CCC Camp 53/POW Camp Tour, 9/8/18

On Sat, Sept 8, OONA sponsored a guided tour of the former site of the CCC Camp 53/POW Camp in Hamlin.  The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a public work relief program founded by Franklin D. Roosevelt that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the US for unemployed, unmarried young men ages 17-28.  On Sat, Sept 8, Bill and Joanne Camann sponsored a guided tour of the former site of the CCC Camp 53/POW Camp in Hamlin.

This camp was used first by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) young men and then by German prisoners of war. The CCC boys lived here while they worked for $1/day building Hamlin Beach State Park from 1935 to 1941. German POWs lived here from 1944 to 1946 while they worked on area farms and in area canning factories for 85 cents a day.

Ed Evans and only a few others started more than ten years ago voluntarily spending many long days and their own equipment in clearing the site.  In addition to that Ed has been a main force in searching and developing and sharing the history of those camps and their occupants.

Approximately 20 OONA members and guests enjoyed this fascinating tour by Ed Evans.

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Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP)

OONA attendance at the event held in Carlton was 20% of the total, with about 10-12 OONs.  Orleans County together with the Towns of Carlton, Kendall and Yates have begun the process to update the 20-year old plan by soliciting community input and conducting a study to identify priority projects for waterfront development.  The comprehensive land and water use plan for the Towns’ natural, public, and developed waterfront resources along Lake Ontario, Johnson Creek, Oak Orchard River, Marsh Creek, and Sandy Creek.

The benefit to our area is that grants are available, and could be made available easier if the projects are identified and well defined.  Examples projects identified 20 years ago are:  improvements to the Marine Park, installation of the docks at the Marine Park and Point Breeze, and improvements to boat launches on east and west sides of the River at point breeze.  OONs and others had opportunity to input ideas verbally, as well as in writing.  Surveys are available to input more ideas.  We think this to be a worthy cause, and OONA should continue to stay aware and support it.  A second meeting is planned for Fall 2018, and a plan for potential projects will be finalized by the end of 2019.

A copy of this survey is available at:  LWRP Towns of Kendall, Yates, and Carlton Survey

Lake Ontario State Parkway Transportation Alternatives Feasibility Study

A meeting held on June 27 was attended by 4 OONA members and 4 other interested residents.  The study group surveyed local members (Orleans County Planning, County Legislature, Towns of Carlton and Kendall, DOT, NYS Parks, Genesee Transportation Counsel) to prioritize ideas for potential future uses for the Orleans County portion of the Parkway.  The top three items were better maintenance, reduce some sections to 2 lanes, and reduce cost.  The next three items were access to natural habitat, alternative funding, and reduce the number of bridges.  And the last group of items included maintaining 4 lanes.  In a final public survey of committee members, most supported reduced lanes (north side/west bound lanes), 2 supported maintaining 4 lanes, all supported shutting down the Parkway at west of Rte 98, possibly converting this section to entrance/exit lanes to Lakeside Beach State Park.

OONA members and other residents were strong in feedback to the committee as to why the results of the community survey conducted last year was not taken into consideration.  The committee will review these results over the next few months, and create 50 (or 75) year life cycle estimates for various options, with a baseline plan of maintaining 4 lanes; this would also include continuing the paving at least to Rte 98.  A public hearing on their findings should occur no later than the end of October, 2018.  Members of the committee advised those in attendance that the purpose of the committee is to create options, that funding for any changes will be difficult, and that changes, if economically justified, would not be coming any time soon.