Bill To Increase Infrastructure Flexibility In North Country

Assemblyman Billy Jones (D-Chateaugay) announced that legislation he co-sponsored will activate the infrastructure land bank created for the Adirondack and Catskill parks by a recent constitutional amendment (A.8136). When fully implemented, municipalities will be allowed to apply to NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for easements on forest preserve lands for the construction of essential infrastructure.
New York State’s constitution requires that forest preserve lands remain forever wild, and prohibits the sale, lease or exchange of the lands to any entity, public or private. This prohibition often proves challenging for Adirondack municipalities, who sometimes found the only way to implement infrastructure projects was to ask for an amendment to the state constitution, a process that requires passage by two separately elected state Legislatures and then by a statewide ballot measure.The measure passed the Assembly and Senate and is awaiting the governor’s signature.