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Officials will develop park master plan

BRANCHPORT—The standing room only crowd in the picnic pavilion at Keuka Lake State Park on Wednesday, May 11 heard the latest news about the Finger Lakes Museum. In 2010. Museum organizers selected the park as the site of a $40 million facility that will feature the history, geology and culture of the Finger Lakes Region.
Tom Lyons is director of resource management for New York State Parks. Lyons said the purpose of the May 11 meeting was to give the public information about the parks system planning process and how a master plan is done. Lyons stated, “We are at the very early stages of putting something together. We have work to do tonight; to take substantive information so we can make the best plan for the park. There are many decisions to be made. Few have been made yet.” Lyons emphasized the fact that part of development of a master plan for the project will be the required environmental review.
Lyons said state park representatives want to hear what people have to say including their concerns, questions and suggestions. The questions and comments that continued until past sunset covered a wide range of areas. One of the first was what parts of the park would be open to be the site of the museum building. Lyons said that has not been decided as yet, but nothing has been eliminated at this time. Audience member Frances Dumas said, “Certain elements need to be considered to avoid problems down the road. It seems certain ideas floating around would be inappropriate in state parks.” Dumas listed captive live animals, diversion of streams and boardwalk-type trails as examples. Dumas said, “The ruling concept ought to be a very low impact on the terrain as it exists now. A museum would be terrific at the state park, but rearranging nature to serve the cause of having this institution is the overriding argument.”
Other comments were made about future use of the lake shore, including the size of the bathing beach and large docks. Some said they did not want buildings to be constructed on the shore. Projected attendance and finances were also questioned.
The museum board of directors chose the site of the museum from 19 possible locations within the Finger Lakes region. John Adamski is president of the museum board of directors. Adamski said the project is planned in phases with the possibility of more than one building. Adamski said museum trustees have agreed to spend $1.2 million to bring the recently-purchased Branchport School building up to code. That property in less than one mile from the park and includes 13 acres of land adjacent to Sucker Brook. The building will be used as a research and education center.
Lyons estimated development of the master plan will take 12 to 18 months. Lyons said there will be outreach to the public as part of the process.




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