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Residents should vote yes for Proposition 4

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I am writing in support of a yes vote for Proposition 4 on this year’s New York State ballot Nov. 5. If passed, it will add highly desirable land to the Adirondack State Park and resolve 130-year-old land title disputes between landowners and the state, at no cost to the taxpayer.

Since the 1800s, Adirondack land titles in Township 40 in Hamilton County’s Hamlet of Raquette Lake have been confused by conflicting claims between the state and both public and private owners including the school, firehouse, waste transfer station, utility station, marina, businesses and homes, which are 216 parcels in all.

The privately owned properties in question have changed hands many times with the owners always paying their taxes with the conviction that they owned their properties. As required by law, the proposed settlement has been passed unanimously in two consecutive sessions of both houses of the New York State Legislature and is supported by environmental groups including Adirondack Mountain Club, Adirondack Wild, Open Space Institute, Adirondack Council and Protect the Adirondacks.

A yes vote for Prop 4 will permit the state to settle these Township 40 claims and clear local land titles in exchange for funding to purchase land that the state has long wanted to add to the park. Additional information can be found on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udwzkmpNZ58 and at http://twp40.com.

John Sammon

New Hartford

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