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Turin dedicates Burdicks Crossing boat launch

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TURIN — A new boat launch along the Black River near the Burdicks Crossing Road bridge was dedicated in a brief ceremony Wednesday.

“It’s been seeing a lot of action, a lot of use,” Turin town Supervisor Gerald R. Reed Jr. said of the town-owned site.

The concrete launch, featuring a 116-foot-long concrete slab, was funded by a $9,900 grant from Iroquois Gas Transmission System Inc., with much of the work done by town highway workers.

For the work, completed last fall, the town used a Gradall from the Lewis County Highway Department and a bulldozer from the town of Martinsburg, while the Lewis County Soil and Water Conservation District assisted with mulching and hydro seeding at the site.

The Tug Hill Commission also assisted the town with the grant application and administration, while the state Department of Environmental Conservation provided help with permitting, as well as use of a special tool to put ridges in the concrete slope.

“These are the kind of collaborative initiatives that Iroquois really likes to be involved in,” said Ruth M. Parkins, public relations representative at the Connecticut company.

John K. Bartow Jr., executive director of the Tug Hill Commission, said the project fits with other regional efforts to improve access to the Black River and increase its use.

“I think it’s a very under-recognized and utilized resource,” he said.

The new launch will serve as the midpoint of the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce’s annual RiverFest paddling event, which hasn’t been held in the southern part of the county for several years partly because of the lack of good access points, said Anne L. Merrill, the chamber’s executive director.

A boat launch was installed about 20 years ago on town-owned property just downriver from the new one, but that one didn’t have a concrete base and has seen some washout over the years because of the stronger current at that location, Mr. Reed has said.

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