Part of the construction of the new wheelchair access path to the Town Beach
It was last winter when a news report about wheel chair bound soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq -- who were given the chance to learn how to ski -- caught the attention of then Town Supervisor candidate Mike Marnell.
Mike, a former vet himself, was impressed with how the ski resort provided access to the soldiers -- who used modified skis -- to hit the slopes and enjoy themselves. And that got him thinking: what about Schroon Lake providing access to those brave young men to our world famous Town Beach, now only accessible by either walking down the hilly, lush lawn, or navigating several hundred steps.
“We have this beautiful beach here, but if you are in a wheel chair or have trouble walking you can’t get to it,” Mike told Schroon Laker today. So when Mike was elected to Town Supervisor, he’d already drawn up plans in his head that he hoped would one day allow handicapped folks -- particularly war veterans -- access to our beach.
Fast forward to late March 2012 – and Mike is now three months into his term as Supervisor. And thanks to a mild winter, two weeks ago Mike was able to break ground on what was once a dream.
Starting just to the north of the Town boat ramp, Mike has started building a flat path to the beach. After a full day at the Town hall, you will find Mike behind the controls of a bulldozer, backhoe or excavator navigating those machines to the edge of the sand on the beach.
“Right now the path is gravel to the beach. That’s going to be a 350 foot paved section. We will have a 65 foot wooden walkway that goes over the sand right down to the water’s edge. It’s not just beach access, it’s access to the water.”
“I might have one of the town guys give me a hand, but I am doing a lot of this myself at the moment,” Mike said. “I will be down there with my cell phone if anyone needs to find me.”
When people learned what he was doing, they started telling him what a benefit it would be to people they knew who loved the beach, but had no way of accessing it.
“I’ve heard from folks who said now they will be able to have grandparents come down to the beach and see the grandkids. That’s a good feeling.”
If the weather co-operates and everything goes according to plan, the new path will be open in time for the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend.
A huge congrats goes out to Mike. We are proud of the initiative and hands on approach he’s taking with getting this project up and running. Tell us what you think in comments