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Lewis legislators host representatives from Adirondack counties at racetrack, Maple Museum

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NEW BREMEN — A New York State Association of Counties meeting on Thursday brought lawmakers from throughout the Adirondack Park up to speed on the governor’s tax-relief plan. But first they got to check out Lewis County’s soon-to-be reopened speedway.

Lewis County legislators hosted the monthly inter-county meeting, inviting representatives of 11 counties that make up the legislative committee of the Adirondacks.

“There’s a lot of renewed enthusiasm,” said Legislative Chairman Michael A. Tabolt, R-Croghan, after visiting the Adirondack International Speedway, Artz Road. “It’s an opportunity to showcase what we have here,” he said.

Apparently it was a good move.

“We never realized before that there was a track,” said Raymond Smith, a legislator from neighboring Herkimer County.

The legislators watched a video of AIS owner Paul H. Lyndaker’s creation of the raceway 10 years ago. They also toured the facility and were invited to ride around the track inside a race car.

Addressing the group, Mr. Tabolt said that, while agriculture is still the county’s leading industry, legislators recognize the value of tourism and recreation.

Michael K. Leviker, parks and recreation officer for the Lewis County Sheriff’s Department, delivered statistics dating back nearly 10 years.

The state Department of Transportation’s acoustic vehicle counters recorded more than 25,000 snowmobiles passing through a trail between the Flatrock Inn and Montague Inn on Tug Hill over 31 days last winter.

All-terrain vehicle traffic is much lower. The sport has “growing pains,” according to Mr. Leviker.

“ATVing is where snowmobiling was 20 years ago,” he said.

Following the visit to the track, the group had lunch and conducted the rest of the meeting at the American Maple Museum, Croghan.

The county representatives discussed Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s recently passed property-tax-freeze program, exchanging ideas for municipal efficiencies and shared services.

Cost-cutting measures and consolidation are “things that would have happened without the state telling us what to do,” said Stephen J. Acquario, NYSAC executive director.

The legislators also discussed Gov. Cuomo’s announcement Thursday of a nearly $1 billion commitment to expand solar capacity throughout the state. Opportunities for municipalities to purchase solar power also were presented.







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