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Saranac Lake mayor inspects RR tracks to Tupper Lake

Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau heads to Tupper Lake on a high-railer pick-up truck along the railroad tracks Thursday, Sept. 13 to see whether it's feasible to build a recreation path next to the tracks. He was joined by Trustee Tom Catillaz and members of the media.

Saranac Lake Mayor Clyde Rabideau heads to Tupper Lake on a high-railer pick-up truck along the railroad tracks Thursday, Sept. 13 to see whether it's feasible to build a recreation path next to the tracks. He was joined by Trustee Tom Catillaz and members of the media. Photo by Andy Flynn.

— The Village Board will be inviting stakeholders — including railway and ARTA officials — to a public meeting sometime in November and December to reach that consensus.

“Hopefully there will be a lot of respect for both sides at the meeting and try to get down to the truth and see what options there are,” Rabideau said. “Not everybody can win, but hopefully the Adirondacks can win.”

But is there room for a compromise?

“Can you find a middle ground? That’s a big question,” Rabideau said. “I’m not so sure there is, but that’s why we’re here.”

Rabideau said his favorite part of the trip was the scenery.

“It’s been a really interesting ride, a lot of vistas, a lot of beautiful views,” Rabideau said as the high-railer was pulling into the Tupper Lake train station. “The wetlands impressed me; they were absolutely gorgeous. We did catch a few mountains behind a few of the lakes. In fact, I was amazed I didn’t know all these lakes existed back here.”

Rabideau said he was surprised to find that there are some existing trails and dirt roads running along portions of the rail corridor.

Reaction to North Elba stance

Meeting the high-railer at the Tupper Lake train station were David Tomberlin — a local businessman, Chamber of Commerce president, Tupper Lake town councilman and passionate railway supporter — and Dan McClelland — publisher of the Tupper Lake Free Press and chairman of Next Stop! Tupper Lake. McClelland was at the Sept. 10 Saranac Lake Village Board meeting asking the mayor for his support and helped set up the high-railer trip.

The Tupper Lake Town Board has not taken a side on the issue, and, despite being asked by ARTA to back their cause, Tomberlin feels the town should remain neutral on the issue.

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