To the Times of Ti:
I take great exception to Mr. (Jim) Major’s and Supervisor (Deb) Malaney’s assessment of the group of business people, past and present town officials and legitimate resident voters of Ticonderoga in the May 4 Times of Ti. Perhaps some of us are not polished speakers, but we are in no way uninformed, misinformed or lack understanding of what the now dead zoning plan involved. And the allegation of incitement is a definite indication that neither of you have any understanding of the people who reside on the outskirts of Main Street or Lake George. Yes, we had meetings and discussion groups and developed a plan to thwart this convoluted zoning plan about to be implemented at the behest of a select few. And the statement that it had little effect on most residents – well, it would certainly have affected those who own land and businesses or want to start a business in Chilson, Streetroad and South Ticonderoga.
Chilson includes Eagle Lake with both all year and summer only residents. It also borders the Pharoh Lake Wilderness area and is surrounded by beautiful ponds, lakes and mountains. The Chilson residential area is host to hundreds of hikers, hunters and fishermen throughout the year. The hamlet has a well-equipped fire department and fire house, a community building for activities, a cemetery and a recently formed corporation to manage the 1890’s country church. Much of the woodland for logging is under forest management plans, so we did not need a zoning ordinance to determine what kind of trees can be planted.
South Ticonderoga has at least four thriving businesses on Hague Road, paying taxes to the town of Ticonderoga and supporting a number of employees. Streetroad also has several businesses that operate in the same manner. Why place restrictions on their improvements or enlargement or on their actual continuation?
We understand that the goal was to have all business downtown or lakeside, but that doesn’t seem very realistic to me and the restrictions were more applicable to a large city. Everyone is supportive of the re-growth of downtown Ticonderoga, but why isn’t it good for the area to have a small country store or a canoe/kayak rental or a bed and breakfast on the outskirts of Main Street. Look at Vermont. Their towns are thriving and there are lots of businesses and restaurants outside of Main Street. It is part of the charm of small town USA.
I personally thought Mr. (Alex) Levitch was a visionary and had the best interest of the town when he formed TRA (Ticonderoga Revitalization Alliance), and I hope that the present leadership can modify their vision for Ticonderoga to appeal to everyone – not a select few. I appreciate the changes and upgrades that have been made and I think that Ti Main Street Project (Ticonderoga Montcalm Street Partnership) and PRIDE of Ticonderoga have been the building blocks for the town for several years.
There are many problems facing Ticonderoga and so it is too bad that so much time and treasure were spent on this less than viable zoning plan. I am very appreciative that the present town councilmen allowed democracy to work and respected the voice of the people. I would suggest that Supervisor Malaney refrain from making assumptions about those of us who do not happen to agree with her and Mr. Major. I will just say, “You don’t know us at all.”
Lois Gunning, Ticonderoga