I-98 creeping closer, not an absurd dream
Wednesday, January 9, 2013 - 9:27 am

To the Editor:

Consistent with the comments issued by Wade, Brian and I on December 20 of this year that were subsequently published by the Daily Courier-Observer on December 24, I am writing to refute the fallacies presented by Ms. Elia Filippi of Richville in her Letter to the Editor that was published on December 22 in the same publication regarding the development of the Interstate 98 corridor.

Ms. Filippi stated in her letter that she assumed “most of our community does not know that the St. Lawrence County Legislature has cut all funding to the Canton Public Library and others, while spending in excess of $100,000, to promote the mythical rooftop highway.” The reason that people don’t know about this conspiracy theory is because it’s simply another case of made-up nonsense. The St. Lawrence County Legislature has not spent anywhere near $100,000 promoting the development of the I-98 corridor. That was an outright lie.

Two years ago, the Legislature authorized an expenditure of $20,000 to promote the development of the I-98 corridor from gaming compact funds. That is the only such expenditure made by the Legislature to support the I-98 corridor during the past decade. Ms. Filippi continued, “The proponents of this absurd daydream cannot seem to grasp reality.” In her statement, Ms. Filippi failed to grasp the truth.

If the concept was so absurd, why have the New York State Department of Transportation and the USDOT Federal Highway Administration spent tens of millions of dollars over the past 50 years to conduct and publish feasibility studies on the topic that have brought us to this point in our regional discussion?

For those of you who missed the column, Ms. Filippi presented a few more paragraphs of equally inaccurate word-trash aimed at distorting the public record relative to the development of the Interstate 98 corridor. In perhaps the most marginalizing of her comments, however, Ms. Filippi stated that “No amount of [effort] will convince the heads of government and interstate highway officials to build [this highway]…”

If Ms. Filippi really believed what spews from her pen, she wouldn’t waste the ink to write it. Why spend that much time fighting something that “doesn’t exist”? Maybe, just maybe; she and her comrades know that the Interstate 98 project is continuing to creep closer to reality and they feel that the best way to stop development in the North Country is to distort the public record about its reality?

Jason Clark, Norfolk; For the Northern Corridor Transportation Group