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Rail trail meetings begin in Saranac Lake

Lake Placid meeting planned for Thursday

May 2, 2017
By JUSTIN A. LEVINE - Outdoors Writer (jlevine@adirondackdailyenterprise.com) , Lake Placid News

SARANAC LAKE - About 30 people gathered at the Saranac Lake Free Library Monday evening, May 1, for the first in a series of public information sessions on the proposed rail trail that would connect the villages of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake.

Saranac Lake village Trustee Rich Shapiro and town of Harrietstown Code Enforcement Officer Ed Randig went over the recently released conceptual plan for the trail that the state departments of Environmental Conservation and Transportation hope to begin work on this year.

About a dozen people asked questions about signage, safety and user conflicts. Shapiro and Randig said the current plan will be sent to engineers for further fleshing out after public input is taken.

Article Photos

Two members of the public look over maps of the proposed Adirondack Rail Trail Monday, May 1 at the Saranac Lake Free Library during the first in a series of public meetings on the conceptual plan.
(News photo — Justin A. Levine)

The plan to build the trail has been held up by a lawsuit filed against the state by the Adirondack Rail Preservation Society, which operates seasonal tourist trains on part of the line under the Adirondack Scenic Railroad name.

During the discovery phase of the lawsuit, it was found that the state didn't own fee title to some of the corridor in Saranac Lake, near North Country Community College. Shapiro said Monday night that the counties of Essex and Franklin, who along with NCCC own that part of the corridor, have already agreed to sell the land to the state. He added that the details of that deal are being worked out.

While the lawsuit proceeded before an acting state Supreme Court justice in Malone, a state-selected stakeholder group developed the conceptual plan released last week.

The state is accepting comments on the conceptual plan until June 2.

"If we totally blew it on something in the conceptual plan, then we'll change it," Shapiro said.

Shapiro and Randig went over the plan briefly and handed out copies of the plan on CD for anyone who wanted them.

Monday's was the first in a series of public information sessions, with another tonight at 5:30 at the Saranac Lake library; Wednesday in Tupper Lake at 6 p.m. at the Goff-Nelson Memorial Library; and Thursday at 6 p.m. at the North Elba Town Hall in Lake Placid.

The DEC will also hold two meetings next week, during which public comment will be accepted: On Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the Tupper Lake Emergency Services Building, and Wednesday at 3 p.m. at the DEC headquarters in Ray Brook. Public comments will be taken from 3 to 5 p.m. each of those days. The DEC will also make a presentation on the conceptual plan from starting at 6 p.m. on the same days.

Download the entire plan at www.dec.ny.gov/lands/62816.html.

Written comments may be mailed to Senior Forester Steve Guglielmi, NYSDEC Region 5, P.O. Box 296, Ray Brook, NY 12977, or sent by email to r5.ump@dec.ny.gov.

 
 

 

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