Multi-use trail eyed between villages

— County Legislator Harry J. McManus is reexamining plans for a multi-use trail linking the villages of Champlain and Rouses Point.

McManus has approached the villages at their respective board meetings in recent weeks discussing his intentions to dust off plans first discussed more than a decade ago.

“This was something we first proposed back in 1996 when I was a member of the town board,” said McManus.

The plans involve utilizing an old railroad bed from Church Street in Rouses Point, along Golf Course Road and State Route 276 and parallel with U.S. Route 11 into the village of Champlain.

Through collaboration with the villages of Champlain and Rouses Point and the town of Mooers, the town of Champlain moved forward with submitting an application for grant funding for the project through the state of Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation. However, the application was denied and, at that point, the project became stagnant.

“It was universally accepted by the boards and the community,” said McManus. “We just didn’t get any funding.”

McManus started to look at the idea of a multi-use trail once again after learning of potential funding through the state Department of Health that could benefit the municipalities if they were to again move forward with plans for a trail system.

“I noticed about two months ago there was something available,” said McManus, “but it would be impossible to make this year’s [application] deadline.”

However, that got McManus thinking that if funding were made available in the future, it would be worth pursuing. The key would be whether or not the state Department of Health would offer the grant funding again.

“I have no reason to assume they would not,” said McManus.

In the meantime, the municipalities involved would be able to gather more data, including whether or not community members would prefer a motorized or nonmotorized trail, what its official path would be, and what properties would either have to be acquired or what easements would be needed to use the properties.

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