Ogdensburg council votes to continue Maple City Trail work
Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - 9:21 am

North Country This Week

OGDENSBURG -- Pleas from the community to move forward with a proposed extension of the Maple City Trail did not fall on deaf ears Monday.

A resolution brought forward by Deputy Mayor John Rishe would have stopped plans to add 3,5000 feet to the existing trail, creating a loop with the Black River Trail Scenic Byway at State Route 812.

However, the resolution failed to pass after comments were made at the meeting by former city council members Jennifer Stevenson, Billy Hosmer and Tom Hannan as well as Vice Chair of the Ogdensburg Growth Fund Gary Hammond.

All four argued that the trail would help bring more people to the city and would be solid return on investment. To date the city has secured more than $2 million for the project and was set to send in application for more funding. The local share for the project was expected to be around $49,000.

Hosmer told councilors that they couldn't cut their "way out of success."

Hosmer acknowledged that the council will have to make tough decisions, but said throwing away a project that will help bring people to the city is not the answer.

Hannon told council that the days of bringing industry to the city have passed and that Ogdensburg needs to embrace tourism opportunities like the trail expansion.

Rishe said he'd rather see the funding used for projects in the city's downtown area, like the rehabilitation of 212 Ford Street, which formerly held Desparado's bar.

Also voting with Rishe were councilors Steven FIsher and Bill Dillabough.

Voting to move forward with the extension were Mayor Jeffrey Skelly and councilors Nichole Kennedy, Michael Powers and Dan Skamperle.