TUPPER LAKE - The town board here unanimously agreed to purchase a trail groomer to better maintain the area's expanding network of snowmobile trails.
The vote happened during a special town board meeting Friday.
"We worked on our budget Friday afternoon, and it looks like we're going to be able to buy that groomer without raising the taxes," town Supervisor Roger Amell told the Enterprise. "It's a win-win situation for the snowmobile club, for Tupper Lake and for updating our grooming facilities."
Amell said money from the recent sale of the 7-acre Setting Pole Dam parcel will not be used to purchase the machine.
The request for a groomer went out to bid in August. During an Oct. 11 town board meeting, three sealed bids were opened, containing machines of various ages ranging in price from $59,850 to $123,850, plus shipping costs.
The town board unanimously voted to hold off on making a decision for a week, and in that time the town received a new bid from Mountain Grooming Equipment in Waitsfield, Vt. The board accepted that company's bid of $109,000, including delivery, for a refurbished 2005 groomer and drag. The machine also has a 100-hour warranty.
Amell said the groomer will be delivered shortly after the approval is finalized at the Nov. 4 board meeting.
The decision to seek bids for a new groomer came in August when Pete Edwards, trail coordinator with the Tupper Lake Snowmobile Club, told the board that improved equipment could make the club eligible for grants from the New York State Snowmobile Association. Edwards said the club's current groomer needs repairs and can't handle the area's 30 miles of trails.
The grants are distributed as a reimbursement to snowmobile clubs statewide to help cover costs associated with trail creation and maintenance. They would relieve that burden from the town and the Tupper Lake Snowmobile Club, which now share those costs.
In June, the Tupper Lake Snowmobile Club submitted a funding application to the NYSSA and expects an answer sometime this fall.
Grant money from the NYSSA is derived from snowmobile registration fees and is disbursed to snowmobile clubs across the state to help pay for the creation and maintenance of local snowmobile trails. Eligible clubs must have networks of well-maintained trails, complete with signage.
Contact Shaun Kittle at 891-2600 ext. 25 or firstname.lastname@example.org.