The yard where I keep my boat puts out a weekly email news letter. This was included in the news letter this week. I don't really know where the info originated, but anyone who has ever used or plans on using the canal system might be interested:
“A friend writes me that 10 of the 12 Lock Operators in the Syracuse Section have been told that they're gone as of April 1st as part of the Thruway's cost cutting policy after retreating from its 40% toll hike attempt. The only jobs targeted he says, are Lock Operators...Not one of the 100 people in the Thruway's main building (all of whom make over $100,000 per year) have been affected.
He goes on to say I'm sure you can well understand what this could mean for the running of the canal this summer...for sure, hours will have to be reduced, our winter maintenance program will be shot to pieces, and businesses who've made serious investments along the Canal will be profoundly affected. We have until April 1. The guys in our section have already been told. I was there when they came to tell my Operator, who is 60 yrs. old and would have been retiring in 2 years.
The cuts and deferred maintenance he mentions will almost certainly reduce the reliability of the canal and the use of same. As the use declines it will be easier and easier to justify further reductions in a downward spiral that could well mean the end of the system. It is infinitely cheaper to take care of things than it is to do a major rebuild. Given the current political climate it's probably essential to the future of the canal.
Here is a link to a petition to send to the Gov. Also please send it on to other interested parties. If you know any one at a boating organization, yacht club, business etc., send it on to them too. As we know, many businesses and towns and villages have invested private and public money in canal related activities. This is a short sighted and wasteful way to save money.
You can also contact the Gov directly and fill out the little form at the second link below! Feel free to plagiarize anything above!!!”