July 16, 2008: Historic landmark needs to be saved

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To The Editor:
The Old Mill House in Halcottsville, currently known as Susan’s Pleasant Pheasant Farm, is an historical landmark that has been the centerpiece of this lovely village for decades. Having lived in Bragg Hollow with our family full time for 22 years, and for an additional 15 years as a weekender, I have driven past this captivating piece of property countless numbers of times. Seeing the Old Mill House with its adjacent waterfall and the beautiful willow tree in the middle of the lake, as I cross the bridge, is always an uplifting experience.
The years have taken its toll on the bridge and it is now time for it to be replaced. The safety and welfare of all individuals living on the Bragg Hollow side of the bridge are inextricably connected to the soundness and strength of this structure.
What is disturbing to me about the proceedings that have taken place enroute to the bridge’s replacement is that we appear to be heading towards a final outcome where we will get our new bridge, but are in real danger of losing this historical building that is an integral part of the culture and beauty of the Village of Halcottsville.
Is it necessary for us to lose one in order to gain the other? Or is it possible, for the sake of the many people, both near and far, who love this village, to have a new bridge without the risk of suffering such a great loss? It appears from what I have read and heard from others that win-win options do exist like, for example, building the new bridge slightly downstream from its current footprint.
It is the responsibility of our elected and appointed officials to find a solution, within proper fiscal parameters, that results in the best possible outcome for the people they are sworn to serve. In the Village of Halcottsville, that translates into a solution that preserves and maintains both our cultural heritage as well as our safety.

Jerry D’Alto,
Halcottsville