Hamilton County Disaster Expert Attacks APA for Failing to Protect Human Population
While he was helping Hamilton County develop a disaster mitigation plan, Thomas Phelan, president of Strategic Planning Associates, Inc., Liverpool, accused the APA of not demonstrating "concern for the human population within or bordering the Adirondack Park." He made the accusation in a March 26 interim executive summary on the status of the plan, which the county has been working on for a year.
Mr. Phelan charged, "There has been considerable concern about the lack of participation of the Park Agency (APA). According to APA figures, 1,156,177 acres, all of Hamilton County, are within the Adirondack Park." His summary stated, "A representative has been identified, contacted and invited to each meeting. He has responded, but not attended." The summary continues, "There exists a notable sense of neglect on the part of the APA to the safety and emergency response needs of the residents of the County. The APA has not demonstrated a concern for the human population within or bordering the Adirondack Park." The interim summary points out, "The lands within the Park are such that their natural geophysical nature can and has impacted the safety of surrounding lands with respect to natural hazards." The "Multi-jurisdictional All Hazard Mitigation Plan" is being developed by each town and village in the county, and afterwards will be coordinated by the county. When the plan is approved by New York State Emergency Management Office and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the county will be eligible for government assistance. Hamilton County News, April 8, 2009.