Proposal to pay police for Ironman postponed

"Unfortunately there is a sad state of financial affairs right now in Albany, and they're looking for ways to save money or generate revenue," Politi said. "So they want to utilize this particular event which is so important to this region."

But Politi, who met with Senator Little last Friday, said the decision to wait until next year is best for all parties.

"This way, we have more time to find a solution that is appropriate for both state police and the people of Essex County," he said.

Major Richard Smith, Commander of Ray Brook-based State Police Troop B, said negotiations to pay troopers for their work have been ongoing since the first Ironman came to the Lake Placid region 11 years ago. He says it was the Visitors Bureau that first offered the idea of paying troopers.

"During the original discussions about how we would police the event, how many personnel would be required, etc., the Lake Placid Visitors Bureau was a prominent partner in going forward seeking funding streams to reimburse the state police for the costs associated with providing public safety during the event," Smith said.

Smith said the state paid $53,000 in overtime to troopers working the event last year. They requested to have a portion of that overtime reimbursed this year.

"We're not just helping out at the Ironman," Smith said. "We have our regular responsibilities as well. That's a lot of overtime."

Despite the decision by Superintendent Corbitt to rescind the request, Visitors Bureau Executive Director James McKenna says a deal should be made by the 2010 Ironman.

"We need their help, and they do a great job," McKenna said. "It's only right that we do our best to reimburse them at some point."

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