FORESTBURGH — What is the future of the O&W Rail Trail in Forestburgh? Councilman Steve Budofsky addressed those present at Forestburgh’s Town Board meeting on April 7 with a …
FORESTBURGH — What is the future of the O&W Rail Trail in Forestburgh?
Councilman Steve Budofsky addressed those present at Forestburgh’s Town Board meeting on April 7 with a letter on recent findings and research regarding potential negative impacts to the Town should they choose to assist the O&W Rail Trail Alliance in creating and maintaining a Forestburgh section on a spur trail segment of the O&W Rail Trail.
According to Budofsky, all points addressed in the letter were taken from the recent feasibility study that was conducted by the O&W Rail Trail Alliance, and fitted to reflect Forestburgh’s specific concerns.
Some concerns mentioned by Budofsky included the project’s total cost of construction and maintenance estimated to be around eleven million dollars, Forestburgh’s limited Highway Department personnel, as well as safety issues and risks concerning liability and the inability to regulate and enforce certain rules placed on the trails.
Budofsky also touched on potential negative impacts on residential property owners, as well as conflict of use regarding public roads that are a part of the trails between motor vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and equestrian riders.
Among these reasons, Budofsky also noted that “there are no sites in Forestburgh along or near the trail route so these potential benefits [economic and industrial] will not be realized.”
Lastly, Budofsky mentioned safety concerns “associated with limited cell service along the trail and the ability to address incidents or injuries by emergency personnel.”
“Considering the additional tax burden on Forestburgh residents, concerns regarding safety, liability, negative impacts on residential property owners (as well as historical sites and state recreational lands) and the lack of physical resources to construct and maintain the trail, there is little to support the town’s undertaking of this major project,” Budofsky said in the conclusion of his letter.
Members of the Town Board reached an agreement to send the letter of findings and research to the O&W Rail Trail Alliance, complete with the list of all concerns and issues pertaining to the project.
According to Budofsky, Freda Eisenberg of the O&W Rail Trail Alliance is confirmed to attend the Town Board’s next meeting on May 5 to address the specific concerns mentioned in the letter.
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