GREIG Iroquois Gas Transmission System Inc. on Wednesday transferred an old railroad corridor to Lewis County for use as a multi-purpose recreational trail.
We appreciate everything youve done for us, Legislature Chairman Jack T. Bush, R-Brantingham, told Iroquois officials at a brief ceremony near the companys meter station off Burdicks Crossing Road in the town of Turin.
Glad we were able to work this out, said Jeffrey A. Bruner, Iroquois vice president, general counsel and secretary.
Mr. Bruner thanked Mr. Bush, state Department of Environmental Conservation officials and other local leaders and community members in attendance who helped spearhead the transfer.
County legislators in April voted to accept the more than 4-mile corridor between Burdicks Crossing Road and Lyons Falls from the Shelton, Conn.-based company with the intent of developing a trail that could provide the Edge Hotel and other Lyons Falls businesses a connection to all-terrain-vehicle and snowmobile trails.
Snowmobile and ATV riders had used the corridor, which no longer contains rails, unofficially for many years.
Legislators in January 2011 authorized the addition to the county ATV trail system of a trail along the Iroquois corridor, but officials at the company, citing a policy of typically not allowing snowmobiles or ATVs on its holdings, indicated they would only consider a temporary, revocable licensing agreement for snowmobiles.
A bridge that was replaced in fall 2010 by Brantingham Sno Pals snowmobile club, with some county assistance, then washed out because of heavy rains over the winter and spring. That prompted Iroquois officials last summer to gate off the property, eliminating all recreational traffic.
However, following continued negotiations between company, county and DEC officials, a transfer of the property to the county was approved by all parties.
Iroquois was required by DEC to purchase the corridor to receive needed permits when it installed its natural gas line through Lewis County two decades ago. While DEC was to eventually take the property, officials at the state agency decided they didnt want it.
While the ceremony noting the transfer took place Wednesday, the county took title to the property earlier this summer.
Members of the local snowmobile club have already rectified drainage issues and made other improvements to the existing path, and the corridor has been hydroseeded to limit erosion, said Joseph Z. Onyon, president of the Tug Hill Adirondack ATV Association.
An opening date for the trail, which currently remains gated off, will be determined by County Trail Coordinator Robert C. Diehl, who is on vacation this week, Mr. Onyon said.