Up in Smoke

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Part of the VW Parts Inc. complex at the intersection of Wagner Avenue and Main Street, Fleischmanns went up in flames late Tuesday afternoon. More photos in our front page story.— Photo by Brian Sweeney

State to wield budget ax on Belleayre

By Jay Braman Jr.
State-owned Belleayre Mountain Ski Center might suffer the budget ax this year, experiencing severe cuts to its 2008-2009 ski season operations. Employees, skiers, local business owners and the leadership of the Coalition to Save Belleayre have been scrambling since Friday trying to find out how bad it will be for the mountain come winter.


Judge tosses out lawsuit by Crossroads resort foes

By Jay Braman Jr.
Crossroads Ventures officials announced this week that they were “elated” by the recent court ruling to dismiss a lawsuit that challenged the 2007 Agreement in Principle that is, in effect, the blueprint for the latest version of the Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park.
But the people who filed that lawsuit said Saturday that they are not ready to give up.
State Supreme Court Justice Gerald Connolly dismissed the suit Wednesday, noting an environmental review of the project still is under way and permits for the project have not been issued.


Margaretville Comprehensive Plan now available for public inspection

After months of work, committee meetings and community input, the Comprehensive Land Use and Action Plan is ready for public review before being submitted to the Margaretville Village Board for approval.
The Comprehensive Plan Committee, working with Ann Ruzow Holland, community plan advisor, and Delaware County Senior Planner Kent Manuel, has completed its outline, consisting of five chapters starting with a brief history of Margaretville. The plan then goes on to talk about the village’s economy and community amenities, land use and natural resources, transportation and public facilities, and next steps.


Delaware River Basin Comm. weighs in on gas drilling issue

By Matthew J. Perry
In one sense, the anticipated natural gas rush is yet another discussion of water rights. Hyrdrofracking, a recent technological advance that has helped to make the Marcellus and other shale formations into viable targets of exploration, requires millions of gallons of potable water.


Mt. Tremper man charged with illegal stream digging

By Jay Braman Jr.
A Mount Tremper man is free on $5,000 bail after being arrested for working in the Esopus Creek with a backhoe.
Algernon Reese was arrested last Wednesday after a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEP) Police Officer responded to a complaint that Reese was working in the stream with equipment and a crew of workers. He was charged with the misdemeanors of obstructing governmental administration, disturbing a protected stream and violating a general prohibition against pollution.


Shandaken mulls major cuts in 2009 town spending plan

By Jay Braman Jr.
The Shandaken Town Board met in a special session last Monday to begin work on the 2009 budget. And from the sound of it, everything is on the table when it comes to possible spending cuts.
The informal session, which was sparsely attended, saw the board members seated at a table scrutinizing the current figures in the budget in an attempt to find places to save money.
Right off the bat there was disagreement over how brutal the cutting should be. Supervisor Peter DiSclafani, who recently favored no raises in 2009, said that all non-union salaries should increase four percent next year. He changed his mind, he said, because energy costs have risen so high that it’s going to be tough for workers to make ends meet.


DEC talks drilling to Delaware County supervisors

By Matthew J. Perry
Two members of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) appeared in Delhi on August 20 before the Delaware County Board of Supervisors to provide an overview of natural gas drilling and persuade those present that the DEC is ready to deal with a rush of speculation.
State Assemblyman Clifford Crouch, also in attendance, was active in the discussion that followed the DEC presentation, explaining positions of state lawmakers and fielding questions from supervisors who expressed both curiosity and skepticism concerning Albany’s oversight of local issues.


Buck stops here: Family Dollar not coming to village quite yet

By Julia Green
Don’t pull out your dollars just yet: the Family Dollar chain store initially planned for the property adjacent to the Margaretville Post Office isn’t setting up shop in Margaretville quite yet.
“We as a company just elected not to build there,” said Tom Nash, senior vice president for real estate, in an interview. “We re-evaluated the market area and felt that that particular location did not meet our criteria.” Nash said that he doesn’t know if the company will be exploring options to build a retail location anywhere in the Delaware County area.


Drilling opposition group shows film to spark debate

By Matthew J. Perry
Despite the fact that drilling for natural gas is months away, if not years, debate is now concentrating on whether New Yorkers can get their gas—assuming the Marcellus Shale is indeed filled with it—at a cost the land can sustain. Meanwhile, disturbing reports from the west, where shale plays have been underway for several years, have stoked fears of wells on tightly-spaced units and the creation of an industrial zone in the Catskills.


Roxbury Planning Board awaiting turbine reviews

By Julia Green
Roxbury Planning Board Chairman Joe Farleigh said Wednesday he believes that things are “in pretty good shape at this point” in terms of the wind turbine application process during the town’s monthly planning board meeting, adding that he believes the public comments submitted during the SEQR process were “quite inclusive” and doesn’t suppose anything has been left out.
The comments received during the public hearing phase of the process in response to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) are still in the hands of LaBella Associates, the primary technical consultant being solicited by the planning board, as the planning board awaits feedback in order to proceed with the drafting of the Final Environmental Impact State-ment.


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