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Multi-use trail eyed between villages

— This time around, however, McManus said the primary focus would be not on the originally proposed 8.8-mile stretch from the hamlet of Mooers to the village of Rouses Point, but rather only the section between the villages of Champlain and Rouses Point.

“We’d be talking about 4 miles for the initial phase,” said McManus.

The municipalities involved would also have to decide how much they could contribute in matching grant funding, if anything, which could come in the form of in-kind services, said McManus.

“There’s going to be clearing, leveling, those kinds of things which would qualify toward the match but not necessarily be a direct cost to the taxpayers,” said McManus.

The overall cost of a trail system has yet to be determined and would require further examination, McManus reiterated.

“We just have to start the process somewhere,” he said, speaking of his recent visits with local municipal leaders.

Champlain Town Supervisor Larry G. Barcomb said he’s for the trail, as long as the majority of the project could be funded by state or federal monies. Barcomb acknowledged, though, that such funding is becoming harder and harder to obtain.

“The biggest problem would be the cost,” said Barcomb. “We’re trying to stay within the [state’s 2 percent property tax cap] ... Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly willing to listen to the idea, and I see some of the potential benefits. We just need to know what our cost would be.”

Gregory Martin, mayor of the village of Champlain, agreed.

“I think it’s a good idea. It would open up some different pathways between the villages for walkers, people bicycling,” said Martin. “And, I think if it could be developed reasonably, it would provide a safe environment for people to go from Rouses Point to Champlain and maybe even beyond.”

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