Town hopes to address weed-choked ship

Weedy Ticonderoga (2)Two hundred years ago, the U.S.S. Ticonderoga sailed through the emerald green waters of Lake Champlain. Today it’s trapped in a sea of tangled green vegetation and the town is hoping to do something about it.

Carol Greenough, heritage area director and head of the Skenesborough Museum, is trying to initiate an effort to remove trees and other weeds that have become entangled in the chain-link mesh enclosure that houses the historic schooner.

She has dubbed the effort the “Ticonderoga Project.”

“There is a lot of greenery growing around the Ticonderoga inside and outside of the fenced enclosure,” Greenough said during last week’s monthly town board meeting. “It looks crummy.”

The walls of the enclosure stand only a foot or two from the hull of the ship making it extremely difficult for someone to move about the open-air structure and remove grass and weeds.

Greenough would like to see the chain-link walls rolled up so someone can get it and remove the vegetation. She then hopes to lie down landscaping fabric and crushed stone to inhibit the growth of weeds in the future.

But at present, the cost of that work is unknown. Greenough said she spoke with a local contractor who was willing to do the work, but he couldn’t provide an estimate because the project is unlike anything he’s done before. And officials believe the cost of having a professional landscaping company do the work may be prohibitive.

Julie Eagan, Town Justice, suggested using low-level convicts from the county’s alternative sentencing program or a work crew from the prison. And highway superintendent Louie Pratt suggested that Rec. Center employees may be able to lend a hand.

Greenough and Supervisor George Armstrong were expected to explore their options and formulate a plan this week.

The U.S.S. Ticonderoga was the focus of regional and national media attention earlier this year after Art Cohn, executive director of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, said the ship should be stored in a climate controlled building to protect it from the weather and further deterioration. 

Problems at the Park

Armstrong said there have been several incidents of vandalism inside the Canal Corp. Visitors Center and at the Skenesborough Harbor Park over the last several weeks.

He said an individual or individuals broke into a closet in visitors’ center, removed screens from windows and threw eggs against interior walls.

There has also been graffiti left on picnic tables inside the pavilion and garbage strewn about the parking lot near the boat launch at the south end of the park.

Jay DiResta, the caretaker of the park, said he has asked teens who loiter in the park, not to throw their garbage on the ground but they claim not to be responsible and the garbage continues to be thrown on the ground.

The visitors’ center is supposed to be locked at 9 p.m. but that hasn’t always happened.

Officials didn’t have any suggestions as how to stop the vandalism.

 

Assessor Reappointed

The town reappointed Mary Ellen Hill Pierce as town assessor.

Pierce’s appointment was set to expire on Sept. 30 but the town reappointed her to a six-year term.

“She does an excellent job,” Armstrong said. “She’s fair, but firm.”

Pierce will be paid $35,340 per year, the same rate at which she’s been paid.

The appointments of every assessor in Washington County are set to expire on Sept. 30.

The Town of Hartford recently reappointed Pierce to the same position.

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