Lakes to Locks Passage, Inc. held its 2014 Annual Meeting on Wednesday October 8, 2014 at the Crandall Public Library in Glens Falls, NY. Dee Carroll of Westport, Lisa Hall of Bolton, Bruce Ferguson of Salem, Ric Didonato of Hoosick Falls, Assemblyman John McDonald of Cohoes, Mo O’Connell of Hudson Falls, Mark Galough of Kingsbury and Ed Bartholomew of Glens Falls, were elected to serve as Directors. Officers for the upcoming year include Randy Beach, President; Mo O’Connell, 1st Vice-President; Peter Repas, 2nd Vice-President; Bruce Ferguson, Secretary; and Mark Galough, Treasurer.
The Annual Meeting marked the twelfth anniversary of the organization and serves as a forum for the region’s community development stakeholders. Adirondack Studios of Argyle, NY, and Barton and Loguidice of Albany generously sponsored the event. Brian U. Stratton, Director of the NYS Canal Corporation was the Keynote Speaker, and spoke about the challenges and future of the New York State Canal System. He commented that in the recent economic impact study of the canal system there is $380 million in direct tourism spending and $6.2 billion in non-tourism economic impact to the communities along the canal. The Report on Economic Benefits of Non-Tourism Use of the NYS Canal System can be found on the Canal Corporation website: http://www.canals.ny.gov/economic-benefit-report.pdf. At the end of the meeting, students from the University at Albany’s Masters Program in Urban and Regional Planning collected public comments on the opportunities for future development of the Canal Recreationway.
The Lakes to Locks Passage Annual Partnership Award was presented to the Saratoga National Historical Park for their exemplary work in the stewardship of natural, cultural, recreational and historic resources while fostering inter-municipal cooperation. Saratoga National Historical Park has exemplified the cooperation Lakes to Locks Passage strives to foster – delivering authentic and distinctive experiences that contribute to the sense of place and community pride. Lakes to Locks Passage recognized Park Superintendent Joe Finan, who has gone above and beyond the call of duty in creating and supporting regional strategic partnerships. Under his leadership, the Saratoga region has experienced an improved environment, economy, quality of life, as well as increased understanding the important American history. More information about Lakes to Locks Passage can be found at www.lakestolocks.org.