By M. LISA MONROE
At its regular meeting on May 9, the Town of Webb Board voted unanimously to spend $10,000 on the shuttle service that runs a circuit around Old Forge and Thendara for 2017 and 2018. The shuttle picks people up at the train station in Thendara, at McCauley Mountain, and other spots throughout Old Forge. The funding is contingent on the Adirondack Scenic Railroad and the Central Adirondack Association partnering and donating money to the project. The CAA approved the expense at its meeting on Wednesday, May 12.
People have been critical of the project saying that the service is seldom utilized. Town of Webb Publicity Director Mike Farmer said that ridership has increased every year, 2016 was up 70 percent over 2015. Even with the increased ridership, Farmer estimates that the cost per ride is $95. This is lower than the cost for many other shuttle programs which Farmer reported are between $200 and $300 per ride.
“The Old Forge shuttle bus is one of the few that show growth,” said Farmer.
The system is still being tweaked with the hours changing this year to run later in the evening in response to requests by business owners. The shuttle will run from July 4 to Labor Day.
The board heard from Max Cohen, the organizer of the Great Adirondack BBQ Festival.
Cohen explained the changes to the scope of this year’s festival to the board, he expects 40 teams to compete this year and has added the Great American Cook-off to the festival.
According to Cohen, this year’s festival will have better crowd control than last year and a better layout.
The board was concerned with the amount of parking available with board members asking about how Cohen will tackle issue. Cohen explained that he thought that people would be able to walk from their hotels and that there was handicapped parking available near the pavilion on North Street. He also said that he would look into getting a shuttle to drive up and down North Street to ferry people from spots farther up the street to the pavilion.
Cohen will clean the area and make sure that everything is put back the way it was after the fesitval, including making sure that the soccer field is up to snuff.
“I’m trying to present this as a package. I put it up, I take it down and I leave. I don’t want this to be a hassle for anyone else,” Cohen said.
In other business:
The board voted to put in place a drone policy for McCauley Mountain. It states that drones are not allowed unless the drone opperator is given permission from the mountain manager.
Matt Finnerty was hired at the Town of Webb Highway Department.
The town will advertise for bids for a new transfer trailer. The one that will be replaced dates from 1993.
The town approved the rental agreement to Bokeif Inc. for the rental of restrooms to be used for the public in Old Forge. The cost is $5,300, up $300 from last year. The landlord asked for the increase to cover replacing the carpet in the restroom lobby.
The annual audit of the Town of Webb Justice Court found that the court’s records are in order.