Moriah trustees debate hot topic

PORT HENRY There will be plenty of hot chocolate available when the Canadian Pacific Railway Holiday Train visits Port Henry. Both the Adirondack Day Care Center/Pre-School and Moriah Senior Citizens Club will be selling the warming brew during Dec. 3 event. Although that may not seem like much of an issue, it sparked debate at the Moriah town board meeting Nov. 13 when each organization submitted a request to sell hot chocolate. Like last year, Canadian Pacific has announced it will donate $1,000 to the Moriah food pantry as part of the stop. People who go to see the train and show are asked to bring canned goods for donation to the local food shelf. Now in its eighth year in North America, Canadian Pacific Railways two lighted Holiday Trains one in the eastern U.S. and Canada and another in the Midwest carrying live musical shows performed from boxcar stages in an effort to end hunger. Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava expressed concern about vendors taking advantage of the train visit. I dont want it to become a carnival atmosphere, he said. The focus of the train visit is the food pantry. I dont want people to lose sight of that. Trustee Gene Williams pointed out the Port Henry train station is actually operated by the Moriah Senior Citizens Club. He felt the seniors should be allowed to sell hot chocolate since the train station doubles as the town senior center. Trustees Paul Salerno and Rick Carpenter expressed concern about allowing one group to sell hot chocolate and not permitting another to do the same thing. After lengthy debate, trustees voted 3-1 to allow both groups to sell chocolate during the train visit. Scozzafava opposed. Im not opposed to the organizations, Scozzafava stressed. I just dont want to lose sight of what this event is all about. The decorated train is scheduled to stop at the Port Henry train station at 7:15 to 7:45 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3. Last year about 1,000 people turned out for the trains arrival. Moriah Central Schools band and chorus will perform before the train arrives at the station.

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