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June 19, 2018 Board Meeting – Ronald Trottier

Ronald Trottier, Chief Executive Officer for Railstar Corporation spoke at the June 19th RACOG board meeting about his vision and ideas for the railroad bed between Lowville and Carthage, plus Lowville to Croghan.  He also shared his ideas on utilizing the Black River for kayaking and pontoon boats.  Mr. Trottier said he is hopeful that by the end of summer, that pedal cars will be in operation for a small portion of the railroad bed in Lowville.  He currently has crews working to clear brush and has also placed an order for the pedal cars.  While the focus right now is on the railroad bed near Lowville, he has plans to expand into the Castorland and Carthage area.

Mr. Trottier is also very interested in the Black River for recreation opportunities for kayaking and pontoon boats.  At this meeting, Mickey Dietrich, RACOG Municipal Management Consultant for the Tug Hill Commission, presented a preliminary navigation hazard map from Lowville to Castorland.  He, along with the summer EFC (Environmental Finance Center) intern, Seth Lapp, mapped out the navigation hazards along the Black River, including depths.  They will be looking to finish up this mapping in the next couple of weeks, once they have collected the last stretch from Castorland to Carthage.

Mr. Trottier is also looking to form a group of partner businesses to help to bring people to the area and create a place for multiple activities for people.  He talked about partnering with local restaurants and other establishments.

Click here to see the newspaper article on the meeting.

RACOG Board Meeting May 15, 2018 “Intern Night”

Kelsey Hurley from Monroe Community College presented to the RACOG board about her RACOG Community Resource Map that she worked on as part of a remote internship with the Tug Hill Commission. Her project is on the RACOG website and will also be available through the Tug Hill Commission’s map portal (www.tughill.giscloud.com). Kelsey is looking to continue to assist as she can with the project moving forward and was grateful for the opportunity. Also, Seth Lapp was at the board meeting to introduce himself to the board. He will be working as an intern this summer with the Tug Hill Commission through funding from the Environmental Finance Center at Syracuse University and RACOG. His work will have him helping out communities with data collection and mapping projects.

Wilna-Champion Transportation Association

Heather Tanner, Executive Director for the Wilna-Champion Transportation Association (WCTA), presented to the RACOG board about the current status of the organization from a fiscal and operational standpoint.  The non-profit operates on a limited schedule for the seniors and disabled in the area, providing a valuable service within the community. The program operates on a tight budget, which she mentioned was made more difficult when the area was designated under the Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).  She stated that being under the MPO makes the WCTA non-eligible for rural transport funding opportunities making it more difficult for a small organization like them to be competitive in getting grant funding for a new shuttle bus.  Their current shuttle bus is a 2008 Ford E450 and is need of being replaced.

Mrs. Tanner stated that she rides the bus, so that she can give the riders the care and assistance they need.  She helps them carry their groceries and assists them in many ways, that they otherwise would not get if WCTA was not around.  She is very passionate about helping the elderly and disabled.  WTCA continues to look for ways to upgrade their shuttle bus and hope they can find a solution.  They want to continue providing this valuable service to their community.