Middle School expansion under consideration in Margaretville

By Brian Sweeney
Margaretville Central School officials are considering adding sixth-grade classes to the distict’s Middle School configuration.

Administrators and the board of education are exploring this change as a means of compensating for declining enrollments and to offset reductions in State Aid. The new Middle School concept was presented at a public meeting on March 30.

More than 40 community members and staff attended that meeting to learn more about the proposed Middle School revamping.

Changing roles

Local leaders debate hydrofracking

By Pauline Liu
Some Delaware County town supervisors are going on record on the issue of hydrofracking as the debate over gas-drilling safety heats up statewide.
Hundreds of environmentalists brought renewed attention to the issue Monday as they took to the steps of the state capitol in Albany to protest natural gas drilling.

“You’re either wholly for or it or body and soul against it,” said Middletown Supervisor Len Utter. Not only is Utter in favor of hydraulic fracturing, but he says he’s willing to give it serious consideration as a landowner.

Phoenicia library finds temporary home as they face $100,000 shortfall

By Jay Braman Jr.
Less than one month after a fire destroyed its longtime Main Street location, the Phoenicia Library has miraculously risen from the ashes, maintaining regular hours at a temporary location a couple blocks away.

Water, noise, traffic top Roxbury agenda

By Pauline Liu
The Roxbury Town Board dealt with a cornucopia of issues at its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night held at the Grand Gorge Civic Center.

The Hubbell Corners sewer extension project has been completed and the process now begins to get sewer lines hooked up to area houses. Roxbury Town Supervisor Tom Hynes said that notices have already been sent out to families advising them to get connected to the system.

Lisa Tait named Democrat of the year

By Brian Sweeney
Lisa Tait of New Kingston has named “Democrat of the Year” by the Delaware County Democratic Committee.

Lisa will be honored at the organization’s annual dinner on Saturday, May 21 at Hanah Country Resort in Margaretville.

Former Margaretville priest pursues case against diocese and accuser

By Brian Sweeney
Father Robert Purcell is continuing efforts to clear his name after being dismissed from the ministry by the Roman Catholic Diocese in Albany last month.

Father Purcell was accused of sexual misconduct in an incident that allegedly occurred more than 53 years ago.

The priest, who served 25 years as the pastor of the Sacred Heart Parish in Margaretville until retiring in 2001, has vehemently denied any wrongdoing. He is appealing the decision handed down by the diocese and demanding a reversal.

New assessments out in Town of Middletown

By Pauline Liu
The results of a four-year effort to reassess the value of the 4,400 parcels of property in the Town of Middletown hit the mail last week and not everyone’s happy about it.
Some people felt relief after learning that their property taxes are going to remain the same, or may even be reduced but others, who face tax hikes as the result of new assessments, have already begun meeting with town assessors in hopes of gaining some relief.

Late Haywood Buerge named Hall of Famer

By Jay Braman Jr.
For Dori Buerge, Saturday night’s Hall of Fame Dinner at Belleayre Mountain Ski Center was an event that brought both joy and sorrow.

Her husband Haywood, “Buerge” to his friends, was being honored by joining that prestigious group of inductees to the Belleayre Hall of Fame.

Only Buerge was not there to receive it.
You see, Buerge died three years ago, a victim of a vicious and rapid form of cancer. That cancer stopped his career as a snowmaker at Belleayre, a post he had held since the early 1980s.

Study show plenty of room for growth

By Jay Braman Jr.
A new study suggests that there’s plenty of room for development in the Catskills while still protecting the water and other natural resources.
Findings were released this week in a study called “Private Lands, Public Benefits,” by the Open Space Institute that identifies more than 520,000 acres of privately-owned land without physical impediments, restrictions against development or important open space resources.

Preferred growth

Margaretville gets new mayor, budget

By Pauline Liu
The old phrase, “Everything old is new again” couldn’t be more appropriate than in reference to Margaretville’s new government. In a flurry of activity on Monday night, newly elected Mayor Bill
Stanton was sworn in at the village hall.

It was a job he was very familiar with having served six years in the position before deciding not to run again two years ago. “I’d like to thank you all for holding down the fort for the last two years,” said Mayor Stanton.”

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