ARTA Says “We Need the People”

Carl Knoch, Manager for Trail Development in the Northeast Office of the Rails to Trails Conservancy

A newly released “Trail Development Plan” says a “parallel path betweenSaranacLakeandTupperLakeis impractical and unaffordable; even if necessary permits to fill wetlands and expand causeways could be obtained.” The Report is presented to a group of about 100 onlookers at theHarrietstownTown HallinSaranacLakeon Wednesday evening. Knoch argues in his report that phase one of the Rail to Trail Conversion they propose could attract between 75,000 and 800,000 visitors annually with a mid point of 225,000 visitors per annum. In his presentation, Knoch suggests that the average out-of-area visitors will spend an average of $86.02 per day which will add just under $20 million in annual revenues to the local economy.

(And what of the cost of building the trail?)

The report estimates the cost of constructing a recreational trail to Tupper Lake on the rail corridor in the range of $87,000 per mile, and if you do the math, Phase one Expenses should come to…  well nothing…  or thereabouts because the report also purports salvage would yield about $65,000 per mile, Ok, then something, but then Phase one includes salvage of the entire 81 mile corridor between here and old forge and they’re estimate is that salvage will provide over $5 million ($5,265,000) in useable funds.

(“We The People”)

The ARTA board of Directors and The Rails to Trails Conservancy both submit that it should be up to the people to decide whether or not a recreational trail in theAdirondackswould benefit the region. One of their primary goals is to reach 10,000 registered supporters at which point they would like to begin their advocacy effort with local legislators and begin to reach out to Senator Little and to the Governor for the legislative backing they will need. Right now, the DOT runs the corridor and remains comfortable with the status quo, with no plans to remove the tracks.

FULL MEETING AUDIO – Are you a “Die Hard?” – Have a listen to the final portion of the meeting – it’s about 44 minutes and includes Lee Keet’s closing comments and questions and answers from the audience

AUDIO – 071112 – ARTA Meeting – Lee Keet Closing and Audience Comments

Tomorrow in The Morning News we’ll speak with Knoch, Keet and others about their ideas and the report, plus we’ll speak with residents and visitors in attendance. Join us for more here online and on the air..

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