The popular footbridge here will be closed for about three weeks next month for major renovation.

Though the current cement piers will be utilized, the steps and bridge itself will be replaced.

Wood planking will be supplanted with heavy-duty plastic. There will also be landscaping in the park area as well as stream-bank reinforcement.

Jessica Buehler of Essex County Public Health detailed the project at a recent Elizabethtown Town Council meeting.

About $90,000 will be forthcoming from grants that promote healthier lifestyles; the town will pay $46,000 that will be reimbursed.

There's money in the General Fund to cover that amount, said Supervisor Noel Merrihew.

NEW HIGHWAY SUPER

In other business, Michael Drew was appointed Elizabethtown Highway Superintendent at an annual salary of $32,000; he fills the unexpired term of Dennis Aubin, who recently retired after 19 years. Keith Denton was appointed as deputy superintendent. Merrihew, on behalf of the council, gave "heartfelt thanks" to Aubin and wished him well.

The two-year position will be up for election this November.

Also at the meeting, the council discussed the dog ordinance, previously a New York state law and now a responsibility of individual municipalities. All dogs within the confines of the town and its hamlets of Elizabethtown and New Russia must be registered with the town clerk on a yearly basis. Prior to receiving a license, the canine must have received a rabies inoculation.

HOSPITAL PROGRAMS

Rod Boula, Elizabethtown Community Hospital CEO, apprised the council on the facility's improvements and programs. He said the chemotherapy program is being utilized, and he had hopes that arrangements could be made with those who have oncologists in Vermont so that additional patients can receive treatment in Elizabethtown.

The hospital's electronic medical records transformation is among the top 10 percent in the country as far as compliance, Boula reported. Both the CAT scan and weekly mobile MRI have been successful, with the possibility of the latter being scheduled two days a week.

"We feel very fortunate to have you and your staff here," Merrihew said.

CHAMBER REPORTS

A Cobble Hill Golf Course report indicated the greens are in good shape and the course will open May 1. A public meeting about the town-owned golf course is scheduled at 9 a.m. April 26 at the Town Hall.

Representing the Elizabethtown-Lewis Chamber of Commerce, Maggie Bartley said there are currently 67 business and individual members enrolled, and anyone is welcome to join. A new brochure will be distributed by Memorial Day. The chamber will be awarding a $300 scholarship to a graduating Elizabethtown Lewis Central School senior who pursues business education.

NEW TRAIL

Councilman Ken Fenimore reported on the Cobble Hill Trail System and the possibility of adding more parking spaces at the Lord Road trailhead. There will also be work on a new scenic trail starting at 1 p.m. May 27. Fenimore is hoping to involve local teens through the Elizabethtown Social Center. A new and more accurate trail system map will be created using GPS equipment.

Malcolm Martin, a property owner in town, stood up at the public comment period at the meeting, saying he had things to say but he'd just write a letter to the editor. Then he left.

Later in the meeting, Fenimore, who has written letters to the editor, said he wanted to make it clear that they are not on behalf of the Town Council, but are his own comments and thoughts.

And, he said, the fact that Merrihew is his brother-in-law has no bearing on those opinions.

Email Alvin Reiner at:

rondackrambler@yahoo.com

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