The Clean Water, Clean Air, and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act was approved by voters on Election Day. The bond was presented as a statewide proposition and won approval by more than a two-to-one margin.
The Bond Act will provide capital project funding for several major Adirondack priorities, including clean drinking water and wastewater treatment systems and climate resiliency, focused largely on preventing flood damage. Subsidy categories include at least $1.1 billion for restoration and flood risk reduction and restoration projects; $650 million for open space and recreation projects; $1.5 billion for climate change mitigation; and $650 million has been set aside for water quality improvements. This includes wastewater upgrades, water infrastructure advancements, shoreline preservation, and harmful algal bloom prevention.
On two occasions, harmful algal blooms occurred on Upper Saranac Lake this past summer. Additionally, Bond money could also ease the financial burden on the Foundation when it comes to NYSDEC required improvements to the Bartlett Carry Dam.
The last time an Environmental Bond act passed, in 1996, nearly $2.5 million was directed to Upper Saranac Lake to acquire 776 acres of property including three miles of shoreline along Middle and Upper Saranac lakes. The foundation has already begun to leverage funding for USL projects such as the Bartlett Carry Dam improvement project.