Officials pass Adirondack law

ADK park communities have easier route for state land use

JOHNSTOWN — State legislative action involving the Adirondacks and boating laws were on the Fulton County Board of Supervisors agenda Tuesday afternoon at the County Office Building.

The board passed a resolution supporting a statewide ballot proposal that eliminates the need for Adirondack and Catskills communities to secure a state amendment if they want to do projects requiring use of state Forest Preserve land.

A statewide referendum proposition will be on the ballot for the Nov. 7 general election.

The proposal will create a land account or land bank to address public health and safety concerns for use by towns, villages and counties that have in the past have had no viable alternative other than using state Forest Preserve land.

“The state DOT created a similar land bank 30 years ago,” said Gloversville 5th Ward Supervisor Greg Young.

Young called the land bank – up to 250 acres of Forest Preserve land – a “no brainer’ for the Adirondack and Catskills.

A municipality using a parcel from the land account will have to pay the state fair market value for the land, or donate land comparable in size and value to replace the borrowed land.

On another state-related resolution, the board called upon the state Legislature to amend state Navigation Law to strengthen boating while intoxicated laws and correct “weaknesses.”

“It’s not a problem in our county,” said Young.

But he said some of the bigger waterways such as Lake George in Warren County have a bigger problem with boating while intoxicated.

“Boaters operating watercraft when under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is a serious problem in the number of accidents and injuries reported in many areas of the state,” the resolution indicates. “Impairment by alcohol and/or drugs is dangerous in the boating environment.”

“Section 49-a of the Navigation Law contains the legal aspects of boating while intoxicated enforcement in New York state,” the resolution reads. “However, it needs to make BWI enforcement and prosecution more comparable to driving while intoxicated laws.”

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.

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