SLC Towns Say No To Scenic Railroad
Two St. Lawrence County towns are on record opposing more development of the Adirondack Scenic Railroad in their area.
The Piercefield town board has voted to oppose more money being spent to rehabilitate the railroad.
The Colton town board has voted a resolution calling for 12 miles of tracks in the town to be removed.
The Adirondack Scenic Railroad is a long running project of preservationists and rail enthusiasts who hope to ultimately restore passenger train operations between the Utica area and Lake Placid.
The train line already makes runs between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid to the north, and in the Utica - Old Forge area to the south. In between, some towns, like Tupper Lake, support the project. Tupper Lake has rehabilitated a train depot for the rail line, and supporters of the rail project are hoping for a $15 million federal grant to restore the tracks between Big Moose and Saranac Lake.
"The rehabilitation of the rail is critical for opening up the Adirondacks for visitors, people who want to recreate," said Al Dunham of the Adirondack Rail Preservation Society.
Yet Colton supervisor Dennis Bulger argues ripping up the tracks and using the land for recreational trails makes more sense.
"You salvage the tracks and you're gonna create enough money in salvage value to go ahead and build a multi-use trail. So as I see it, it's not going to cost the taxpayer any money," he said.
The group that wants to use the existing rail area as trails is pressing to convert the entire 90 mile corridor between Old Forge and Lake Placid exclusively into a recreational trail for biking, hiking or jogging.
Friday, March 7, 2014, Watertown, NY
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