Saugerties Post Star, link to original post
State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk announced that the budget passed by the Senate 3/27/13 includes $2 million in funding for The Catskill Mountain Rail Trail (CMRT) project in Ulster County. She said the trail would be a tremendous boost to the local business community and help strengthen the entire region’s economy.
Senator Tkaczyk said, “The growing popularity of rail trails presents a great economic development opportunity. Local rail trails attract hundreds of thousands of visitors who pump millions of dollars into the local economy, help to grow local businesses and create new jobs. I’m happy to have helped secure this funding, because I think it will do great things for the entire region.”
Ulster County Executive Michael P. Hein said, “This is very exciting news for all the residents of Ulster County. In addition to creating recreational opportunities, the Rail Trail will boost tourism and economic development and really have an overall positive effect on our quality of life. Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of Senator Tkaczyk, Senator Larkin and the Governor’s office, we are a step closer to developing a true world-class tourism destination.”
Assemblyman Kevin Cahill said, “The long discussed Catskill Mountain Rail Trail will finally have the opportunity to become a reality with this and another past $1 million apportionment. This great resource will improve rail trail access to unprecedented levels. Senator Tkaczyk has become a strong advocate for this important attraction in her short time as a New York State legislator and I look forward to working with her until this project spans from Kingston straight through the heart of the Catskills to the County line.”
The Catskill Mountain Rail Trail project will upgrade the former Ulster & Delaware Railroad corridor into a recreational trail. The project will focus initially on developing the CMRT within the City of Kingston and connecting Kingston neighborhoods to the Ashokan Reservoir (approximately 8 miles), where the CMRT would run westward along the length of the Reservoir (an additional 10 miles). Subsequent phases of the project could extend the CMRT a total of 38-miles from Kingston to the Delaware County border.
The CMRT will provide significant economic development and quality life benefits to the Catskill and Hudson Valley regions and boost economic revitalization efforts in the City of Kingston. The project will expand the region’s growing network of trails and other trails and to the Walkway Over the Hudson. The CMRT will provide Kingston residents with “no car required” recreational opportunities which encourage expanded outdoor activity and promote healthier neighborhoods.