1st passage of draft amendment could be accomplished in 2017
Legislation has been introduced by Senator Betty Little
Protect the Adirondacks supports a new Constitutional Amendment for Article XIV, Section 1, the “forever wild” provision of the NYS Constitution, introduced by State Senator Elizabeth Little, to authorize the sale of 92 acres of a former prison compound in the Town of Brighton, Franklin County. This prison compound was formerly a tuberculosis sanatorium and an annex to a private college prior to conversion as a state prison. Over 200 acres of forestlands surrounding the former prison complex was reclassified by the NYS Adirondack Park Agency from “State Administrative” classification to “Wild Forest” and will remain in the forever wild Forest Preserve.
“It has long been the position of Protect the Adirondacks that the only way the state can legally sell the Camp Gabriels facility is through a constitutional amendment. We support the efforts of Senator Little and will work in the Legislature for first passage this year,” said Peter Bauer, Executive Director of Protect the Adirondacks.
The Office of General Services is managing the sale of these lands and has a buyer lined up who plans to convert the compound to a youth camp. This sale cannot be finalized without a Constitutional Amendment authorizing the sale.
The new Amendment reads:
NOTWITHSTANDING THE FOREGOING PROVISIONS AND SUBJECT TO LEGISLATIVE APPROVAL PRIOR TO ACTUAL TRANSFER OF TITLE, THE LAND DEVELOPED AS A PRIVATE TUBERCULOSIS HOSPITAL, PRIVATE COLLEGE ANNEX AND A STATE PRISON, COMPRISING FORTY-EIGHT STRUCTURES MAY BE CONVEYED BY THE STATE AT PUBLIC OR PRIVATE SALE UP TO NINETY-TWO ACRES OF LAND ALONG STATE ROUTE 86, PART OF LOT 78, TOWNSHIP 18, GREAT TRACT 1, MACOMB’S PURCHASE IN THE TOWN OF BRIGHTON, FRANKLIN COUNTY, UPON THE CONDITION THAT ANY REVENUE DERIVED FROM SUCH CONVEYANCE BE PAID INTO AN ACCOUNT OF THE STATE TO BE USED ONLY FOR ACQUISITIONS TO THE FOREST PRESERVE.
Passage of this amendment is important for the Town of Brighton and for the economic and community development of the area. This legislation constitutes “1st passage” of a new Constitutional Amendment. “2nd passage’ would take place in the next successive legislature, most likely in 2019. The amendment would then need to be approved by the voters in November 2019.
For all of these reasons, Protect the Adirondacks strongly supports S.2041.