postheadericon Town Explores State Forest Possibility

bellstation_120Local farmer Dan Konowalow encouraged the Lansing Town Board to vote in support of the creation of a state forest in the northwest corner of the town.  The idea surfaced in November when Fingerlakes Land Trust Executive Director Andy Zepp asked the board to approve a resolution supporting state acquisition of the property.  The 490 acre plot of land includes 3,400 feet of shoreline on Cayuga Lake.

"This is a golden opportunity," Konowalow said Wednesday.  "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to have a property that's quite unique, a state forest available for town citizens to use."

Konowalow said that developing housing on the property would not be as lucrative for the Town and Tompkins County as it first appears, saying that it is so far north that the distance to Auburn is nearly the same as that to Ithaca, meaning that sales tax from residents there wouldn't necessarily come to the town.

"That is a lousy use of that land from a planning perspective," Konowalow claimed.  "I urge the Town Board to do what is necessary to urge the State to acquire this land."

The 500 acre plot is currently owned by NYSEG.  It was designated in 1969 as the location of the Bell Station nuclear plant project, which never materialized.  The power company is reportedly interested in selling the land to the state for the purpose of creating a public recreational area.

Some board members, notably Ruth Hopkins, have expressed strong support for the project, but others have been hesitant to support the proposal until questions about the Town's responsibilities and costs are answered.  Supervisor Kathy Miller says town officials are exploring those issues.  She said a public meeting will take place at the end of February with representatives of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Fingerlakes Land Trust present.

"We're going to talk about what the Town's role would be if this were to happen," Miller said.  "Will we have a financial role?  A physical role as far as picking up garbage or policing it in some way?  We have a lot of questions that we need answered before we do this."

v9i2
 

Don't Miss an Issue!
Get a reminder every Friday when a new issue of the Lansing Star is published.
Email:
For Email Newsletters you can trust
Subscribe to Lansing Star Articles in your News Reader or Browser Follow the Lansing Star On Twitter Follow the Lansing Star On Facebook
What Readers Say...
Sharon Butler Bowman

You are providing a wonderful resource for Lansing residents, and I sincerely appreciate your efforts.
Facebook MySpace Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Google Bookmarks RSS Feed 
Advertise in the Star