Middletown sets flood law hearing

By Pauline Liu
The Town of Middletown is preparing to hold a public hearing on flood law and damage prevention before the regularly scheduled monthly town board meeting on Tuesday, March 13 at 7 p.m. at town hall.

Since the town participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, it is being asked to update the current flood law as well as its Flood Insurance Rate Maps to identify the areas with the greatest risk of flooding.

Step in the process
Pat Davis, who is the code enforcement officer for Middletown, Margaretville and Fleischmanns explained to the News that once the draft flood law and proposed flood maps are approved, they will be sent to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
“DEC has to report to FEMA and that keeps the municipalities eligible for flood insurance,” said Davis. 

Davis also gave his report on the building and zoning permits for 2011. “It was a slower year than the last two,” said Davis. “We’ve seen a surge at the end of the year because of repair work from flood damage, which brought the number of building permits closer to those of previous years,” he added

In light of the resignation of Mike Boice as deputy code enforcement officer, the town board discussed the appointment of Billy Allison as his replacement. Since Allison is a resident of Roxbury, the town board will have to change the law to specify that the deputy code enforcement officer must live in the Town of Middletown.

The current law states that the deputy must live within the town limits. Allison is a certified New York State building inspector, who is the building rehabilitation specialist for the MARK Project. He is also the new code enforcement officer for the Town of Halcott. 

Appointments made
Town Supervisor Marge Miller announced the Flood Commission appointments. Miller, Davis and Highway Superintendent John Biruk will serve on the commission and Town Board Member Jake Rosa has agreed to serve as the supervisor’s alternate. Planning Board Member Susanna Finch will also serve on the commission with John T. Nolan Jr. as alternate.

The town board discussed the Fariview Public Library in Margaretville. Four people have recently resigned from the nine-member board of trustees. Their resignations were accepted by the board. They are Jessica Olenych, Jane Miller, Cassie Palen and Barbara Atkin. The board re-appointed Ingrid van der Leeden. It also appointed four new trustees. They are Marc Osterweil, Tony Ruiz, Rebecca Saunders and Lucy Straut.

Board resignations
Supervisor Miller, who is the librarian at the Bovina Public Library, told the News that she is concerned because the library will lose two more key people next month. One of them is Library Director Diana Cope, who has held the position for more than three years.

“I have very much enjoyed my tenure as the director and I am proud of the work I have done there,” wrote Cope in an e-mail. “I automated the library with the help of wonderful volunteers in 2011, but what I am most proud of is creating a positive and welcoming environment to all of our patrons and visitors. I will miss them all.” Her last day on the job is March 2.

According to Miller, the town provides the library with $12,500 in funding annually and she would like the town board to work more closely with the library board.

She also explained that she doesn’t know any of the new appointees to the library board because they are not locals. She asks that they stop in to say, “Hi,” so she can get to know them.