July 23, 2008: Eminent domain on bridge is unfair

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To The Editor:
I write concerning the Halcottsville bridge issue. My husband and I have been weekend homeowners in Margaretville for five years and enjoy many of the unique opportunities the Catskills provide.
Our home is small and we have been very grateful to refer our guests to Jim and Susan Kelly to stay at Susan’s Pleasant Pheasant Farm. Our guests have without exception been very pleased with the accommodations and the hospitality Jim and Susan offer, and with the unique historic charm of the inn. We frequently use the boating facilities, and our young nephew and niece look forward to visiting the lake whenever they are in town.
We are very concerned and extremely puzzled by the seeming lack of concern the county has shown toward the nearly 200-year-old inn. This structure, the lake and dam are historic treasures which must be preserved. Surely the county can find a solution to its present plan to rebuild the bridge regardless of the impact that construction might have on the integrity of the inn. Building a second bridge appears to be a viable solution, and we don’t understand why that is not being explored.
Jim Kelly traces his Margaretville roots back five generations, and I believe it was his ancestors who built the original mill so long ago. Between the inn and the canoe/kayak livery, the Kelly’s provide jobs and make a huge contribution to the Delaware County economy. Do people care that this historic structure is threatened? Doesn’t it matter that this unique property and the tax revenues that come from it are being marginalized?
I urge all good citizens to contact the Delaware County Department of Public Works to register your dissatisfaction with this unfair process.

Deborah Finley-Troup,
Hastings-on-Hudson