The Town of Shandaken will receive $3 million in Community Reconstruction Zone funds from New York State for planning major “community resiliency” projects, supervisor Rob Stanley announced at the May 6 town board meeting. In response to the hit the town took from Hurricane Irene, the funds are earmarked for infrastructure changes that would prevent damage from future flooding.
“These monies are solely dedicated to the town,” noted Stanley, while Ulster County as a whole received another $3 million, and Margaretville has to split its $3 million with the town of Sidney. The funds are specifically for planning and engineering costs. Implementation of projects will require grants from other sources.
Suggestions for projects are included in the Draft Flood Mitigation Plan, a year in the making, which will be presented at a special town board meeting on Thursday, May 23, at 1 p.m., at the town hall. Projects under consideration include relocating the Phoenicia water district’s High Street pump house and modifying the Bridge Street bridge and the McKinley Hollow bridge. “The money is for sizable projects with major impact,” said Stanley.
The town board approved a resolution to accept bids for construction work at three sites along the Stony Clove and Warner Creeks in Chichester, as recommended by the Shandaken Area Flood Assessment and Remediation Initiative (SAFARI) for preventing flooding and sediment deposition. The work on these sites is expected to begin in about a month and reach completion by the fall.
The approval process for the proposed Belleayre Resort may become clearer as three public hearings are scheduled by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for this month. On May 22 at 7 p.m., discussion will center on the proposed Unit Management Plan for the Belleayre Ski Center, which involves alternatives for expansion of the facility onto land purchased from developer Dean Gitter’s Crossroads Ventures. One option sees development of additional slopes and lifts designed to provide ski-in-ski-out access from the controversial Belleayre Resort project proposed by Crossroad Ventures, whose Modified Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement will be the subject of the May 29 hearings at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. All three hearings will be held at Belleayre Ski Center in Highmount.
Written comments on the draft documents can be submitted to email@example.com through June 24 or by mail to Daniel Whitehead, Region 3 Environmental Permit Administrator, NYSDEC, 21 South Putt Corners Road, New Paltz, NY 12561. For more information on the drafts, see https://www.dec.ny.gov/press/90370.html.
Who’s running, who’s not?
Supervisor Stanley and town council member Jack Jordan, both Republicans, stated that they plan to run for reelection in November. Highway superintendent Eric Hofmeister will most likely run as well. Democratic council member Doris Bartlett said she would not seek another term, but reported that there are “some good people thinking of running” on the Democratic ticket.
Fish Frenzy for kids
A fundraiser at the Emerson Resort’s Phoenix Restaurant brought in $1700 for a new event, the Shandaken Fish Frenzy. The funds will be used to buy fishing equipment and t-shirts for Shandaken children aged 15 and under, who will be invited to the Parish Field in Phoenicia on Saturday, May 25, to learn and practice casting techniques. “We will provide them with a BBQ lunch and then proceed to the stream to hopefully catch some fish,” Stanley stated. “This will be a catch-and-release event.”
Participating children will get to keep the equipment, courtesy of the Town of Shandaken, Jimmy’s Belleayre Ski Shop, and Merrick Tackle.
Children must be pre-registered by calling the town clerk’s office at 688-5004. Adult volunteers are invited to help with casting lessons, streamside support, and cooking.