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ORDA to get $4 million from state for upgrades

April 6, 2012

LAKE PLACID - The Olympic Regional Development Authority will receive $4 million in state funding for upgrades and repairs at its venues.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this week that the winter sports facilities ORDA runs and three state parks will receive a $5.1 million investment through the New York Works program. The program aims to improve state infrastructure and put people back to work, according to the governor's office.

Cuomo, in a press release, said the New York Works program is a centerpiece of his 2012-13 budget. State Sen. Betty Little, R-Queensbury, said "years of neglect has led to a decline in the appearance, convenience and safety of our parks.

"This much needed investment is especially important in the North Country where our parks are a major draw for tourists," Little said in a prepared statement.

The $4 million for ORDA will go toward lift and building maintenance at the authority's venues, although few specifics are known at this time. It will also be used to "repair critical infrastructure," according to the release from the governor's office.

ORDA spokesman Jon Lundin said in an email that the state authority will review its facilities and venues to evaluate its needs.

"That will take a little while before we can come up with a plan as to how to best utilize the funds that will become available," he said. "At this time we do not have any definitive answers from any of our venues as to how we are going to spend these funds. We will have a more solid plan in a few weeks."

Bruce McCulley, manager of the Whiteface Mountain Ski Center in Wilmington, told the Enterprise he always has a list of things he wants to work on. Work was performed last year to repair infrastructure damaged by Tropical Storm Irene on Aug. 29, 2011.

ORDA operates various Winter Olympic venues in Lake Placid, Whiteface in Wilmington and Gore Mountain Ski Center in North Creek. The state budget, which was passed last week, will also put ORDA in charge of the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center in the Catskills, which has been run by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.



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