Press-Republican

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June 29, 2013

State provides $17M for DEC upgrades

RAY BROOK — More than $17 million from state coffers is targeted for work at outdoor recreation areas this summer.

The bulk of it — $11.3 million — will be spent on projects in the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Region 5, which includes Essex, Franklin and Clinton counties.

In an itemized spreadsheet, DEC spokesman David Winchell provided a look at how two state funds are disbursing the money.

The Environmental Protection Fund is providing capital for new trail work, signage, infrastructure upgrades at DEC Camp Colby and on newly opened former Finch, Pruyn and Co. lands, among 16 projects that account for $2.4 million in upgrades.

SARANAC LOCKS

Targeted repairs at the Saranac Lower Lock will draw $100,000.

The Lower Lock is a water-exchange mechanism moderated with gates between Lower Saranac Lake and Oseetah Lake to allow boat traffic to move between the two larger bodies of water.

“At Saranac Locks, $100,000 will be spent to rehabilitate and replace — if necessary — all of the electronic and hydraulic components of the lock-operation system. Hinge pins and plates will also be replaced,” Winchell said via email.

“The concrete walls will be rehabilitated and repaired. Work will begin this fall after the boating season.”

The lock system is not meant as a flood-prevention tool, but water raised and lowered through the gates directly impacts Lake Flower in the Village of Saranac Lake.

PERU BOAT LAUNCH

Other rounds of funding are coming from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s New York Works II initiative.

Several high-profile local recreation sites are benefiting from repairs, renovations or other access updates on popular waterways.

On Lake Champlain, repairs are planned for the Peru Boat Launch.

“New York Works will spend $200,000 to lengthen the docks and the pad to allow for the launching and retrieving of larger boats,” Winchell said.

“It will also support rehabilitation and reinforcement of a concrete wall that has been eroded by ice and wave action. Work will be undertaken this summer.”

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