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Speculator, NY ,

The Way Things Were -- 02/12/14 By Anne Weaver

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - Updated: 10:32 PM

ABOUT THE WEEK OF FEB. 12, 1965, the New York State Supreme Court held that three Hamilton County towns were being wrongfully deprived of taxes by the state Board of Equalization and Assessment. Justice Harold E. Koreman of the Supreme Court in Albany delivered the opinion holding that two large tracts of land acquired by the Conservation Department should be listed as taxable real estate.

The case was started in 1963 by supervisors Ernest Hutchins, Norton Bird and Arthur Parker of the towns of Indian Lake, Inlet and Long Lake respectively, when the State Board, whose approval of state land assessments was mandatory, refused to list the Cascade Lake and the Salmon Lake Tract as taxable state-owned property. The towns contended in their petition to the Supreme Court that this was a clear violation of the Real Property Tax Law, which states that all wild and forest lands owned by the state within the Forest Preserve are subject to taxation for all purposes.

The Forest Preserve in 1965 consisted of all state lands within the counties of Clinton (except in the towns of Altona and Dannamora), Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Herkimer, Lewis, Oneida, Saratoga, St. Lawrence, Warren, Washington, Greene, Ulster and Sullivan except lands within a village or city and lands acquired on certain foreclosures.

The Cascade Lake Tract was acquired for campsite purposes and includes Cascade Lake. It consists of 556 acres, all in the towns of Inlet and Long Lake in Hamilton County except for about eight acres in the Town of Webb in Herkimer County. The Salmon Lake Tract contains 1,369 acres and lies completely within the Town of Indian Lake in Hamilton County. This parcel was acquired for fish and wildlife management purposes and silvicultural research.

The New York State Constitution requires that all lands acquired in the Forest Preserve shall forever be kept as wild forest lands and the Conservation Department, intending to use these tracts for campsite and fish and wildlife management and research purposes, advised the State Board that these lands were not within the Forest Preserve as they weren't acquired to be held as wild forest lands. The State Board then refused to permit them to be taxed on the grounds that they weren't within the Forest Preserve and consequently should be exempt from taxation.

At HAMILTON COUNTY, all members attended the regular Board of Supervisor's meeting in the Court House. Mssers. Kerr and Downey explained the procedures in setting up a Soil and Water Conservation District. The board voted to establish such a district.

Carl Leebrick of the Conservation Department told what the Department was doing on the Moose River Plains and showed slides of that area. A resolution requesting the state to require safety glass for all schools and on playgrounds was approved.

The board voiced its opposition to the closing of Sunmount Hospital in Tupper Lake. The clerk was directed to write a letter of appreciation to the Conservation Department for establishing recreational facilities in the Town of Lake Pleasant.

Chairman William Baker, Arietta, appointed Clayton Schuyler, Wells, as director of the Veterans Agency, and John Hughes, Long Lake, as assistant. Schuyler had been the assistant. He replaced Robert Jennings, Long Lake, who resigned to become supervisor.

At INLET, Leonard Helmer, Superintendent of Public Works Charles Gebhardt and Publicity Director Mende Shulman were in Albany for a meeting with Dr. Donald Collins, a state entomologist, and Dr. Hugo Jamnback, senior scientist of entomology for the State of New York. The trip was planned to ascertain the status of the use of DDT in the Town of Webb area.

The Conservation Department had requested that DDT use to control biting insects at public campsites, and other state-owned lands in watersheds containing lake trout, be discontinued. These restrictions were based on results of research conducted by the Conservation Department that indicated DDT adversely affects lake trout reproduction.

Two substitutes were suggested in 1964 as larvicides, Dibron and Malathion. The Town of Webb found the two substitutes ineffective and was forced at the end of the spraying period to use DDT formula. The killing of black flies was most noticeable with this particular application. A meeting was to be scheduled with the Conservation Department to recommend returning to the use of DDT until such time as a more suitable substitute could be found.

One hundred attended the Inlet-Eagle Bay Cub Scouts' Blue and Gold Banquet. This is an annual dinner for the Cub Scouts and their families. The tables were very attractive with placemats, favors and table decorations made by the Cub Scouts.

Evelyn Rudd surprised each den mother with a lovely blue and gold corsage. The Color Guard for the program was: American Flag, Mark Windhausen; Guard, John Evans; Pack Flag, Brad Newton; Guard, Curtis Smith. The blessing was asked by the Rev. Francis Edic of St. Anthony's Church.

Following the dinner, two new cub scouts and their parents were introduced by Cubmaster Ted Payne, Joseph Waldron of Raquette Lake and Larry Baerman of Inlet. The following cub scouts were awarded badges: Larry Baerman, Alan Cunningham, David Gribneau, Clifford Payne and Curtis Smith.

Mr. Payne then introduced the representatives of the two sponsoring institutions: the Rev. Francis Edic of St. Anthony's Catholic Church and Mrs. Richard Barrett as vice president of the Eagle Bay Volunteer Hose Co. Auxiliary. Harry Havens of Fort Stanwix Council, Boy Scouts of America, spoke briefly to the group. The program closed with benediction by the Rev. Livingston Bentley of the Church of the Lakes.


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