Regarding Town Bay Park & Cohen Park investment upgrades -

     In a recent issue of the Messenger,  Senator Corey Parent was quoted, with over $4 million in Federal funds he wished to upgrade the stone house at the Bay Park into a "Taj Mahal”, and the adjacent town dock - for all to attract more residents and hopefully tourists to the Park.  And in the April 27th Messenger, Brenden Deso, Town Selectboard chair, was quoted , “ the Cohen Park, on the lake, has an enormous potential, and on the select board radar these past few years.”  

    In Emerson Lynn’s April 30th Editorial, he then asked how Franklin County, and specifically St. Albans City and Town, could maximize investing close to $4 Million in Federal Rescue-Plan stimulus, with state funding also to be added to this Federal investment figure.

    What about an investment to make our combined City and Town recreation facilities more accessible with multi-use access?

The Town and City have certainly made Messenger headlines over the years, debating how to cooperate together on a number of issues. Recently it took two citizen votes to approve a combined-funded new swimming pool at Hardack recreation area.  And of course the two communities and others, share the Collins Perley Sports complex, south of Hardack on Hgy 104 in St. Albans Town.

    Why not consider a walking-bike path from Hardack to Collins Perley?  

Five or Six years ago I remember meeting with others, as the state highway dept. discussed the possibility of a multi-use path from downtown St. Albans, north to the Hannaford Shopping Center. Where that ended up, I am not sure.  

    And what about similar access to the Bay from the City?

History tells us,  we once had trolley cars traveling north to Swanton, and west to the Bay from St. Albans downtown. Of course we then had passenger paddle-wheel boats landing at the Bay dock from Canada and New York, with those boat travelers riding those trolley cars back to the city and town.  Yes, them were the days - now we are all traveling in our own personal cars and trucks. And the boat-traffic tourism has stopped, with now just our personal motor and sail boats.  No out-of-Vermont tourists!

    Again what if there were a multi-use path from the City to the Bay? And could also be extended out Hathaway Point, and to Camp Killcare. And then  ferrying out bikers to Burton Island for a round-the-island bike ride?  There is already a seasonal ferry, taking riders to Burton Island, a state park - paid for by the state.

    A multi-use path could be added on Fairfax street, adjacent to the Collins Perely complex, then maybe south on Main, and west on Lower Weldon Street, to connect to Lake Street, then the Bay.  Five years ago or so, a hundred or so Canadian bicyclists crossed the border, then camped at Collins Perley for a 3-day tour of northern Vermont. That could happen again !  The Franklin County Chamber of Commerce, a few years back had inquiries about a Canadian effort to bring a tour boat to St. Albans Bay. Such an opportunity could be realistic in the near future !

    We will all be out of this pandemic lock down soon, with the Canadian border then to open.  Amtrak is coming back to St.Albans, and maybe later connecting back to Montreal. The Franklin County airport may see greater private-plane arrivals. Our Neighboring Vermont counties all have existing, and now expanding walk and bike paths. And Quebec paths, are quite expansive as well. Our county of Franklin is the last to see the benefit of multi-use paths. I know realtors would approach the benefit of such an investment, as home values would increase.

Jeremy Read. St. Albans -

retired St. Albans Messenger,

Advertising Director

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