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Waddington supervisor responds to letter

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WADDINGTON — Opposition to recent development proposals took the form of a letter to the Town Council this week from residents contending that the plans threaten to change the town for the worse.

The letter, signed only “Concerned Residents of Waddington” and submitted by resident Anthony Zeledon, states that the plans unveiled last month, specifically a proposed campground at Leishman Point, would be “transforming to the community.”

G2G Inc. owners Rebecca A. and Jeffery A. Gerrish, Potsdam, plan to develop Leishman Point and nearby River Road parcels into a four-season campground and renovate the historic Clark House into a hotel and conference center.

Council members have said they are open to the proposals.

G2G Inc. also proposed a four-story, 60-room Country Hearth Inn & Suites in Potsdam, but that project was rejected due to lack of private investment.

Earlier this year, G2G proposed a 45,000-square-foot, 60-room economy class franchise hotel and conference center on Leishman Point, but canceled the idea.

Mr. Zeledon declined Wednesday to say whether Concerned Residents of Waddington refers to an organized group or how many people the letter represents.

The letter states little has been done with Clark House.

Town Supervisor Mark Scott responded: “The Clark House has not been finished because they lack the investment, and it will be necessary to complete the project. The Gerrishes are interested in investing and operating the Clark House, which would be wonderful. But the Clark House is not on town-owned property. If the Clark House board wants to see that developed in a particular way, that’s a decision to be made by their board.”

The letter refers to the Gerrishes’ proposal for Leishman Point as a “trailer park,” contending that it would undermine the “security, the peaceful and quietness of our way of living as well as negatively affecting our home values.”

The project’s first phase would include the installation of 22 RV sites with full hook-ups, 22 campsites and 14 insulated cabins throughout Leishman Point and along the River Road. The project also would include a parking lot, concrete tent pad and four restroom and shower facilities.

Mr. Scott said the town could earn 10 percent to 20 percent in revenue through the campground.

“To call an RV campground a trailer park is not accurate,” Mr. Scott said. “The campground is very consistent with the character of the town. We already have a campground at Coles Creek State Park, three miles down the road. There are campers located across from the beach. I haven’t heard any complaints regarding their existence.”

Mr. Scott said the idea of a campground came out of a public meeting in which community members were invited to vote on development ideas for the property on Leishman Point and River Road as part of the town’s strategic economic development plan.

Mr. Scott said residents who have concerns can email him at waddington.supervisor@gmail.com or call 388-4346.

The next Town Council meeting is at 7 p.m. Monday at the Hepburn Library Community Room, 30 Main St.

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