State land acquisition to be discussed at hearing

CHESTER The sale of timber land will be the subject of an upcoming public hearing before the Town of Chester board. At the boards monthly meeting a public hearing was set for Tuesday, May 13 at 7 p.m. to review plans the Nature Conservancy has for the sale of its land recently purchased from Finch Pruyn. The Conservancy has already met with other Adirondack towns such as Newcomb, Indian Lake and Newcomb that host thousands of acres belonging to the Conservancy and are slated to be sold to the state. About 1,300 acres of the Conservancys land, scheduled for state acquisition, are located in the Town of Chester. Essentially the group is looking for the towns blessing for its sale. In Chestertown, five separate parcels are involved. The Conservancy proposes that a 96-acre parcel on the far side of the Hudson River across from North River be sold to the state. It is not easily accessible and adjoins other state land. Similarly, a 753-acre parcel along the Hudson near Palmer Pond is not easily accessible, adjoins state land and would be sold to the state. However, parcels along Igerna Road (Henderson Mountain) and Potter Brook Rd. would be retained for logging, with conservation easements in place. Finally, a 75-acre plot along Vanderwalker Rd. would be sold to private parties on the open market. For those concerned with the amount of state land within town boundaries, it was pointed out that the state pays taxes at a higher rate than private parties with special forest permits. The recent outcry over the possibility that Adirondack towns will no longer receive property tax income from the state to to a lawsuit in Western New York are overblown, according to Town Supervisor Fred Monroe and Town Attorney Mark Schachner. Town Board members and the audience seemed generally satisfied with the Conservancys proposals. Another public hearing likely to be of interest to town residents is set for April 23 before the town Zoning Board of Appeals. This hearing will deal with the proposed addition of 50 docks along Loon Lake on Marina Rd. At Tuesdays meeting, Monroe announced a donation from Lincoln Logs, Inc. of a log-building package for the new town beach restroom building. In response to the unanticipated and welcome gift, the town will rebid the rest of the material needed, such as roofing, windows and doors. In other business, a Request for Proposal will go out to consulting firms for planning and recommendations for affordable housing in town. Bids will be opened at the May Board meeting. The committee researching town cable television coverage will report to the board before the contracts with Time Warner and Gore Cable expire. Also, the Redecker septic variance application was approved. Finally, a volunteer from Schroon Lake, Bob McLain, shared all the materials he has gathered on milfoil eradication. The Town of Chester pays for some of the Schroon Lake nuisance weed abatement, since it owns shoreline there, but concentrates primarily on Loon Lake. It seems the latter needs an energetic guru like McLain to co-ordinate information for shore owners and drum up interest in the problem. The town, of course, pays for harvesting and reports on Loon Lake, but the more education, the better, the town officials say.

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