County to support town of Clare in legal defense against suit filed by Adirondack Council
St. Lawrence County legislators have voted to let the county attorney and senior highway engineer support the Town of Clare in legal defense against the Adirondack Council. The council is taking the town to court to invalidate a local law opening a portion of Tooley Pond Road for the county’s multi-use recreational trail system.
The board voted on the measure during their Monday, Dec. 7 meeting. It allows up to $7,500 in legal assistance from the county, half of the town’s anticipated $15,000 legal bill for their defense in court.The resolution legislators approved notes that the county did an environmental review on the trail system back in 2010, and the board determined the trails constituted a “resource management plan” as defined in state law.
The resolution says the board passed a generic environmental impact statement on the trail system, and in 2011 it was completed and put out for public review.
Fast forwarding to 2020, after the county finished their environmental impact study known as a “SEQRA,” the town passed a local law officially opening the Tooley Pond Road segment of the trail, and the Adirondack Council then started legal proceedings in St. Lawrence County Supreme Court to invalidate the local law.
“The county has a vested interest in supporting the efforts of the Town of Clare in their defense of this legal action as the State of New York has informed the county that it is impossible for the trail to be re-routed to any other location than its current location,” the resolution says. It also notes that the trail system capitalizes on natural resources for supporting local businesses and economic development, while “conserving the natural resources for future generations.”