Board announces $505,000 rail corridor grant

NORTH CREEK In a stunning announcement on Tuesday night, Johnsburg Supervisor Goodspeed notified the board that Warren County has received notification of a $505,000 federal grant to be used in developing the Hudson River rail corridor. The majority of the funding is earmarked for improvements to the river-front area in North Creek, including the countys Kellogg-Waddell buildings, property development, and regional marketing efforts. Im convinced this area of North Creek will become the jewel of the Town of Johnsburg, Goodspeed says. This is really exciting news and the best part is that it comes without any financial obligation to the town. The announcement follows closely behind the first of two property planning sessions hosted by the Elan Group, on behalf of Warren County. The sessions are designed to solicit local opinion regarding what improvements should be made to the river-front property, and how to best utilize the area for the good of the community. Issues surrounding the towns Ski Bowl Park continued to draw the boards attention this week. The discovery of spring-time damage to the small dam on North Creek could have significant implications for the towns beach and swimming area. Supervisor Goodspeed is currently working with a local engineer, DEC, and Army Corps of Engineers officials to determine what (if any) repairs the town can make to the dam, and how it will impact the summer swimming season. Ironically, recent advertisements for a Life Guard at the facility have been unsuccessful and questions remain whether the beach will be open in time for the summer season. Usage fees for the Tannery Pond Community Center have made progress recently, with Goodspeed noting that all of the towns heavy users have conceptually agreed to compensate the town for the use of the building. A proposal regarding one-time usage fees is pending a final revision. I have assured everyone that whatever we do here - we want people to keep using the building the same way they have become accustomed to, Goodspeed says. Questions regarding the Ski Bowl Park enclosed pavilion building will be addressed with Gore Mountain Manager, Mike Pratt, at the July 1 board meeting. Various proposals related to the building have created controversy in the town - specifically concerns over ORDAs financially benefitting from a potential Town of Johnsburg renovation investment. Goodspeed noted his intent to have Pratt clarify ORDAs plan for the building, and willingness to provide in-kind consideration to the town for its use during the ski season. On a similar note, discussions continued over the aesthetics of a chain-link fence surrounding the Ski Bowl Park buildings. Park Committee member Kelly Nessle reiterated the committees desire to replace the fence with a more visually appealing barrier, or the possibility of screening it with shrubs. The removal of the fence has drawn criticism due to safety concerns and one audience member noted that removal of the fence may require New York State approval due to its original funding agreement. In other business, the maintenance of the towns secondary highways was discussed in light of an increasing number of resident complaints. Several town roads were listed as candidates for re-paving but the town lacks an immediate funding solution. Goodspeed pledged his support in finding a resolution but also expressed concern that the towns budget situation was too volatile to support a large paving project in 2008. The board vowed to continue discussions with Highway Superintendent, Curt Richards, and to explore options with Warren County highway officials. The next meeting of the Johnsburg Town Board will be Tuesday, July 1, 7 p.m., at the Wevertown Community Center.

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