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Town council campaigns for Raquette Lake swap

Thursday, September 26, 2013 - Updated: 7:59 AM

By PETE KLEIN

Express News Staff

LONG LAKE – The Long Lake Town Board has pulled out all stops in its efforts to make certain historic land claims in Raquette Lake are finally solved.

Two resolutions to achieve this goal were adopted unanimously Wednesday, Sept. 24.

The first supports statewide ballot proposals 4 and 5 coming up in the Nov. 5 General Election, and calls on others to “… both support these proposals and assist in the effort to inform our voters of these important proposals.”

Proposal 4, Settling Disputed Title in the Forest Preserve, would amend the state Constitution to authorize a land swap between the State of New York and the Town of Long Lake that would clear the titles of about 200 landowners in the hamlet of Raquette Lake. The title dispute has lasted over 100 years.

Proposal 5, In Relation to a Land Exchange in the State Forest Preserve with NYCO Minerals Inc., would expand the Jay Mountain Wilderness and the Taylor Pond Wild Forest by exchanging 1,507 acres of NYCO land for 200 acres of forest preserve. The 200 acres would be mined for wollastonite, restored and returned to NYS.

“The Town Board of the Town of Long Lake calls upon our individual Towns, the Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages, other Adirondack Counties, the Inter-County Legislative Committee of the Adirondacks, NYS Association of Counties, and all the municipalities throughout New York State, to all follow suit expressing expressing both support for these proposals and assisting in the effort to inform our voters of these important proposals.”

RESOLUTION 2

The second resolution authorizes Supervisor Clark Seaman to send the following statement in support of Proposal 4 to the New York City Campaign Finance Board, other voters’ guides, publications and media outlets as he deems appropriate.

“VOTE ‘YES’ ON PROPOSITION 4: This constitutional amendment and implementing legislation WERE passed unanimously by both the NYS Senate and Assembly, and ARE endorsed by Adirondack Council, Adirondack Mountain Club, Sierra Club, Open Space Institute, Adirondack Wild and Protect! The Adirondacks. If passed by the voters, this amendment will settle contested land disputes over 100 years old between the state and property owners within Township 40 in the Hamlet of Raquette Lake in Long Lake, Hamilton County.

“The disputed land titles resulted from tax sales in the late 1800s when the state purchased large tracts of land in Township 40 EVEN THOUGH THE PROPERTY OWNERS HAD PAID THEIR TAXES AND HAD RECEIPTS FOR THOSE PAYMENTS. The tax sales were the result of clerical errors, etc. However, those tax sales were later ruled illegal BY the Court of Appeals.

“Unfortunately, Article 14 of the NYS Constitution prevents the state from resolving this longstanding problem through any means other than litigation or a constitutional amendment. A comprehensive history is available at www.twp40.com.

“VOTE "YES" ON Proposition 4: a WIN-WIN for New Yorkers. It adds land to the forest preserve at no cost to the taxpayers and resolves these contested land titles.”

PARKS AND RECREATION

Parks, Recreation and Tourism Director Alexandra Roalsvig provided a yearly report to the board that includes some interesting statistics.

Roalsvig said attendance at events was up 15 percent, with over 18,000 people coming.

Roalsvig thanked all who have volunteered to make the events a success and asks that everyone who has any ideas or suggestions for new events or to make events more successful to contact her.

Facebook is becoming a key to promoting events, the town and local businesses, said Roalsvig. She said the town’s Facebook pages now have over 5,700 fans.

OTHER BUSINESS

-- The board approved applying to the NYS Unified Court System for a 2013 Justice Court Assistance Program Grant of $3,000. The money would be used to purchase a new computer and computer peripherals for the town justices.

-- The board authorized an agreement with Ren Wash Salvage, Schaghticoke, to remove 200 tons of scrap metal from the Long Lake Transfer Station. The firm will pay $20,000 for the metal.

-- The board approved a highway work permit process modeled on the Hamilton County Highway Department’s work permit process and authorized the town highway superintendent to issue permits.

-- Budget workshops are scheduled to be held in the Long Lake Town Hall Meal Site at 7 p.m. Oct. 2, 9, 16 and 23 and following the regular monthly meeting Wednesday, Oct. 30, starting at 7:30 p.m. in Raquette Lake Union Free School.

peteklein@hamiltoncountyexpress.com

     

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