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North Elba approves items for Ironman, RR trail, dog control officer

North Elba Supervisor Robert "Roby" Politi

North Elba Supervisor Robert "Roby" Politi Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— Members of the North Elba Town Board Tuesday, June 12 made decisions regarding the multi-use trail along the train tracks through Ray Brook, Ironman Lake Placid and the dog control officer.

Town Board members approved a five-year host agreement for Ironman Lake Placid, a world-class triathlon held here since 1999. It is the second oldest Ironman in North America.

The event, scheduled for July 22 this year, features a 2.4-mile swim on Mirror Lake, 112-mile bike race through the towns of Keene, Jay and Wilmington, a 26.2-mile run and a finish at the Olympic Speed Skating Oval. It is operated by the World Triathlon Corp., based in Florida.

“We are recognized as one of the most popular (Ironman) events, and so we have a very good arrangement with them,” Supervisor Roby Politi said. “Lake Placid’s very popular, the athletes love to come here, and Ironman recognizes that and wants to continue.”

The Ironman contract now needs approval from the village of Lake Placid and the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST). Jim McKenna, executive director of ROOST, told the Essex County Board of Supervisors June 11 that Ironman brings in $50-$60 million of direct spending to the town of North Elba over the life of the five-year contract. That doesn’t include economic multipliers or sales tax revenue.

Town Board members June 12 also decided to enter into contract negotiations with Creighton Manning Engineering for the design of the Lake Placid to Saranac Lake Multi-use Trail along the railroad tracks. Creighton Manning has worked on a number of local projects, including the U.S. Olympic Training Center, Adirondack Regional Airport and the unit management plans for Whiteface and Gore mountains.

The multi-use trail along the railroad tracks has been a contentious issue, with members of the recently formed Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates (ARTA) in favor of tearing up the tracks and creating a multi-use recreational trail from Lake Placid to Old Forge. The town, however, is moving forward with a trail adjacent to the railroad tracks between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, which are currently used in the summer by a tourist train operated by the Adirondack Scenic Railroad.

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