The town of Covert’s request for $10,000 in Seneca County tourism promotion funds will be reconsidered by the Seneca County Board of Supervisors during its Economic Development and Tourism Committee meeting on Tuesday. The town requested the funds as part of its $30,000 contribution toward a three-municipality agreement to operate and maintain Camp Barton on the west shore of Cayuga Lake.
The Boy Scouts of America’s Baden-Powell Council has decided to sell the camp to meet its allocation toward a nationwide legal settlement of sexual abuse claims against Scout leaders. The state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has agreed to buy a large portion of Camp Barton, including Frontenac Falls and lakefront areas. However, the purchase will only be completed if the towns of Covert and Ulysses, along with the village of Trumansburg, form a partnership to manage it as a recreational facility open to the public.
In February, Covert Supervisor Michael Reynolds and Deputy Supervisor Deborah Nottke made the $10,000 request to the county board. In a letter to the board, they noted that the town had not engaged in this type of management before. They also stated that the three municipalities are working together toward preserving and establishing a corporation to operate a portion of Camp Barton with the goal of creating a cohesive working relationship with local communities.
Covert officials said that after the state’s purchase is complete, the towns and village will be responsible for the care and management of a portion of Camp Barton, an area that will be used by community members and vacationers to enjoy as a park.
The $10,000 would come from a tourism promotion fund in the county budget, using a portion of revenue generated by the county’s room occupancy tax. In a March 10 letter from Jim, Carol and Lawrence Doolittle, owners of Frontenac Point Vineyard and Estate Winery on Route 89 in Covert, they expressed support for the town’s request. The Doolittles noted that many visitors ask where they can access Cayuga Lake, and they suggested that once the purchase is completed, the state can help with some construction, but a local development corporation is being formed to share the costs involved with maintaining and operating a community park.
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