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Indian Lake has its priorities

Sunday, June 22, 2014 - Updated: 11:16 AM


Express News Staff

INDIAN LAKE -- What are the top priorities in Indian Lake? What does the Indian Lake Town Board need to focus on now and in the years ahead?

These were the questions when the Indian Lake Town Board held a workshop Friday, June 13, at the ski hut, with all board members present but only a handful of the public there.

The meeting began shortly after 11 a.m., broke for lunch, and continued into the afternoon. The top three issues all had something to do with water, appropriate since it was a very rainy day.

Supervisor Brian Wells said he has been talking with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation officials who say the agency might have some funds available to help the town with upgrades and repairs to the dams on Adirondack Lake and Lake Abanakee.

Wells said the estimate for the Adirondack Lake dam is $1.5 million and the estimate for Lake Abanakee is about $1.2 million, and these costs will only rise the longer it takes to do what needs to be done.

Though neither dam is in imminent danger of failure, the town has been put on notice by the state that it needs to repair and upgrade them.

A failure of the Adirondack Lake dam would cause major damage to property and could jeopardize lives. The dam is also essential to homes on the lake and the many who use the lake for recreation.

The Lake Abanakee dam is critical for many reasons. It creates the lake for those who have homes along its shoreline; it provides water for white-water rafting businesses; a failure would put property and lives in danger downstream in North Creek; and it could provide hydropower in the future.


In Blue Mountain Lake the water issue is drinking water. If a hotel were to be built across from the Adirondack Museum, as is hoped, the current supply from the lake would be inadequate.

More importantly, the NYS Department of Health is pushing the town to drill wells for the municipal water supply. The hamlet's drinking water currently comes from the lake.

Wells said there is a possibility a private property owner might be willing to allow the town to drill for water.


Purchase of the Townsend property also ranks high. Wells said he is talking with state Sen. Hugh Farley (R-49th District), who wants to help the town find the money to purchase the property.

Some money might also be available from the $500,000 in grant funds The Nature Conservancy is creating for Indian Lake and the other four towns that make up the Upper Hudson River Recreation Hub.


Other key issues never far from the board's collective mind is the ambulance corps and the need to maintain this service; improving emergency communications; a staging area on town property along the Chain Lakes Road for mountain biking, horse riding and snowmobiling the DEC is suggesting along with promises of funding or helping to fund the cost; a long overdue update of town zoning; biomass, solar and hydropower initiatives to help lower energy costs; a maintenance and purchasing plan for vehicles and other town equipment; and the possibility of hiring someone to write grant applications and be the town's director of tourism and economic development.

This idea could tie in with a closer working relationship between the town tourism office and the Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce.

These ideas and others are part of an overall effort to meet the challenges facing Indian Lake, its business community and its residents.


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