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Louisville seeking control of Croil Island

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LOUISVILLE — Town Supervisor Larry R. Legault said he will draft a letter for the New York Power Authority and state Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation asking them to grant jurisdiction of Croil Island to the municipality.

The island is currently owned by the New York Power Authority but falls under the jurisdiction of the parks office, which placed signs on the island last year placing restrictions on activities on the island.

The signs read, “No hunting, trapping or possession of firearms. Camping, fires and swimming allowed only in designated areas.”

At a meeting of the local government task force last month, Thousand Islands Region Director Kevin A. Kieff acknowledged that the second sentence was somewhat misleading, since on Croil Island there are no designated areas for those activities.

He defended the placement of signs, however, noting they were only placed on the island after an inspection revealed evidence of camp fires, as well as people cutting trees and dumping garbage there.

“We would like to obtain jurisdiction of the island so we can get it opened back up to the public,” Mr. Legault said, adding Mr. Kieff seemed open to the idea at the task force meeting.

“I think it’s a great idea. We just have to worry about the costs of maintaining it,” Councilman Daniel O’Keefe pointed out.

Maintenance costs are an area that Mr. Legault said would also likely be a concern for NYPA.

“Right now, the power authority isn’t paying anything to maintain the island because parks and recreation doesn’t do anything on the island,” he said. “They’re worried about us taking it over and billing them to maintain it. That would be an expense to the power authority. So we need to talk to them about that.”

Mr. Legault said he thinks that is a hurdle the town can clear pretty easily.

“I think we can keep the costs minimal for us and the power authority,” he said, adding the island has always been a popular destination for area boaters.

“There is a nice sandy area. That’s why it’s popular,” he said, adding that despite the lack of docks, people can easily pull their boats ashore and secure them to the island.

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