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Non-profits working to purchase Gaslight Village property

LAKE GEORGE The three leading environmental non-profit groups working to protect Lake George have pledged to raise $2.1 million to purchase a conservation easement to aid in efforts to buy the former Gaslight Village property from the Charles R. Wood Foundation.

The Fund for Lake George, the Lake George Association (LGA) and the Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) are working with officials from Warren County and the Village of Lake George to purchase the property and to use that land to capture and treat stormwater runoff coming from Route 9 in Lake George.

There will be a public meeting regarding the acquisition of the lands on Monday, June 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Lake George Central School auditorium. A walk through of the site will precede the meeting at 6 p.m. Those interested in participating in the walk through can park at the Lake George Steamboat parking lot. Officials of Warren County, the village of Lake George, the Lake George Association, the Fund for Lake George and the Lake George Land Conservancy will be on hand to answer questions.

West Brook bisects the property before entering into Lake George. Several studies have identified the West Brook watershed, which receives runoff from Route 9 and I-87, as the single biggest contributor of non-point source pollution in Lake Georges southern basin. Chris Ballantyne, executive director of the Fund for Lake George, said that closing on the property is key to moving the environmental project forward.

Until now, the environmental groups were putting most of their focus on the details of the project and left the acquisition to the municipal groups. That was our role, said Ballantyne. Now, with the opportunity to purchase the easement, we are happy to be able to step in and help move things along.

According to Walt Lender, the Lake George Associations executive director, the environmental groups have always been committed to providing a significant amount of financial support. This support includes applying for and receiving a $92,000 Quality Communities grant award, which will go toward hiring an environmental engineering firm to design the project.

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