TUPPER LAKE - The town board is opposing the state's planned fee purchase of Follensby Park, part of which rests in the town, as well as former Finch, Pruyn lands.
Board members passed a resolution Monday night that mirrors one originally passed in January by the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board, which was criticized harshly for it by the Adirondack Council.
The Franklin County Board of Legislators also passed the resolution at its Feb. 3 meeting.
The resolution asks the state to refrain from buying 14,600 acres of Follensby land, some of which falls in Tupper Lake and most in Harrietstown, as well as 65,000 acres of former Finch, Pruyn and Co. timberlands in the central Adirondacks. The Nature Conservancy purchased these lands in recent years with the intention of selling them to the state.
Tupper Lake town Councilman Shawn Stuart said at the meeting the state should be spending its money on things like restoring aid to schools. The Tupper Lake Central School District laid off about a quarter of its instructional staff last year after state aid was slashed from its budget, and it's facing another tough budget process this year with state aid cuts having a bigger impact on its budget than any other district in the Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES district.
The resolution also notes that cuts have meant serious reductions in thousands of jobs at the state Department of Environmental Conservation, leaving it unable to properly maintain and manage existing state lands.