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Waddington approves development plans on Leishman Point

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WADDINGTON – Town Council members voted to construct a campground on Leishman Point Monday.

The town council unanimously agreed to build a campground on Leishman Point following a presentation by Lisbon Town Supervisor James W. Armstrong.

Council members were convinced after Mr. Armstrong pointed out the benefits of a town-owned, seasonal campground.

“The profit margin is not that great,” said Mr. Armstrong. “But we provide local jobs by way of giving kids in the community a chance to work during the summer and we provide a service to our community. Many residents say they enjoy going to the campground.”

Lisbon Beach and Campground generated approximately $30,000 in revenue, Mr. Armstrong said.

The council will contract with Thew Associates, a technical services firm based in Canton that specializes in surveying, to draw up plans to construct the campsite. Earlier this year, owner James S. Thew developed and presented several initial concepts.

“The next step is to hold a community meeting to figure out what kind of campground the community wants,” said Mr. Thew.

Council members said they are hoping to emulate the Lisbon Beach and Campground model.

“We should start small—with three or four campsites—and build from there,” said Council member David Putney.

Earlier this year, G2G, Inc., founders Rebecca A. and Jeffrey A. Gerrish, Potsdam, hoped to build a four-season campground, with 22 RV sites with full hook ups, 22 campsites and 14 insulated cabins throughout Leishman Point and along the River Road. According to the plan, the town would have received a portion of the revenue. However, the council decided not to submit a request for a proposal that would allow concessionaires to develop and operate recreational facilities on town-owned land.

“I think their concept would be very beneficial to the town, and I am disappointed the council did not issue an RFP,” said Town Supervisor Mark Scott. “I agree with the campground concept, but there are components of the concept that the town is not interested in doing that the Gerrishes would have done.”

The Gerrishes proposed constructing cabins, ropes course and a zip line, concepts that will not be included in the town’s plan, Mr. Scott said.

“The cabins would be year around draws, while the RV campground is only seasonal,” he said. “The ropes course and zip line are very popular, and would have brought people into the area, I hope the Gerrishes will continue to look into developing within the community,including Clark House and the Old Town Hall. Maybe there is some other property in the town or nearby that they can use for their recreational ideas.”

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