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Planning board favors keeping ACR testimony on record

The Tupper Lake Planning Board has voted against a motion from an environmental group to rescind key testimony backing a controversial resort developers hope to build on and around Mt. Morris.

The motion to strike the testimony was made by Protect the Adirondacks during state Adirondack Park Agency hearings last week on the Adirondack Club & Resort.

Protect attorney John Caffry claims that the developer didn't provide the information his group is entitled to under the discovery law for two of its witnesses. Resort consultants Kevin Frank and Jeff Anthony testified on issues dealing with wastewater treatment and impact to open space areas.

Caffry claims the testimony is largely unsupported and should be scratched from the record.

The Tupper Lake Planning Board is responsible for considering issues related to that testimony and has a vote on whether to support Caffry's motion.

Kirk Gagnier is the attorney for the planning board. He cited an APA letter that said the testimony is crucial to its decision over whether to approve the resort project.

"The issue that the APA staff brings up here is that if this information doesn't get in the commissioners could send [the application] back for more information," Gagnier said. "That would prolong things."

In its letter, the APA recommended keeping the testimony and giving the developer time to produce the discovery information, or its reason for not being able to obtain it.

Jim Larkin is chairman of the Tupper Lake Planning Board. He agreed with the APA's recommendation.

"All it has to do is for us as a board to say that we feel that if they go back and clear up a few loose ends they can move on with the process instead of backing the thing up."

The board unanimously voted against Caffry's effort to block the testimony.

Gagnier said he expects Administrative Law Judge Daniel O'Connell to issue a final decision on Caffry's motion by Monday.

Meanwhile, the ACR hearings are set to resume again at 10 a.m. Tuesday, June 21 at state Adirondack Park Agency headquarters in Ray Brook.

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