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      County officials discuss options for Onondaga Lake loop route

      Now that the West Side Trail extension for the Onondaga Lake loop is nearing completion, county officials are debating the next step in completing the trail that may one day wrap around the entire lake.

      Officials presented several options Tuesday night for ways to connect the trail head at State Fair Boulevard to the Creekwalk. Each option offered a different alternative to some obstacles that stand in the way of a trail on the West Shore.

      ??We have to get over the railroad tracks at some point,?? says Bill Lansley, Commissioner of county parks. ??Or we can go along the lake and then get over to the Creekwalk across Hiawatha Boulevard. Or through Bear Street, so there is a lot to talk about.??

      Whatever decision is made in the end, many of the people who attended Tuesday night??s presentation say they hope it does not bring the trail far from the lake.

      ??It??s close to downtown and near the mall,?? Bill Francis of Syracuse says. ??It??s really a big benefit to have that in our community. I hope they don??t take the back roads like some of the choices indicated. I think the trail needs to be near the lake or even over the lake.??

      The County officials say there is still a long ways to go and a lot of discussion to be had before any final decision is made. A lot will depend on the cleanup on that end of Onondaga Lake.