Lewis adds parcels to ATV system

This graphic shows a proposed all-terrain vehicle trail on private land and a portion of Belmont Street in Lyons Falls intended to provide ATV access to the Edge Hotel and adjacent businesses.

LOWVILLE — Lewis County legislators on Tuesday added several parcels to their all-terrain vehicle trail system, including a few to connect with a motel and other businesses in Lyons Falls.

“We’re excited to get that,” county Recreational Trail Coordinator Jacqueline L. Mahoney said.

Lawmakers voted 8-0 to add properties owned by Michael and Tracey Hurilla, Mark D. Kovach Jr. and Lawrence Williams off Route 12 to the ATV system, which would establish a connection from the Edge Hotel — along with other adjacent businesses like Boondocks Restaurant and Marino’s Pizzeria — to Belmont Street at its intersection with Cherry Street; legislators Roscoe K. “Rocky” Fawcett, R-Lyonsdale, and Richard A. Chartrand, D-Lowville, were absent.

Lyons Falls village trustees on Dec. 18 will likely consider opening a portion of Belmont Street to the old railroad corridor, now a multi-purpose recreational trail, so long as the local ATV club gets permission from concerned landowners to construct fences and put up no stopping signs and that the ATV speed limit on the street would be 15 mph, according to the village Facebook page. A public hearing on the issue was held Nov. 27, and another will likely be held prior to law adoption.

Iroquois Gas Transmission System Inc. in 2012 transferred the old four-mile rail corridor between Lyons Falls and Burdicks Crossing Road to the county, and county leaders at the time hoped to use it to allow ATV enthusiasts to ride directly from the Edge Hotel.

However, Mrs. Mahoney said, some other options did not pan out, and it wasn’t until recently that she was able to get landowner permission to create a connection.

Lawmakers also added three parcels in the town of West Turin owned by David and Laura Descoteau at Route 26 and Zimmer Road, Nowwhac LLC at 5169 Zimmer Road and Raynard and Robin Gagnon off Route 26 to the county trail system. The intent of those was primarily to bring trails previously developed by the Highmarket Wheelers ATV Club into the county system and address ownership changes on a couple parcels, but it will allow the development of some new trail opportunities, Mrs. Mahoney said.

Legislature Chairman Michael A. Tabolt, R-Croghan, at Tuesday’s meeting also reported that a Lewis County contingent talked with Fort Drum officials both at a holiday social Sunday and again at a luncheon meeting earlier in the day Tuesday, continuing the effort to maintain communication with the base on wind development and other issues.

Fort Drum officials are primarily concerned on maintaining corridors for flight training, most of which are in the northern part of the county where turbines are not proposed, Mr. Tabolt said. There was also some discussion and suggestions on ways to mitigate wind farm impact on weather radar, he said.

“I think we’re on the same page and working toward some solutions,” County Manager Ryan M. Piche said.

Legislators at Tuesday’s meeting also:

n Transferred $200,000 in the 2018 budget earmarked for nursing home intergovernmental transfer funding to contingency. Prior to last month’s budget adoption, outgoing Legislator Philip C. Hathway, R-Harrisville, expressed concern about a reduction in contingency funds from $870,000 to $250,000, and Mr. Piche noted the county had received information that IGT should only cost the county $2 million rather than the $2.2 million budgeted.

n Appointed Cheryl R. Steckly, Croghan, to the Lewis County General Hospital board and re-appointed Marguerite R. Mastascusa and Philip E. McDowell, both of Lowville. Also appointed Thomas Gillette, Lyons Falls, to the county Ethics Board.

n Approved $1,000 for the Lyons Falls History Association as an addition to contractual agency funding for 2018.

n Set the final meeting of the year for 10 a.m. Dec. 21.

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