NORTH CREEK - Terry Martino, executive director of the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) presented the phrase, "when in doubt, seek us out," repeatedly during her visit and presentation to the Gore Mountain Region community and Tannery Pond Community Center last week.
Martino said the APA fields more than 5,000 calls and approves roughly 400 permits in a matter of months, and strives to be available and work in tandem with residents of the Adirondack Park in order to accomplish common goals.
Martino visited the Gore Mountain Region and experienced some of the recent improvements in the North Creek corridor as well as the progress being made at the Frontstreet and Interconnect projects. She was guided by several members of the business community including Supervisor Sterling Goodspeed, Joel Beaudin, manager of the Copperfield Inn, Mike Pratt, manager of Gore Mountain and hosts Karen Smith and Ed Milner on behalf of the local Rotary Club and Chamber of Commerce.
"I commend you for the level of activity, enthusiasm, partnership and branding work you have accomplished," Martino said. "I was pleased to see that you appreciated the natural history that this area possesses and all that we have to offer visitors."
Prompted by a question from Minerva resident Dave LaBar, Martino hinted at where the APA would like to see Adirondack development go in the next few years.
"We must be committed to our community and our environment," she said. "An efficient permit process will allow residents of the park to live and work in a very special place."
She also discussed sustainability and made note of what an attractive home that the Adirondack Park provides for green business opportunities.
"Technology and development are the most important issues right now," said Keith Tait, environmental science professor at SUNY Plattsburgh. "It's important for the APA to recognize the needs of the year-round residents."
Martino acknowledged that the APA has never denied a permit for cell towers within the park and said the agency is pleased with that track record. The APA recognizes the need for cell and broadband service, she said.
The agency also created a classification process that was designed to drive development to communities within the park that can handle it, Martino said.
"We need to take steps to reverse negative trends together," said Martino. "There is a strong message of local and regional opportunities within these communities."
After 23 years of service with the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA), Terry Martino was appointed executive director of the Adirondack Park Agency in July, 2009.
During her tenure with ANCA - a group dedicated to community development, environmental stewardship and consensus building - Martino was involved with various projects such as the Scenic Byways Program and organization of the Common Ground Alliance. She was deeply involved with the Alliance's "Blueprint for the Blue Line"' which did a detailed analysis of significant problem areas within the economy and ecology of the park.
"The APA hopes to join you in building on the attractive ingredients of the Adirondack Park to make it a pleasurable place to both visit and live for many years to come," she said.
For more information regarding the permitting process, visit www.apa.state.ny.us.