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Raquette Lake well usage approved by state voters

RAQUETTE LAKE -- The 125 year-round residents of Raquette Lake are drinking a little easier this week after New York voters agreed to allow the hamlet to continue using wells drilled on state forest preserve land. The vote, in the form of a constitutional amendment, asked New Yorkers if the hamlet could continue using the wells or should it be forced to go back to using water from its reservoir where the amber-colored water became unsafe to drink after it was treated. The reservoir water left white bathtubs and toilets an amber rust color and when it was treated with chlorine to make it potable, an organic material in the water created elevated levels of a carcinogen. The amendment had the support of both the Adirondack Council and the Adirondack Mountain Club, who called the measure a good deal for the roughly 150 year-round residents of Raquette Lake, a good deal for the environment and a good deal for the people of New York. The vote means that the town of Long Lake can proceed with a swap with the state in which the town receives one acre of land upon which the wells are drilled. In exchange, the town will give up 12 acres of land deemed in exchange for 12 acres of town land that it turns over to the state. The Raquette Lake reservoir will be abandoned as a source of drinking water.

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