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WHIRLING AND TWIRLING — Rides are always a big part of the excitment at the Delaware County Fair in Walton. These brave souls were among the 78,000 visitors who enjoyed the festivities at this year’s fair. Enjoy more photos from the fair in our Features section. — Photo by Dick Sanford

Shandaken Board working to reduce budget expenses

By Jay Braman Jr.
A special session to shave dollars from the Town of Shandaken’s $5 million preliminary budget yielded little results Monday night, but there are some items, including raises for staff and officials, on the chopping block.
Filled with four percent raises for all public officials and non-union employees plus a whopping 18 percent increase for the town’s ambulance squad, the preliminary plan caught attention when first revealed earlier this month, prompting one councilman to note that while this would be a hard winter for town employees it would be harder for taxpayers.


ACS Board votes support for future of ONC BOCES

By Matthew J. Perry
The Andes Central School (ACS) Board of Education passed a resolution last Wednesday voicing support for the continuation of the Otsego Northern Catskills (ONC) Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), which serves Andes as well as the schools in Roxbury, Margaretville and South Kortright.


Roxbury wind project flapping in the breeze

By Julia Green
The wind game remains a waiting game.
When the Roxbury Planning Board convened for its monthly meeting on Wednesday night, their consulting firm LaBella’s representative John Collins began the discussion by reminding the board that the current stages of review do not constitute a formal step in the SEQR process.
He added that the possibility of further studies being conducted arose and that by communicating those possibilities to wind turbine developer Invenergy early would allow them to get started.


Middletown budget shows 6.9% tax hike

By Julia Green
Town of Middletown taxpayers will face a 6.9 percent property tax hike if the town’s preliminary budget is adopted following a public hearing on Nov. 5.
After an Oct. 7 meeting to discuss the tentative 2009 budget, the Middletown Town Board adopted the tentative budget as the preliminary budget at its monthly meeting on Oct. 14. The budget reflects a 6.9 percent tax levy increase, which translates to a $147,324 total tax increase, excluding special districts.
A total budget of $3,277,040 is estimated for Middletown’s general fund and water and lighting districts, with $2,305,216 to be raised by taxes.


Arkville Water District residents hear proposal for system upgrade

By Julia Green
Despite letters being sent to all property owners within the Arkville Water District inviting them to attend a special meeting of the Middletown Town Board regarding proposed upgrades to the water system, the turnout at Thursday’s meeting was less than spectacular.
Fewer than 15 property owners attended the meeting, at which representatives from the New York State Department of Health, Lamont Engineers and the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) were on hand to discuss various aspects of the project.


Andes unveils $2.25 million budget

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By Matthew J. Perry
The Town of Andes presented a preliminary budget for 2009 at a public hearing last week Tuesday.
A figure of $2,253,814 is projected for town’s general fund, highway department, and water, sewer and lighting districts. The fire district budget was not included in the totals.
The town’s tax revenue is expected to increase by approximately five percent. There is one noticeable increase in residents’ fees: 128 customers of Andes Water District #1 will pay $425 in fees per dwelling unit in 2009, a $50 increase over the ’08 budget.


DEC Commissioner says agency is well prepared for a gas rush

By Matthew J. Perry
The New York Assembly Committee of Environmental Conservation held a public hearing in Albany on October 15 to investigate potential impacts of natural gas drilling. Twenty-four witnesses, including high-ranking representatives of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), gas company executives, independent scientists and environmental activists were invited to testify at what became a day-long event.


Community input sought for Middletown Comprehensive Plan

Margaretville — All residents, property owners, civic groups, businesses and government officials are invited and encouraged to participate in a special “planning and visioning” workshop to shape the future of the Town of Middletown. The event will be held on Nov. 1 at the Margaretville Firehall starting promptly at 11 a.m. This is a public planning session and the entire community is encouraged to participate.


DEP position on gas drilling still vague

By Matthew J. Perry
While The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner spoke volumes before the state assembly at an October 15th public hearing in Albany, New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) representative presented the equivalent of a few sound bites.
DEP Deputy Commissioner Paul Rush followed DEC’s Peter Grannis to the microphone and spoke for less than 10 minutes. The questioning period that followed was also brief. Grannis, by comparison, testified for nearly two hours.


Supervisors vote "no" on watershed drill ban

By Matthew J. Perry
By a vote of 17 to 1, the Delaware County Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday for a resolution that pushes against proposals to close the New York City watershed to natural gas drilling.
Supervisors were free-wheeling both in defense of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which regulates drilling, and with criticism for interests that have called recently for moratoriums on gas exploration within the watershed.
“Let the DEC do its job,” said Hamden Supervisor Wayne Marshfield. “We don’t need big bullies like the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) pushing us around. It’s just wrong for one municipality to try to control another. The DEC has been so diligent.”


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