Roxbury denies request to take on County sanding

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By Joe Moskowitz
The Roxbury Town Board heard from Highway Superintendent Stephen Schuman that he is going to have to deny a request from Delaware County Public Works Commissioner Wayne Reynolds, who wants the town to sand county roads.
Schuman says the town already plows county routes 8, 36, and 41, but he says sanding would be very difficult. County Route 8, or Scudder Hill Road, is very steep, and county Route 36, or Denver Vega Road, is too far away. In both cases, different trucks than what the town uses for plowing would have to be used and would require multiple trips to fill the trucks with sand.

Unfair to taxpayers
Schuman told the News that he understands why the county wants to save money, but he says it would be unfair to ask Roxbury taxpayers, who are already paying the county to do the work, to also pay the town. He said county Route 41 wouldn’t be a problem because it is flat and very close to where the sand is stored.
In other business, the consolidation of the Margaretville and Middletown-Hardenburgh fire districts moved a step closer to reality Monday night when the Roxbury Town Board, after a brief public hearing, approved the proposal. Roxbury is involved in the consolidation because a portion of Thompson Hollow Road in New Kingston is in the Town of Roxbury and is served by the Middletown-Hardenburgh Fire District.
The Town of Hardenburgh, which also contains part of the fire district, has already approved the consolidation. The Village of Margaretville has voted in favor of the plan several times, most recently in 2010, with village trustee Fred Miller casting the lone dissenting vote. In letters sent to both the Middletown and Roxbury town boards, Miller contends that the consolidation would potentially allow the fire district to increase its taxing authority by as much as $90,000 a year.
The final decision is expected following a Middletown Town Board public hearing on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 6:30 p.m.

Hazard mitigation
The town board unanimously agreed to participate in a countywide, all hazards mitigation plan. Delaware County began working on one in the 1990s. A Disaster Mitigation Act was adopted in 2000. The Roxbury Town Board agreed to an updated plan, which identifies all of the likely trouble spots in all of the hamlets, towns and villages in the county and how to take steps to avoid disasters.
The county planning board, which prepared the plan, says the benefits of mitigation planning include creating a more sustainable and disaster-resistant community, financial savings, focused use of limited resources, reduced damages to human health and reducing repair costs. Additionally, the Federal Emergency Management Administration won’t provide any help following a disaster unless a mitigation plan is updated and approved every five years.