Lack of accessible ATV trails sparks heated debate

INDIAN LAKE The December Indian Lake Town Board meeting opened with a seemingly straightforward agenda, but concluded with several lengthy discussions concerning ongoing issues within the town. The board continued to draw criticism from a local resident concerning a significant quantity of vehicles being stored on a Route 30 property. When you come into town, it looks like an eyesore, noted the resident. It looks like three were sold and two were brought in to replace them. Supervisor Hutchins declined to comment on whether the two replacement vehicles were already present on the property, but did note that he had assurance from the property owner that progress is being made. A question from a meeting attendee concerning the towns lack of ATV-accessible trails spurred a heated debate over ATV usage on town highways. Board members engaged in a lengthy discussion regarding the potential use of town highways for ATV travel during the winter months, as an extension of existing trail networks. A motion to extend the existing ATV trail system was tabled pending further discussion, including presentment of information for the board's year-end meeting. Concerns over insurance liability and how other Adirondack towns have handled the issue were key points of discussion. Supervisor Hutchins expressed frustration with the apparent lack of progress regarding the Blue Mountain Lake cell tower project. Hutchins again reinforced that it was out of the towns hands, and repeated Verizons assurances that the project was still underway. Regarding a similar project in Indian Lake, Hutchins notified the board that negotiations were now underway with a second landowner for access to a suitable tower site, with the possibility of the increased benefit of expanding the towns water system. In other business, the Board unanimously approved a resolution to proceed with a co-applicant agreement in conjunction with Hamilton County, for securing shared solid waste grant funding. If approved, the grant would provide much-needed funding for waste management infrastructure for the residents of Indian Lake. A letter from Blue Mountain Lake Volunteer Fire Chief John Groll was read, in response to a query from a landowner seeking approval for a local subdivision. Chief Groll noted that adequate resources are currently in place to accommodate the increased demand that the single-family subdivision would pose. The board voted unanimously to renew the towns agreement with the Warren County Office of the Aging in continuance of the towns meal-site, and activity programs for the elderly. Hutchins updated the group regarding the drilling of additional municipal water wells, and noted their continued problems with two wells having excessive levels of iron and manganese. The town is hopeful that the project will also provide increased capacity during peak water usage. An update was provided, regarding the ongoing project related to bringing the town in line with the countywide system of home numbering, including the naming of private and un-named roads within the town. The systems first phase will be to aid in home identification and addressing, with later phases geared toward integration with the Hamilton County 911 emergency response system. The Indian Lake Town Board will hold a final year-end meeting on Dec. 27, at 7 p.m. An organizational meeting will follow on Jan. 3, 2008. The regular board meeting will resume on Monday, Jan. 14, at 7 p.m.

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