Saugerties officials harvest nearly 50 tons of water chestnut
Saugerties officials say they have harvested approximately 46 tons of water chestnut from the Esopus Creek this season using the village’s harvester machine, as the invasive species has also spread to the Hudson River in Malden.
Village Building Inspector Eyal Saad told the Village Board last Monday that harvesting is a very time-consuming process that involves spending about an hour harvesting the water chestnut up the creek, then another hour coming back to dump it. “It’s tedious work,” Saad said.
Saad also said he met with officials in the Town of Milton in southern Ulster County about a possible agreement to use the machine, although he noted that the Town of Esopus would be prioritized if the village made an agreement to allow for use of the machine by another municipality.
Trustee Donald Hackett expressed concern with the idea. “The main concern is our creek, it’s ours, let’s concentrate on that,” he said.
Trustee Terry Parisian questioned if there would be different requirements to use the machine on the river. “We’ve never talked about going out on the Hudson,” Hackett said.
Hackett noted that Malden is in the Town of Saugerties, which helped to purchase the harvester machine.
Deputy Mayor Jeannie Mayer said she believes the village would have to let the town use the harvester and village officials plan to meet with Saugerties Town Supervisor Fred Costello about future plans the harvester.
Water main break on Ferry Street last week
A water main break last Sunday on Ferry Street in the Village of Saugerties caused a 30-foot high geyser to shoot up out of the ground, according to Village Water Superintendent Michael Hopf.
Hopf said Water Department officials got the call for the break around 2 a.m. and when they arrived, they found a two-inch gash in the main at the lowest point on Ferry Street. He said officials were able to isolate the main on the dead-end street and fully repair the break and fill everything back in by 6 a.m. last Sunday.
In other Water Department matters, Hopf encouraged municipal water customers to switch to online billing, as they prepare to switch to new postcard bills in September.
Hopf said so far about 200 water customers have signed up for the new online portal with about 186 people using online billing. He said along with the ability to pay water bills online, the portal offers customers insights into their usage and each bill paid online saves the village $1 in postage and printing costs.
Hopf said those who wish to still receive their bills by mail should be on the lookout for the new postcards next month to make sure they don’t get thrown out with junk mail.
Village Water Department customers who want to sign up for the portal and online billing should visit the village website and scroll down to find water bill.
Village resident says tree lifting sidewalk on his property must go
Gary Rose, who resides at 77 Main Street in the Village of Saugerties, enjoys sitting on his porch and watching people walk or jog by. But that enjoyment has been replaced with some concern, as he has watched several people fall as they try to navigate a section of sidewalk wedged up by the roots of a tree he said is unhealthy and needs to come down.
Rose told the Village Board last Monday he doesn’t want to see anyone get hurt and he added that the responsibility to care for the sidewalk and any liability arising from falls are on him. He said he had Village Department of Public Works Superintendent Richard Forbes stop by and Rose said Forbes agreed with him that the tree needed to come down. “The only way to fix it would be to kill the tree,” Forbes said.
But Rose said the Village’s Tree Commission did not see it that way and blocked him from being able to take down the tree. “It’s great having an opinion without responsibility, that’s not really valid.”
Rose said he doesn’t have anything against trees and he’s even planted several trees on his property, but reiterated that this one just presents too much of a danger and liability.
Village Building Inspector Eyal Saad recommended Rose file an appeal of the Tree Commission’s decision and the trustees agreed they’d take it up at a future meeting. Deputy Mayor Jeannine Mayer said she’d reach out to the Tree Commission to learn more about its decision.
According to village code, if approval is granted, Rose and the village would split the cost of taking down the tree on the condition that Rose gets three bids and takes the lowest bid.