Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Electric wheelchairs could roll to Santanoni

Santanoni Great Camp Newcomb lake Historic Preservation farm ADKs

Great Camp Santanoni

The state Department of Environmental Conservation convened a closed meeting last week to discuss access for people with disabilities to Great Camp Santanoni in Newcomb. Current zoning of the road that leads to the Great Camp does not allow for motorized access, except for state employees. A horse and wagon operator who would normally be starting his season providing rides there has not yet received a permit to do so. But members of the state’s accessibility advisory committee said DEC has come up with some potential short-term solutions, including an electric wheelchair rental program.

Read more here.

Legislature and budget

Forest rangers and environmental conservation officers have lobbied for legislation to get retirement parity with other law enforcement. They successfully got the measure to pass four times, but all four times the governor vetoed it. The latest vetoes from Gov. Kathy Hochul said there wasn’t money allocated in the state budget. The state Legislature had put funds in their one-house budgets for the switch. Union representatives from the New York Police Benevolent Association were frustrated to see the funding did not make it into the final budget.

Read more here.

And check out my colleague Chloe Bennett’s story about how one legislator’s bill is hoping to make polluters pay for the growing costs of climate change. A suite of environmental bills passed in the state Senate this week to mark last month’s Earth Day. One measure, delivered to the Assembly on Tuesday, could result in a multi-million annual grant for the North Country to help with disasters caused  by extreme weather.

Click here for more.

The week is here. This is a final reminder to join us for a morning talk about the complexities behind making and passing laws, particularly environmental ones. I hope to see some of you at this in-person event in Albany. It’s free to attend. Learn more about it and how to sign up here.

making laws graphic

Adirondack Park Agency updates

The APA meets on Thursday. Board action items include:

To attend virtually or in person, check out the agenda here: https://apa.ny.gov/Mailing/2024/05/FullAgency/MonthlyAgendaMay2024.pdf.

Five environmental organizations are already gearing up for the meeting, calling on the board to send the marina expansion application to a special public hearing before an administrative law judge. Adirondack Wild: Friends of the Forest Preserve, Protect the Adirondacks, Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter, the Adirondack Council and the Upper Saranac Foundation are concerned about the 92 proposed boat slips on Fish Creek Pond. The APA has not held such a hearing in more than a decade.

Public comment opportunities

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

  • The Village of Saranac Lake is seeking a variance to extend and expand an existing pedestrian walkway within the shoreline setback of the Saranac River on Church and Woodruff streets. A public hearing will be held at 11 a.m. on May 22. Comments are due May 22. To view the site plans, submit comments and to read how to participate in the public hearing, go to https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/ApaCommentPopup.cfm?ProjectNumber=2023-0137.
  • Applicant NY RSA2, doing business as Verizon Wireless is applying to install a 90-foot-tall simulated pine telecommunications tower (with a four-foot lightning rod) in a 50-foot by 50-foot fenced compound within a 100-foot by 100-foot lease area on Bennett Road in the town of Hope. The company also plans to install cellular antennas at the 85-foot centerline height on the tower, and install two 4-foot by 12-foot equipment cabinets and one 4-foot by 8-foot generator on a concrete pad within the compound. Access to the site will be along a new 900-foot-long gravel access drive and an existing 650-foot-long gravel access drive to the tower site. Comments are due by May 30. To view site plans and submit comments, go to https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/ApaCommentPopup.cfm?ProjectNumber=2023-0150.
  • Applicant National Grid and Patrick Blehar are looking to install a new midspan utility pole along an existing electricity distribution line within the County Route 45 transportation and utility right-of-way in the town of Harrietstown. The new pole will be 38.5 feet tall with an additional pole-top antenna for National Grid communication equipment for an overall height of 43.25 feet above ground level. Comments are due May 30. To view site plans and submit comments, go to https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/ApaCommentPopup.cfm?ProjectNumber=2024-0004.
  • Applicant Adam Cooney is seeking to build a two-family home on an 8.98-acre parcel on state Route 9N in the town of Hadley. Comments are due May 30. To view the site plans and submit comments, go to https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/ApaCommentPopup.cfm?ProjectNumber=2024-0087.
  • The Lake George Park Commission is seeking a permit to apply the herbicide ProcellaCOR EC to Sheep Meadow Bay in Lake George to treat for invasive Eurasian watermilfoil. Comments are due May 30. To view the treatment area and sampling plan and to submit comments, go to https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/ApaCommentPopup.cfm?ProjectNumber=2023-0017.
  • The Lake George Park Commission is seeking a permit to apply the herbicide ProcellaCOR EC to Blair’s Bay in Lake George to treat for invasive Eurasian watermilfoil. Comments are due May 30. To view the treatment area and sampling plan and to submit comments, go to https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/ApaCommentPopup.cfm?ProjectNumber=2023-001.
  • Cellco Partnership, doing business as Verizon Wireless, is seeking to install a new 149-foot-tall telecommunications tower concealed as a simulated pine tree with an antenna array at a centerline mounting height of 135 feet above ground level in the area of Kohl Road and Olmstedville Road in the town of Chester. The tower and associated ground equipment will be located within a 50-foot by 50-foot fenced compound within a 80-foot by 125-foot lease area. Access to the tower site will be along a 120-foot-long by 12-foot-wide gravel access drive originating from Kohl Road. Underground utilities will be located along the access drive and within a 30-foot-wide access and utility easement. Comments are due June 6. To view site plans and submit comments, go to https://apa.ny.gov/Hearings/ApaCommentPopup.cfm?ProjectNumber=2024-0013.

Environmental Notice Bulletin

View all the state Department of Environmental Conservation’s weekly environmental notice bulletin projects. There were no new projects out for public comment in Regions 5 and 6.

Photo at top: Santanoni Great Camp Newcomb Lake Historic Preservation Farm ADKs, Courtesy of NYSDEC.

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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