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Trail coordinator for St. Lawrence County could resurface

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CANTON — St. Lawrence County Legislator Alex A. MacKinnon, R-Fowler, will ask his fellow legislators Monday to consider a direct contract for a trail coordinator to eliminate a middleman agency.

Mr. MacKinnon’s earlier proposal to hire a trails coordinator through a contract with the county Chamber of Commerce was tabled by legislators who thought the Chamber should eliminate its administrative fee for handling the job through its office.

Instead, Mr. MacKinnon will offer an alternate plan to identify a list of organizations or individuals that could provide the service for the county for a cost of about $80,000 in a fashion similar to the way the county Industrial Development Agency provides the county with economic development.

“I’m just looking for ways to appease some of the people who were opposed to it,” Mr. MacKinnon said. “The Trails Advisory Board is good with the idea.”

Mr. MacKinnon said the proposal would have to have enough support among legislators to first bring it off the table.

“If there’s not, then that’s the end of it,” he said.

The position has been talked about for years as a way to oversee existing multi-use and snowmobile trails and to build on them by setting up a permitting fee and by applying for grants, but an individual has never been hired mostly because of fiscal restraints. The job was to be paid for by Indian gaming compact money intended for economic development but that funding may no longer be available.

How to pay for the position remains a question, Mr. MacKinnon said, especially in the first year before the person in the job could start paying for their own salary and benefits through revenue generated by their work.

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