Middletown handed $8,000 bill for illegal construction dumping

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By Julia Green
Thanks to the illegal dumping of 42 tons of construction and demolition materials at the Middletown Transfer Station, the Town of Middletown has received a bill from the county for $8,000.
At its monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 11, Middletown Town Supervisor Leonard Utter said that the matter will be addressed in executive session with staff members, and that employees are “aware of what happened and when.” He added that, “If employees at the station were monitoring, we wouldn’t have a bill.”
The illegal dumping was a cumulative disposal of several loads and occurred over a period of months, estimated to be between late summer and early fall. To avoid penalty, contractors are required to acquire a dumpster or haul to Walton.
The board discussed and is considering a number of ways to prevent such an incident from occurring again, including a warning on the first offense followed by a suspension or loss of privileges. Board member Mike Finberg also suggested utilizing security cameras to monitor what people are dumping. Finberg, who also serves on the Board of Directors at the Delaware National Bank of Delhi, said he has already engaged in conversation with a company that supplies such surveillance cameras to the bank.
Another point of business was a proposed 51.62-acre land acquisition on Ben Meeker Road by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). In its discussion, the board indicated that it would like to be ensured that the DEP respects all easements and that use of the land by the public as it is currently used for recreational purposes and other uses be continued. The board authorized Utter to sign the proposed document with comments.
The DEP was also on the agenda in relation to its letter to the town concerning the sewer extension project and easements. A letter dated January 7 stated that the city cut funding for any sewer extension; however, the DEP rescinded that letter in its latest communication, stating that, “In light of the village’s commitment to procure necessary easements,” the city could proceed. The board voiced concern regarding the language of the letter, which implied that the village would shoulder the responsibility when the responsibility of the village is in fact simply to support the city. The board indicated that the latest communication was “antithetical to the intent of the agreement.”
In other business, the board approved a request from the highway union asking for a four-day, 10-hour work week schedule and tabled a discussion regarding appointment of a new Fairview Library board member pending clarification that the nominee is in fact a town resident.
The meeting was preceded by a public hearing regarding the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), a flexible grant program that provides communities with resources to address a wide range of community development needs.
The town has been working on obtaining the grant, which would afford them $600,000 to put toward the Arkville Water District. The process is in its preliminary stages, as the CDBG will not be released until August. The Arkville project would allow for a new well and well house and also improvements to deteriorating water lines.