State senate passes Adirondack landbank amendment with sponsorship from North Country rep
The state Senate recently passed a proposed state constitutional amendment that would enable local governments to access a “health and safety” landbank for bridge, highway and drinking water projects on state Forest Preserve lands in the Adirondack Park.
The amendment, which passed the Senate with a 58-0 vote, also would authorize within the legal and maintained width of state and local highways the siting of public utilities, including broadband, and bike paths.“As the sponsor of numerous constitutional amendments, I know how time consuming, costly and uncertain the process is,” said Senator Betty Little, R-Queensbury. “The goal of the amendment, that a broad group of stakeholders have collaborated on, is to create a very specific category of projects to address health and safety issues in our communities without the need to amend the constitution in every instance. We will get good results for local residents while protecting natural resources in the Adirondacks.”
She represents the 45th Senate District. It includes several smaller communities along the eastern edge of St. Lawrence County.
Little attention in the State Legislature will turn to crafting the enabling legislation that will create the 250-acre “health and safety land account” and the approval process for projects that would qualify to access the account based on a demonstrated public need. The legislation would also guide the approval of locating public utilities and bike paths along the state and local highways that traverse state Forest Preserve.
The Adirondack Council, Adirondack Mountain Club and The Nature Conservancy have issued memos in support of the amendment this year, Little said.
If approved by the Assembly this year, the amendment would be placed on the general election ballot for statewide voter consideration.