Cuomo would give APA extra $1 million
RAY BROOK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed giving $1 million to the state Adirondack Park Agency to renovate its Ray Brook headquarters.
The new capital funding, proposed Tuesday as part of the governor’s 2020-21 Executive Budget proposal, would increase the agency’s total spending from $5 million allocated in this year’s budget to $6 million next year, a 20% increase.
That $1 million is slated for renovation of the APA building, but the state Division of Budget did not respond before press time to say what would be renovated. Phone calls to several APA board members to ask about this funding were not immediately returned.
After the appointment of the APA’s first seven members by then-Gov. Nelson Rockefeller in 1971, the agency “had no real funds to work with,” then-APA Chairman Richard Lawrence told the Enterprise at the time.
So with no money to spend, the APA borrowed three typewriters and some chairs and set up its office in “the old ‘log cabin’ headquarters of the Conservation Department in Ray Brook,” according to an October 1971 Enterprise article. The Conservation Department had just been absorbed by a freshly created Department of Environmental Conservation.
A bill establishing the DEC was passed by the state Legislature with bipartisan support on Saturday, April 18, 1970. Rockefeller signed that bill into law a few days later, on the first-ever Earth Day, April 22. When it was formed, it also absorbed the Water Resources Commission and the Air Pollution Control Board, according to an Associated Press article at the time. The DEC is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.