Secretary of state praises locals

"We appreciate the Dept. of State support, as it's a very important project both for water quality and for festival space, which will result in a great benefit to the economy of the area by attracting new events," Monroe said.

Lake George Town Supervisor Frank McCoy, who has fought to retain the former Cavalcade of Cars and Opera House buildings on the former Gaslight Village amusement park site, echoed Monroe's sentiments.

"The environmental initiative will save the lake, and the festival space will help revitalize the village," he said looking at the gathered state officials. "We couldn't have done it without you."

Peter Bauer of the Fund for Lake George said it was appropriate that the gathering and speeches were held in front of the former Charlie's Saloon, which was scheduled for demolition as the ground underneath would in due time host constructed wetlands, replacing natural ones that were destroyed many years ago by the state and developers.

"I forgot to ask you to bring your sledgehammer," he said to Cort s-V zquez, noting the former tavern and dance hall was one of the buildings scheduled for demolition.

He added that environmental enhancement was intimately linked with environmental protection, as preserving the lake was fundamental to retaining tourism.

"This project is an investment in the local economy as well as its ecology," he said.

Lake George Mayor Robert Blais, who has championed the demolition of the buildings, said the park represented an landmark environmental venture for the region.

"This project is one of the most important initiatives ever taken in the history of the lake," he said.

Cort s-V zquez said the project could serve as a model of inter-agency cooperation for the entire nation.

"When we have a project that serves as a model as this one has, we need to show it off," she said.

After an overview of the former Gaslight site with environmentalists, Cort s-V zquez visited Bolton Landing to review the Pier development project in Rogers Park.

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