Shandaken town board jeopardizes sewer plan

By Jay Braman Jr.
Claiming to not have enough information to make a decision, the Shandaken Town Board on Tuesday tabled the resolution to move the Phoenicia sewer project forward, but this time it may have put the final nail in the coffin of the beleaguered plan.

By not passing a resolution to hold a public hearing on whether or not to create a Phoenicia sewer district, the town board will not meet contractual deadlines with the City of New York, which has allocated millions of dollars to build a system for the hamlet.

At a special meeting Tuesday afternoon, Supervisor Rob Stanley explained that the vote was tabled with the knowledge that deadlines would not be met. Regardless, he will make an appeal to the City for a deadline extension.

After the meeting Alan Rosa, the executive director of the Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC), said that because the board did not vote to move ahead, the CWC is no longer involved with the project.

“We were asked to help them establish a sewer district and they have not done that, so we are done,” he said.

At this point the City of New York has the right to take back the $17.2 million it gave Phoenicia and use that money elsewhere.

Furthermore, those in Phoenicia may be up a creek without a paddle when it comes to septic trouble.

Because it was earmarked for a sewer system, Phoenicia was not included in the CWC’s popular septic system repair program, which funds the replacement of old cesspools for homeowners throughout the Watershed. Such replacements can run upwards of $20,000.