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Big Tupper t-bar report released

TUPPER LAKE - A report detailing the condition of the Big Tupper T-bar is out and local volunteers now know what needs to be done.

The community action organization Adirondack Residents Intent on Saving Their Economy, has been organizing dozens of volunteers at the site for weeks in hopes of reopening Big Tupper for the coming ski season.

Jim LaValley is a Tupper Lake businessman and spokesman for ARISE, which hired T-bar technician Larry Wollum to asses the state of the lift system.

"We got the report back from Larry Wollum and it's better than we thought," LaValley said. "Now that we have good material, we are talking to people who have tremendous working knowledge of that particular T-bar."

LaValley said that a missing tower will have to be replaced, as will most of the shivs that hold the tow-cable on the track.

Wollum's assessment states that bearings and cross arms need inspection, but overall the system can definitely be salvaged.

The report further states that enough "ts" are present to get the lift up and running, saving ARISE significant funds.

LaValley noted that the primary lift cable is in questionable condition and will likely be replaced. ARISE also plans on restoring the existing electric motor instead of opting for a new diesel one.

The push to reopen Big Tupper with volunteer labor comes at a time when project developers Preserve Associates are stuck in a lengthy permitting process. The mountain has been closed since 1999. APA staff said that the adjudicatory hearings concerning the massive Adirondack Club and Resort project are expected to begin in about three months.

LaValley said that the total cost of the T-bar rehabilitation is currently being tallied and that several local benefactors have already shown interest.

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