Moratorium proposed along Seneca River Trail

Lysander will re-examine its role in the Seneca River Trail project after councilor Arthur Levy proposed a moratorium on town spending for the Baldwinsville trail extension at the town board's Aug. 9 meeting.

"This is a discussion that has been bubbling underneath for months," Levy said. "I'm just trying to stop the hemorrhaging. Perhaps we should expand this to the whole Seneca River Trail."

The town board discussed Levy's proposal in a private executive session but did not act on it. Supervisor Barry Bullis emerged alone from the executive session to adjourn the meeting.

"There will be no further business," he said. "We're looking at the whole picture and trying to decide where we want to go with it."

The board scheduled a 5 p.m. work session Tuesday at the town hall to discuss the future of the trail.

The moratorium would have applied to a portion of the planned trail running from the end of the existing trail in the village of Baldwinsville to the border of the town of Lysander. Some work on that segment was funded by an Onondaga County Community Development grant and has been completed, but a number of easements and rights of way must still be purchased, Bullis said.

"I think interest in a moratorium makes a lot of sense right now," said Brian May, councilor. "We budgeted a certain amount of dollars this year. The one thing that is crystal clear going into the final year is that we're not going to spend a penny more than we budgeted."

Levy proposed the moratorium when the town board agreed to transfer $24,574 from its contingency funds to pay for 2009 trail expenses.

That transfer of funds paid for expenses incurred in 2009, and the town has spent relatively little on the trail this year, Bullis said. At most, Lysander spent $1,000 in engineering costs on the connector in 2010, he said.

The town board discussed the moratorium in executive session because the required easements involve private property values. Lysander town law allows for executive session when a discussion could influence the value of private property, Bullis said.

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