Author Archives: Jay Lawson

Webb board clarifies railroad corridor stance

 Councilwoman Kate Russell said that neither she nor the Town of Webb board should be perceived as having supported any side in the debate as to the Adirondack Rail Corridor’s future.

The board passed a resolution recently which urged the State of New York to review its Unit Management Plan (UMP) for the rail corridor.

This position is shared by the Adirondack Recreational Trail Advocates (ARTA) group, but Webb Supervisor Ted Riehle stated that the town’s motivation in pursing the review diverts from that of ARTA, which seeks to change the existing UMP in a way that would discontinue rail possibilities.

Riehle said the town by its resolution has sought only a review for the purpose of making the UMP line up with current priorities in the Adirondacks.

The town desires no particular outcome for that review.

Riehle added that there have been a lot of conflicting claims made by parties on either side of the debate, which he said does not serve the public’s desire to know the facts before rendering an opinion as to the rail corridor’s future.

A review of the UMP will help that situation, he said.

Further, Riehle voiced support for the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, which serves Webb at the Thendara Station.

The discussion was had at the board’s regular meeting on Tuesday, March 12.

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Webb board agrees to unprecedented easements on snowmobile Trail 5

The Town of Webb Board passed three resolutions Tuesday to allow the owners of three individual properties to create driveway entrances across Snowmobile Trail Number Five to land they own on the west side of Route 28, north of Old Forge in the vicinity of Fourth Lake.

This action by the board is unprecedented.

Requests of this nature have come before the board for decades, but to this point the board has been reluctant to allow the possible loss of control over the quality of Trail Five, a main snowmobile thoroughfare, by allowing bisection to adjacent land—much of which is undevelopable.

The three properties relating to the current action are owned by Donald Gooley, David Gribneau and John Johnson.

The board was petitioned most recently on the property owners’ behalf by attorney Mark Levitt on Tuesday, November 13.

Since then Town of Webb attorney Richard Frye has been working to craft an acceptable agreement between the town and the three property owners to accommodate the property owners request and to establish an updated policy regarding easements on Trail Five.

Newly discovered documents provided the impetus for the efforts.  Continue reading

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Town of Webb Board: Police Chief weighs in on local dog control law

Town of Webb Police Chief John Russell gave a presentation to the town board when it met on Monday, November 19 in Old Forge.

The subject was the town’s dog control ordinance and whether or not it is sufficient to satisfy the public safety and quality of life needs of the community.

Russell said that from a law enforcement standpoint the ordinance is largely okay in its present form.

He did add that some modifications are required in his department to better keep track of complaint patterns.

This he said came to his attention as a result of some recent dog control cases.

Currently the computer program that records complaints has been failing to flag repeat offenders sufficiently, he said.

Officers are not always aware of the extent to which a dog might be causing a nuisance to the public. Continue reading

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Property owners press for easements across snowmobile trail

1937 railroad deed sheds light on Webb’s rights and responsibilities, says attorney

Three owners of adjacent Properties on Route 28 between Old Forge and Eagle Bay are continuing their quest to be granted a Town of Webb easement across Snowmobile Trail 5 to legally access their properties from the road.

The three—Donald Gooley, David Gribneau and John Johnson—are being represented by attorney Mark Levitt, who made a presentation to the town board on their behalf at the board’s monthly meeting on Tuesday, November 13. Levitt said that in the past there had been some confusion as to the ownership of the land occupied by Trail 5 along Route 28.

Levitt said the Raquette Lake Railroad had acquired the land from respective land owners more than a century ago.

Then, in 1937, the railroad deeded the land to the Town of Webb.

This transfer was clearly a transference of ownership, without question, according to Levitt.

“Years ago, at the end of the 19th century and through part of the 20th century, the scriveners would refer to areas of land used by railroads as a ‘Railroad Right of Way,’ when in fact the RR actually owned it,” Levitt said. Continue reading

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Webb Board hears continued case for stricter dog controls

Andreé Newton of Old Forge asked the town board to consider amending the Town of Webb Dog Ordinance to reflect changes that have occurred over the years to the local animal population.

“All the Town of Webb is growing and along with it the dog population,” she said.

Newton said she has noticed an increase in dog ownership in her neighborhood, which seems to be indicative of a town-wide trend.

And dog license statistics confirm that, she said. Indeed Town Clerk records shows 317 dogs to be licensed in 2012, which is up from 220 in the year 2000.

And it’s not that Newton is opposed to dog ownership, she said. “I myself have two dogs,” said Newton.

Rather, the responsibilities of dog owners should be codified in greater detail in the local ordinance, Newton said.

To offer direction, Newton made several suggestions which she said she gleaned through examination of dog laws in other municipalities. The deal with controlling barking and other dog noises, including whining and howling; also with keeping dogs from wandering loose. Continue reading

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TOBIE Phase Two, Lock & Dam among Town of Webb Board’s meeting topics

Town of Webb Supervisor Ted Riehle announced a tentative schedule Tuesday for upcoming items related to the TOBIE Phase 2 trail project. Riehle said he expects bid advertising to be the week of December 3rd, and the opening of bids to be the week of January 7 of 2013.

He said he will offer a formal resolution at the Town of Webb Board’s meeting on November 19, when the exact dates and times will be given.

As for the Lock and Dam rebuilding project in Thendara, the town board resolved to advertise for contract bids starting November 20. A pre-bid meeting will be held on December 18 at 1p.m. Continue reading

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Town of Webb board adopts final 2013 operating budget

The Town of Webb Board held a public hearing on Tuesday, November 6, to discuss the Preliminary Budget for 2013 in the Town of Webb.

Following the hearing, the board voted unanimously to adopt the document as the Town’s Final Budget for 2013.

The total revenue for 2012 is projected to be $5,582,906, an increase of $218,323 over last year’s budget.

The General Fund allocation for 2013 is $7,928,622. That amount is up from $6,682,906 in 2012 for an increase of $1,245,716.

Offsetting those allocations are estimated revenues of $3,904,005. Those revenues are up from $2,870,859 in 2012. Also offsetting is $1,310,500 in unexpended balance from 2012, which is being applied.

That amount is being increased by $210,500 from 2012.

That makes the General Fund amount to be raised by taxes $2,714,117 in 2013.

Total Highway Allocations are $915,452 before applying estimated revenues of $225,700 and unexpended balance of $80,000.

That makes the Highway amount raised by taxes $607,752.

The total amount to be raised by taxes is $3,323,869 for both General and Highway. Continue reading

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