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FLT Our Opinion: Sampson marina repairs are important

posted May 5, 2015, 12:49 PM by Don Kloeber
From Finger Lakes Times Opinion Page Tuesday April 28, 2015
Michael J. Cutillo, Executive Editor

Recreation — whether by tourists or residents — is a vital component of the Finger Lakes’ economy, encompassing a broad array of activities, not the least of which involves boats. That’s not surprising. Traveling by boat provides a pleasurable way to experience the region, whether it’s to fish, enjoy scenic views or dock at a favorite restaurant. 
The economic ripples that begin at purchase follow the life of each boat — from fueling and stocking, maintaining and storing, even repairing and restoring. All that money changing hands adds up and supports a variety of businesses, transforming boating into an economic driver. 
To preserve that flow of goods and services, it behooves us to maintain the region’s marina infrastructure. It’s an investment in the larger economy. 
That’s why Friends of Sampson State Park deserve the public’s support as they lobby for repairs at the park’s marina. It’s been seven years since a state study determined that major repairs are necessary or the 103-slip marina might have to close. 
The marina, one of the key draws at the region’s largest state park that also features a large multiple-ramp launch site, needs disabled accessible docks; handicapped accessible restrooms; dredging in several areas of its basin; a reliable drinking water supply; new steel-sheet pile bulkheads and dockage structures; and dockage that properly accommodates the mix of boats that uses the marina. 

We urge readers to support the Friends of Sampson’s efforts and contact Gov. Andrew Cuomo and local state legislators and urge them to go forward with the repairs. Supporters also can go to nysparks.com and click on the banner “I Love My Park Day” to express support for the marina repairs. 
Neglecting the region’s marina infrastructure is a bit like poking a hole in one of those boats. At first, the situation doesn’t seem so bad. Who cares if a little bit of water leaks in? But as time passes and the hole gets larger, the threat of sinking grows. The regional impact of closing the marina is too great a risk to take. Ask the state to prioritize repairs at Sampson State Park.
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