By DENISE A. RAYMO
---- — MALONE — Franklin County is willing to deed a handicapped-access fishing spot on Lower Park Street to the Town of Malone.
It will be up to the Town Council to determine if it will accept the transfer and take on the responsibility of the site’s maintenance.
The Salmon River Fishing Platform, as it is known, was damaged in late January when a 4,000-foot ice jam clogged the Salmon River south of the platform site and forced ice to back up and rise underneath it.
County Highway Department workers fixed it.
County legislators recently passed a resolution canceling $2,270 in back taxes, interest and penalties owed on the half-acre property it had seized in a foreclosure proceeding for non-payment of taxes.
The Town Council will decide either at a special meeting or at its regular meeting Aug. 21 whether to complete the transfer of property, Town Supervisor Howard Maneely said.
The Fishing Platform was dedicated in a special ceremony on July 2, 2009, opening a portion of the Salmon River previously inaccessible to senior citizens and the handicapped.
The Franklin County Federation of Fish and Games Clubs secured a $14,000 grant in 2008 to build the public spot to give anglers easier access to prime trout fishing.
The money came through the State Department of Environmental Conservation Habitat Stamp Program, from which proceeds from the sale of $5 commemorative stamps go toward conservation and access projects throughout the state.
The site was to include a paved parking lot for up to four vehicles, an accessible fishing ramp and a walkway.
The ground was cleared and the platform built by County Highway Department crews, but before their work started, two non-native invasive species of plants — Japanese knotweed and purple swallowwort — had to be eradicated.
County Attorney Jonathan Miller told legislators the platform damage and repair might be grouped into reimbursements in the overall flood-mitigation plan County Emergency Services Director Ricky Provost is spearheading on the town’s behalf.
As many as 10 homes in the 300 block of Lower Park Street that have been victimized by flooding for years may be part of a federal-mitigation buyout program.
Email Denise A. Raymo:firstname.lastname@example.org