack Daily Enterprise launch a two-day investigative report on the behind-the-scenes debate over the future of Trudeau Institute, the bio-research and immunology laboratory in Saranac Lake.
We’ve known since the autumn of 2010 that there was a “strategic planning” effort that included the possibility of moving the facility out of state. So why we revisit the controversy now?
Sources have been saying off the record to reporters for months that the situation at Trudeau remains fragile, with deep divisions over the future of the institute, which still employs roughly 100 people.
Documents leaked recently by a former staffer gave new insight into the policy differences that sparked those rifts, and the leadership decisions that shaped events behind the scenes.
Memos and other documents indicated that some staff and board members engaged in a concerted effort to keep the effort to move the laboratory to Florida secret for months and even years.
Even after executives traveled to Florida and submitted a formal application for more than $88 million in incentives from officials in Port St. Lucie Florida, it appears that some board members were still kept in the dark.
Those documents also suggest that troubling questions remain about Trudeau’s future. At stake are dozens of high paying jobs an a facility that anchors Saranac Lake’s fledgling “biotech cluster.”
But Trudeau is also an essential part of the village’s culture. Founder E.L. Trudeau served as Saranac Lake’s first mayor in the 1800s.
Tomorrow, Chris Knight takes the story forward, looking at the options being considered for Trudeau as the lab works to recover from months of turmoil, budget cuts and internal divisions.