More than 60 local leaders, many of whom are from Saranac Lake, sent a letter to Gov. Kathy Hochul last week supporting the Adirondack Park Agency’s proposed move to the village. They highlighted benefits of relocating the agency’s headquarters including revitalizing the downtown, reusing and renovating an existing building, partnering with the village on a geothermal energy project, revitalizing an historic building, adding parking to the village and making the agency more accessible to the public.
The state allocated about $29 million for the agency’s headquarters. APA Executive Director Barbara Rice has spearheaded the proposed move, receiving backlash from current and former APA staff, who want the agency to remain in Ray Brook. The APA is conducting a feasibility study on moving to Saranac Lake, but it is not conducting a similar study of its existing headquarters.
The letter states that the proposal to renovate an existing building will “have fewer environmental impacts than constructing a new one,” but fails to mention that the APA would erect a second building into the hillside behind the former Paul Smith’s Power and Light building on Main Street.
Some of the signers include Saranac Lake Mayor Jimmy Williams, former Mayor Clyde Rabideau, Executive Director of Adirondack Architectural Heritage Erin Tobin and a number of Saranac Lake business owners.
Adirondack Park Agency comments
View all APA public comment and hearing opportunities at: https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/index.cfm. New public comment opportunities include:
- Peckham Materials Corp. is proposing an additional five-year permit term to its commercial sand and gravel mining operation off state Route 9N and Birnbaum Road in the Town of Ticonderoga. The 136-acre life of mine has had 69 acres affected to date, with an additional 24 acres to be impacted should the additional five-year permit term be granted, according to the project description. No operational changes are expected. To see the site plan and comment by Oct. 12, go to https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/ApaCommentPopup.cfm?ProjectNumber=2023-0146.
- Applicant Rebecca Palmer is seeking a four-lot subdivision resulting in three building lots and one vacant lot on Indian Bay Road in the town of Willsboro. To view the site plan and to comment by Oct. 12, go to https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/ApaCommentPopup.cfm?ProjectNumber=2023-0132.
- Bionique Testing Lab Inc., which provides mycoplasma testing services, is applying for a permit to build a 19,000 square-foot expansion of an existing 9,460 square-foot building on Fay Brook Lane in the town of Harrietstown. The expansion will provide for additional laboratory testing facilities and additional staffing of up to 90 employees, according to the project description. To view the site plan and comment by Oct. 12, go to https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/ApaCommentPopup.cfm?ProjectNumber=2023-0091.
Environmental notice bulletin
Last week’s DEC environmental notice bulletin had some new projects in the region out for public comment.
- The DEC has made a tentative determination to issue Title IV (acid rain) and Title V (air) permits to Indeck Corinth Energy Center, a power plant in Saratoga County. “The facility is a potentially major source of emissions of Nitrogen Oxides, Carbon Monoxide, Particulates and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs),” according to the project description. Comments are due by Oct. 20. To learn more about the permit documents and to comment, contact Beth A. Magee, NYSDEC Region 5 Warrensburg Sub-Office, 232 Golf Course Rd, Warrensburg, NY 12885, call (518) 623-1281 or email DEP.R5@dec.ny.gov.
- The DEC will be widening the Broadway Trail on Whiteface Mountain, according to a work plan notice. The project was approved in the 1996 Whiteface Mountain Intensive Use Area Unit Management Plan Amendment. It is expected to improve access for lower-ability skiers to Broadway from Lift D in the Bear Den Learning Center, the DEC said. To view the work plan go to https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/workplanbroadwaywidening.pdf.
- The department will also be widening and improving Burton’s Trail on Whiteface Mountain. This was approved in the 2021 Whiteface Mountain Intensive Use Area Unit Management Plan Amendment. View the work plan here: https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_forests_pdf/workplanburtonswidening.pdf.
I sat down with David Lombardo, host of WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom, to talk about our dive into unit management plans. You can listen to the recording here: https://capitolpressroom.org/2023/09/21/state-regulators-lagging-in-oversight-of-adirondacks/.
This first appeared in Gwen’s weekly “Adirondack Report” newsletter. Click here to sign up.