When can we expect a decision?
Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to Joseph Martens, commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The author asked that it be printed here as a letter to the editor.
It has been 10 months since the public hearings regarding the proposed Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park and eight months since the deadline for written comments. We are dismayed that your department has yet to render a decision.
At the January 9, 2014 Town of Middletown Planning Board public hearing, approximately 65 people supported the project, while only four or five opposed it. We feel strongly that the opposition has long engaged in obfuscatory and dilatory tactics to delay this review process, which, going on for 15 years, has been excruciatingly long.
The economy of Fleischmanns and surrounding communities is moribund. Our children quickly leave the area for opportunities elsewhere. As far as tourism is concerned, there are only 800 beds available in all of Delaware County.
We believe the building of an economically and environmentally sustainable Belleayre Resort will provide desperately needed full- and part-time employment and draw tourists into the area. We also believe the proposed hotel, spa, and golf course will not be insular. Guests will want to explore the diverse recreational, cultural, and historical resources indigenous to the Central Catskills Region.
We are aware of the daunting task you have had in digesting all the spoken and written testimony, studies, and technical reposts; however, time is of the essence.
Businesses and professionals have expressed a desire to invest in Fleischmanns. For example: housing, retail shops, restaurants, doctors, attorneys, and more. However, these businesses and people are hesitant to do so unless your department gives approval to begin construction of the Belleayre Resort.
Please, therefore, give us an indication of where the DEC is in the process of this review and when we can expect a decision.
Your consideration and timely response to this communication will be gratefully appreciated.
John N. Hoeko, Chairman, Community Development Committee, Fleischmanns Alliance for Business