Dirk Bryant of TNC and Tom Martin of DEC address Indian Lake Town Board meeting on April 8.
Officials from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) shared center stage at the April 8 meeting of the Indian Lake Town Board.
DEC Region 5 Regional Natural Resource Supervisor Tom Martin and Dirk Bryant, TNC director of conservation programs for the New York state, outlined and updated the Town Board about various projects, including the purchase of 130 acres from TNC by the Northern Frontier Camp. The camp, which has owned 38 acres in the center of the Conservancy’s 2,940-acre OK Slip Falls-Blue Ledges tract since 1993, purchased the adjoining acres from the Conservancy for $452,000.
A key element still to come, however, is the scheduled transfer of the remainder of the surrounding land, 2,800 acres, from the Conservancy to New York state.
“This will allow public access to the beautiful OK Slip Falls and Blue Ledges areas for recreational use while avoiding public/private access conflict,” Martin said.
This access could come as early as mid-summer, according to Martin. Parking information and specific access directions are in the planning stages and will be revealed shortly.
Martin also highlighted some snowmobile trail extensions and improvements that would make it possible for riders to travel from Indian Lake to Newcomb and on to Long Lake, Raquette Lake, Inlet and back to Indian Lake without crossing lake ice.
Finally, Martin and Bryant updated the Town Board on the status of the land classification process for the Essex Chain of Lakes tract. Adirondack Park Agency (APA) staffers are currently developing a package of classification alternatives. This package will go to the APA board sometime around May or June. The Board will then review the package and vote.
The next step will be a series of public hearings. Some will occur within the Park and some outside. Martin encouraged Indian Lake Town Supervisor Brian Wells to reach out to the APA and request one of the hearings to be held in Indian Lake, since the classification of these lands can certainly be expected to have important impacts on the town’s future development and growth.
• Indian Lake Farmers’ Market: Brenda Valentine, representing Indian Lake Citizens’ committee, outlined plans for such a market. Valentine defined the market as “providing access to fresh, healthy and affordable food for Indian Lake residents and visitors.” It would be a venue for farmers, vendors (breads and baked goods, meat, fish, poultry, dairy, maple and honey products, garden and house plants) and area crafters. As such, it is expected to assist in revitalizing the hamlet of Indian Lake and its Main Street by increasing pedestrian traffic. There would be efforts make to help assure that the vendor offering would not be competitive with existing hamlet resources.
The market would be operational from July 5 through Sept. 27 on Friday afternoons from noon until 4 p.m. It would be organized and operated under the direction of various subcommittees and by community volunteers.
Valentine requested that the Town Board consider allowing the Indian Lake Farmers’ Market to operate at the parking lot to the northwest of the Town Hall building. Supervisor Wells explained that he would first need to discuss the possibility with the town’s attorney.
• Indian Lake and Family Garden: Supervisor Wells updated the Town Board members that, according to a communiqué from Nancy A. Welch, Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Hamilton County, the garden on Pelon Road is now in its fifth year of operation and is being put to good use. As an example, the portion of the garden that is designated as “community” grew more than 1,000 pounds of food that went to the food pantry run by Community Action. Wells informed the meeting that 11 families currently have individual garden plots and that there is plenty of additional space for more individual family gardens. Those interested in such a family garden plot should contact Debby Ameden, Indian Lake Garden Coordinator, at 648-5911.
• School Mural: It was announced that a colorful and vibrant Adirondack animal-themed mural would be created at the Indian Lake Central School. The concept of creating the mural is to bring the students and community together through collaboration, education and fun. The mural will be created June 3-7, and community adult volunteers of all ages and skills are being sought to participate. Interested parties should contact Lauren Walker Arsenault at 648-5024.
• Assemblyman Marc Butler: Supervisor Wells commented on a letter that was received from Assemblyman Butler acknowledging the Town Board’s efforts on the part of the school district in trying to reverse the rollback in state aid for the school and pledging his support of these efforts. Wells communicated the gratitude of the entire community for the efforts of Butler and all the representatives in helping to successfully restore state aid to the Indian Lake Central School.
• Cell tower status: There have been numerous reports of cell service available in town. Supervisor Wells knew that there were certainly tests being done by Verizon, but there has been no official announcement that the tower has been lit permanently, nor is there any indication as to how wide ranging the signal will be once the tower is live. Official updates will be passed along as they are received. Verizon customers will have service in town. Wells pointed questions, troubleshooting and problems to be directed to Verizon at 800-876-5753.
• Bids: Two items were sold by bid. A 1991 Polaris ATV was sold to Ed Winchell for a winning bid of $126. A 1955 Willy’s Jeep was sold to Everett and Kelly Voorhees for a winning bid of $1,465.28.
• 2014 Snocade: Councilwoman Sally Stanton announced that a meeting for 2014 Snocade will be held on April 15 at 7:15 p.m. in the Indian Lake Central School Cafeteria.
The next regular Indian Lake Town Board Meeting will be held on May 13 at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall on Pelon Road.