Minerva board discusses Essex Chain of Lakes purchase

Minerva Town Hall

Minerva Town Hall Photo by John Grybos.

— During their regular Minerva Town Board meeting on Thursday, Feb. 7, Supervisor Sue Montgomery Corey informed the board that she and Councilman Dave LaBar had recently attended a meeting hosted by Lake Placid-based Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) Executive Director Jim McKenna and Adirondack Partnership Chair Bill Farber, who is also chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors.

“The purpose of the meeting was to continue a conversation between the towns of Minerva, Newcomb, Indian Lake, Long Lake and North Hudson on how we can work together to increase the recreational and economic opportunities which will be available because of the state land purchase of the Essex Chain parcel,” Corey said.

A factor that will greatly influence these opportunities will be the DEC classification of the parcel. According to Corey, published reports indicate that the DEC is recommending that the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) classify most of the area as “wild forest.” She noted that if this is indeed the case, the classification would support recreational and economic opportunities for the surrounding towns because it would allow more access than a classification of wilderness.

The five towns will continue to develop and share ideas on how the land purchase could be utilized in ways that would benefit their communities.

Corey also attended the New York State Association of Counties meeting that was held in Albany. She reported that state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli did not identify Minerva in the list of towns that were fiscally distressed, although there was a good deal of discussion about the general level of fiscal distress being experienced by across the municipalities, especially the counties.

While in Albany, Corey met with the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) director, Lucretia Ferry, concerning the sudden closing of the Furnace Repair and Replacement Program due to a lack of funds. HEAP is a federally funded program that assists with home heating costs, including heating fuel, equipment and repairs. Corey noted that local districts have been encouraged to use Temporary Assistance funds, which are a combination of federal, state, and local monies that all come from the Department of Social Services, to help fill the gap.

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