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Essex County leaders respond to APRAP

"This assessment review is incredible," said Robert Dedrick, supervisor of Ticonderoga and chair of the committee. "If we can't use a lot of this data, we should be ashamed of ourselves."

Dedrick said one of the most startling statistics in the report is that less than one half of one percent of the land is used for commercial or industrial purposes.

"Those are the drivers of the local economy," said Martin, noting actively utilized commercial and industrial land requires 30 cents worth of services for every dollar they generate while residential land requires $1.30. "Having a balance between the two is crucial."

Other supervisors praised the assessment project, saying it points out valuable information that should be brought to the forefront.

"The one number that is really astounding is that 30 percent of the population is in a government job," said Moriah Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava. "How do we get the state legislature to sit down and look at this report and see that the Adirondack Park is different than the rest of the state?"

Martin said Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward had organized a delegation of 25 state legislators to view his presentation in May.

"I think that's an encouraging start," Martin said, noting that the challenge will come in getting representatives to focus on a region with only 130,000 people.

Essex Supervisor Ron Jackson said the state should focus on maintaining a "critical mass" of people in the region.

"Are you going to want to be up on the mountain if there's nobody to come get you if you have a heart attack?" he asked. "It benefits the state to have people up here."

Carol Calabrese, co-director of the Essex County Industrial Development Agency, said enough has been done to ensure environmental conservation within the park, and that government should now shift its focus.

"In my opinion, we need that same commitment at the state and federal levels to preserve the socio-economic sustainability of the Adirondack Park," she said.

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