Saugerties’ town board moved to extend the term of highway superintendent Douglas Myer from two to four years after a public hearing January 20. The resolution will appear on November’s election ballot. Myer, who ran unopposed in the 2015 election, has served in this position since 2012.
In the town board meeting that followed, the public comment period was dominated by discussion of the Pilgrim pipeline. The pipeline, plans for which have been in the works for some time, would span 178 miles, mostly following the Thruway corridor, connecting Albany with the town of Linden, New Jersey. It would serve as a two-way means of transportation for diesel fuel, kerosene, gasoline (northbound), and crude oil (southbound). Opponents of the project, including many local and other small towns throughout New York, have continually cited their concerns as mostly environment and safety-related.
Saugerties’ town government has already passed a no-confidence resolution in response to the pipeline, based on concerns not only involving its eco-friendliness and safety but also on a lack of transparency on the part of the Pilgrim Pipeline Company. Opponents, including municipalities, have requested that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation be the sole reviewer of the plans, rather than acting as co-lead agency with the Thruway Authority, as the review is now slated. It is believed that the DEC would be more likely to consider the full environmental ramifications of the project, whereas the Thruway Authority may be monetarily biased in its decision. The progress of the pipeline project will continue to be closely observed by supporters and opponents alike.