Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Adding Adirondacks back into budget

Students learn about history of Timbuctoo Institute


Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed $233 billion budget included some program cuts relevant to the Adirondacks. The state Assembly and Senate released their one-house budgets last week, adding some of those funds back.

Here are some of the takeaways:

  • Reinstated Clean Water Infrastructure Act funding to $500 million for the fiscal year.
  • The Assembly proposed dedicating $10 million from the Clean Water Fund for road salt management.
  • Restored funding to the Timbuctoo Climate and Careers Institute at $2.1 million.
  • Restored funding to the Survey of Climate Change and Adirondack Lake Ecosystems at $2 million.

  • Rejected a proposal to use $25 million from the $400 million Environmental Protection Fund for staffing expenses. The Senate increased the EPF to $425 million.
  • The Senate increased the State Land Stewardship appropriation in the EPF to just over $50 million.
  • Restored a $120,000 cut to the Adirondack Diversity Initiative.
  • Restored $1 million for Adirondack visitor centers.
  • The Assembly proposed to increase an $8 million appropriation for Forest Preserve stewardship to $10 million. The Senate kept the governor’s proposal at $8 million, but removed language that said “up to $8 million.”
  • The Senate designated $200,000 to the Adirondack Watershed Institute at Paul Smith’s College.

A final budget is due April 1.

Adirondack Park Agency

The APA welcomed new staff last week, and praised its executive director.

The board also approved a permit to the Brant Lake Association for application of an herbicide to treat invasive Eurasian watermilfoil. Read more on that here.

View all APA public comment and hearing opportunities at: https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/index.cfm.

  • Warren County is seeking a permit to install a new emergency services communications tower and 8-foot by 10-foot storage building, adjacent to the Town of Chester Fire Department building. The steel lattice tower will be 60 feet tall and be erected off of state Route 8. Comments are due by April 4. To view site plans and submit comments, go to https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/ApaCommentPopup.cfm?ProjectNumber=2023-0172.
  • New York State Electric and Gas is seeking to install six new utility pole structures and replace 34 existing utility pole structures to accommodate broadband facilities attachment along approximately five miles in the area of Green Street, Stickney Bridge Road and Glen Road in the town of Jay. New and replacement poles will range in height above grade from 38.5 to 56.5 feet. Comments are due by April 4. To view site plans and submit comments, go to https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/ApaCommentPopup.cfm?ProjectNumber=2024-0057.

Environmental Notice Bulletin

View all the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s weekly environmental notice bulletin projects.

Programming note: Last week’s ENB did not appear to have any new Adirondack-area projects, but the website has since been updated. I’m including March 6 and March 13 notices below.

Photo at top: Students from New York City learned of Timbuctoo’s history while in the Adirondacks for the Timbuctoo Institute. Photo by Chloe Bennett.

This first appeared in Gwen’s weekly “Adirondack Report” newsletter. Click here to sign up.

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Gwen is the environmental policy reporter for Adirondack Explorer.

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