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Warren Co. government leaders choose 2013 events to bankroll

Among the Warren County supervisors reviewing occupancy tax grant applications Dec. 10 were  (clockwise, from left): Edna Frasier of Hague, Dennis Dickinson of Lake George, Bill Kenny of Glens Falls and Ralph Bentley of Horicon.  (Not pictured): ,Gene Merlino of Lake Luzerne, Mark Westcott of Queensbury and Ron Conover of Bolton.

Among the Warren County supervisors reviewing occupancy tax grant applications Dec. 10 were (clockwise, from left): Edna Frasier of Hague, Dennis Dickinson of Lake George, Bill Kenny of Glens Falls and Ralph Bentley of Horicon. (Not pictured): ,Gene Merlino of Lake Luzerne, Mark Westcott of Queensbury and Ron Conover of Bolton. Photo by Thom Randall.

— Warren County leaders demonstrated solid support for upcounty transportation Monday Dec. 10 as they voted to award $26,000 to the North Creek Business Alliance for its tourist shuttle service.

This occupancy tax allocation for the shuttle service represents a 63 percent increase over the county’s 2012 grant.

The Business Alliance has been seeking to purchase a compact bus or diesel trolley to replace the 5-passenger electric golf cart it now uses to transport people at no charge through town — in an effort to boost economic activity.

This shuttle has been vital in getting people around North Creek, particularly from the train station to downtown enterprises, Alliance officials have said.

This shuttle service is extremely important in transporting visitors who arrive in North Creek as passengers on the Saratoga-North Creek Railway, but the existing electric cart can’t handle the 300 to 400 people who routinely arrive on the train, according to the Alliance’s grant application.

Alliance officials could not be reached early this week.

The grant application notes that the shuttle service, coupled with the railway, has been a key element in transforming North Creek from an isolated but historic hamlet into a destination resort town.

The document also notes the boosted economic activity and new jobs created by the railway and the shuttle, citing that full funding of the shuttle service would be responsible for generating 11,390 “bed nights,” or overnight stays in the upcounty region. The application also noted that obtaining a new shuttle was important for accommodating people with mobility limitations.

Johnsburg Supervisor Ron Vanselow commented that although the occupancy tax grant of $26,000 was $12,000 short of the Alliance’s request, it would allow for purchase of a shuttle of some kind to allow substantial expansion of the service. The town of Johnsburg has already pledged $10,000 for the shuttle operation for 2013.

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