Proposition Could Solve Adirondack Issue

Proposition Could Solve Adirondack Issue

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Eight miles of brand new water pipe stand ready to replace that laid a half century ago in Star Lake. But a small sliver of the Adirondack Park Forest Preserve crosses the road.

The town of Fine can't lay pipe there under the “Forever Wild” prohibition in the state's constitution.

“We found out in the permitting process that the state Forest Preserve crosses the road in this area so they're not allowed to give us a permit to do work on the state Forest Preserve," said Mark Hall, town water superintendent.

"Forever Wild" blocks projects from bridges to broadband across the park. Now, villages and towns think they have a solution.

It's Proposition 3 on November's statewide ballot. If voters say yes, municipalities will be able to use a sliver of land along roadways for projects. It also would allow them to take very small parcels if they donate other land back to the park.

“All of these projects when you look at them individually, I think for the average citizen, it would simply be a no-brainer.” said Sherman Craig, chairman of the Adirondack Park Agency.

There are fears that Proposition 3 could fail at the ballot box. Proponents say that's because voters could confuse it with a separate proposition to call a state constitutional convention.

“Please do not confuse these two issues,” said Craig.

That could be a challenge. Yard signs have sprouted in cities and villages across the state urging a “No” vote on the constitutional convention.

But Proposition 3 Forest Preserve proponents remain hopeful. They say it's one of those rare issues where the park's protectors and local governments are in whole-hearted agreement.

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