Help fund trail beside Sara-Placid rails

To the editor:

This isn’t Chicken Little or the boy who called “wolf”; this is real, and it is now. After many years of planning, we are just months away from starting construction on the trail with rail. According to plan, we will be requesting bids and letting the first half this summer, with a buildout in the fall. We even have a tentative completion of the first half by early December. Then, if all goes according to plan, the second half should be ready for the same process in the spring of 2104.

From cocktail napkin to elaborate engineered plans, the recreational pathway alongside the railroad tracks from Lake Placid to Saranac Lake will soon be a reality. North Elba is working with Creighton Manning, an Albany-based engineering firm, in putting the finishing touches on the bid specifications. Then a contractor will be hired and construction will take place. Like many projects here, it starts with a simple idea, gets buy-in, gets planned, then gets done.

Just last week a group of local people from our communities met to organize the naming, funding, publicizing and implementing of this great project. The Adirondack North Country Association is steering this group and will be instrumental in the public outreach aspect of the project. Look for a naming contest to be announced within the next week or two. We will also be having a public forum in mid June to present details as they become finalized.

With ANCA’s help we will kick off a concentrated fundraising effort shortly. By channeling through ANCA, all funds will be tax-deductible, and I can assure you that virtually all funds raised will be used for the project and not go toward fundraising efforts. (Donations can be sent to ANCA Pathway Project, c/o ANCA, 67 Main St., Saranac Lake, NY 12983)

Now it is time to step up to the plate. We have a great opportunity that is here now, and we must act. We are in need of money in order to get this done. As you all know from prior news items, letters and Guest Commentaries, we have secured the grants; we now have to meet our local funding requirements. All along we have met the local funding side with a limited number of participants; since the burn rate has increased of late, our funds available are almost depleted. We need your help! Please join me in supporting this worthwhile project!

We will soon be able to commute between communities, take a ride and lunch on either side, offer a competitive amenity and just plain enjoy the fruits of our labor. This will be another Adirondack success story; let’s get this done.

Chuck Damp

Ray Brook