Trustee Rick Donah presents the board with a historic newspaper showing usage just after the war and suggests that Tupper Lake shouldn’t wait for DOT and DEC to decide their fate.. There’s one final opportunity for the public to speak with DOT and DEC officials about the Rail Corridor tonight at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake (6pm – 9p) In anticipation of the meeting, Adirondack Recreational Trail Associates, the group in favor of removing the rails says they have over 300 businesses in the region supporting a resolution in favor of the recreational trail option.
At Monday’s board Meeting in Tupper Lake, Village Trustee Rick Donah said the village shouldn’t wait any longer for someone else to tell them what they can and can’t do to survive economically in Tupper Lake..
Donah’s comments were also in response to the DOT’s refusal to allow the village to use a small tract of corridor for their trail through the village to the Wild Center.. That section no longer has rails, but remains under the jurisdiction of the DOT and the agency says the tract needs to be retained for possible future use as a railroad turn around and thus can’t be converted into a trail.. As part of his presentation, Donah began to read from a newspaper he found from November 22nd, 1948.. Sighting the fact that the cars were not full in 1948 either.. and that while there is history in Tupper Lake, now is the time for the VIllage Board, He says, to take action . “Don’t sit back and wait for someone else to make decisions for us”
The two agencies are considering whether or not to make changes to the Rail Corridor Unit Master Plan which originally outlined six possible options;
1) Dismantle the corridor.. Where the DOT would sell all the property and give it up
2) An option where the DOT would continue to own the corridor but not do anything with it.
3) The DOT would continue to own the corridor, do some minimal maintenance but only allow short term occupancies by permit.
4) The fourth alternative involved removal of the rail over the entire length of the corridor and allowing use of the corridor for recreational purposes over it’s entire length..
5) The Fifth was to break the corridor up in chunks.. where some chunks would keep the rail and in some the tracks would be removed and it would become trail..
6) The sixth was to continue the rail uses over the entire length of the corridor and to encourage compatible uses and trails where they were feasible..
The final plan in 1996 adopted alternative number 6 – And so title for the lands remain under the state of New York, and the corridor retained it’s travel corridor status under the states land use master plan and the rail tracks would remain over the entire lengths and the rails would not be removed prior to the revision of the master plan.. And the question of whether or not the master plan should be revised, is being considered right now.. The meeting tonight in TupperLake gives residents one more opportunity to speak with officials one on one at the DEC and the DOT, following which time, a formal recommendation will be made to each agency by the end of December. Tonight’s meeting at the Wild Center begins at 6pm..