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Recreation path needed

To the Valley News:

We firmly believe that our community needs a multi-use, family friendly recreation path in order to stay competitive with other area vacation destinations, such as Stowe, Vt.

However, we are dismayed by the position that Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates is taking on this issue.

For more than a decade, multiple groups have worked tirelessly to negotiate a “Trail by Rail” recreational path that is now fully permitted between Lake Placid and Ray brook and is expected to be permitted to Saranac Lake. Grant money has been secured to pay for the majority of the costs, and the project is ready to go out to bid.

However, Trail Advocates suggests that we disregard that effort and insist that the rail be torn up so a recreational trail can be made from Lake Placid to Tupper Lake. I agree that this would be the best use of this land; however, this argument should have been made 10 years ago, not now that so much effort has been put forth toward the “Trail by Rail” plan.

The Trail Advocates claim that the grant money already secured for the “Trail by Rail” path can be reallocated is inaccurate. We would have to reapply for new grants and permits for Trail Advocates’ proposal. It would take another decade to even prepare to build the path that the group is proposing, and nothing in our current economic climate suggests that any money will be available at that point.

The existing grant money will be lost if we do not act on the current plan. So many of us have been waiting for this path for such a long time, I would hate to give up this vision due to an inability to compromise.

Debbie Erenstone, Lake Placid

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