Press Releases

Adirondack Voters Join Bond Act Approval Landslide

Voters in 8 of 12 Adirondack Counties OK $4.2-Billion Environmental Plan

ELIZABETHTOWN, N.Y. – The Adirondack Council today thanked the voters of the Adirondack Park’s 130 rural communities for voting overwhelmingly to approve the Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act on Election Day.  The measure won approval by more than a two-to-one margin statewide.

“Wow! That was a great outcome,” said Adirondack Council Executive Director William C. Janeway said.  “We are thrilled to see that it passed so easily statewide, but we didn’t take for granted that it would pass in the Adirondacks too.  We did a lot of voter education work prior to Election Day, so we are very pleased with all the support.”

In all, voters in 8 of 12 Adirondack counties approved the bond measure, according to results on the NYS Board of Elections web site today.  It was approved by double-digit margins in each of those counties. Voters in Warren County provided the largest margin of victory, with 58% voting “yes,” and only 37% voting “no.”  All Warren County 42 precincts had reported.

The bond act will provide capital project funding for several major Adirondack priorities, including clean drinking water and wastewater treatment systems in municipalities; clean air monitoring and emissions clean-up; new jobs in the clean energy and wilderness management fields; climate resiliency, focused largely on preventing flood damage; open space preservation and better visitor-use management for the Adirondack Forest Preserve.

“We have identified more than $200 million in mandatory clean drinking water and municipal wastewater treatment system projects that Adirondack communities need to pay for one way or another over the next decade or so,” Janeway said.  “Without the bond act, those projects would have to be paid for mostly by local property taxpayers.  With the bond act, the state will foot 50 or 75 percent of that bill.  That is huge relief.”

Janeway said the bond act will help public health around the park by removing a significant source of air pollution near schools.  By replacing gas- and diesel-powered school buses with electric models, children won’t be exposed to elevated levels of soot and fumes as they go back and forth to school each day.

“The bond also gives New York officials the ability to play a meaningful role in the protection of the 33,000-acre Whitney Estate in Long Lake,” Janeway said. “It is an important tract that should be protected.  We expect that it will take both public and private parties working together to produce a plan that protects the tract’s forests, while also respecting some of the historic structures and recreational opportunities that aren’t compatible with wilderness protection.  Right now, there is a subdivision plan on the property.  We’d like to prevent that and protect as much of it intact as possible.  Yesterday, New York could not really participate.  Yesterday, New York could not really participate.  Now it can, if a fair market price can be agreed to.”

The 9,300-square-mile Adirondack Park is the largest park in the contiguous United States.  Almost half is public forest protected forever from logging and exploitation under the state’s constitution.  Its 130 hamlets and villages are home to 130,000 year-round residents.  The park hosts more than 12.4 million visitors per year.

Established in 1975, the Adirondack Council is a privately funded not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the ecological integrity and wild character of the Adirondack Park. It is the largest environmental organization whose sole focus is the Adirondacks.

The Council carries out its mission through research, education, advocacy and legal action. It envisions a Park with clean water and clean air, core wilderness areas, farms and working forests, and vibrant, diverse, welcoming, safe communities.  Adirondack Council advocates live in all 50 United States.

For more information: John Sheehan, Director of Communications, 518-441-1340 

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