Pine Hill water system is at the freezing point

By Jay Braman Jr.
Don Clark says it’s the lesser of two evils.
The Pine Hill Water District Commissioner is urging users to keep their cold water running round the clock in order to avoid the freeze up of the metal lines that feed homes and businesses, even though most are buried at least four-feet deep underground.
While doing so is sure to increase water bills this month, Clark says that’s less costly than the alternative.

Petition drive started to re-open Key Bank in Phoenicia

By Jay Braman Jr.
With the fate of the Phoenicia Key Bank branch still uncertain following a February 16 fire, a petition is being circulated that should let bank decision makers know where the people of the community stand.
They want their bank back.
And, as it turns out, those signing are not just Key Bank­ers that want to return to the pleasure of banking locally. Its others, who live and bank elsewhere, all across the country, that believe Key’s presence on Main Street is a vital element of Phoenicia’s economy, vibe, and overall health.

Maple syrup season off to a slow start


By Dick Sanford
The maple syrup season is off to anything but a sweet start, according to David Hill of Shaver Hill Maple in Harpersfield. “We’re usually tapped by February 20”, Hill told the News yesterday but so far this year the Hills haven’t tapped a single tree yet. “I think we’ll start in a couple of days”, Hill went on to say, noting that deep snow would make for hard going in the woods. Asked how much snow was on the ground in Harpersfield Hill replied, “too much.”

Building, security upgrades MCS board topics


By Joan Lawrence-Bauer
Margaretville Central School board and staff members met with designers and architects last week to layout plans for a new entrance to the school.
The meeting, which had been scheduled to give community members a chance to weigh in and participate in the design project, drew no visitors. But school board President Terry Johnson spoke for the public after a brief presentation by Robert Proulx of King and King Architects.

Onteora high's revamped school day proposal draws skepticism


By Joan Lawrence-Bauer
A polite but skeptical audience met at the Phoenicia Primary School last Tuesday even­ing for a presentation about changing school day start times for high school students.
The Onteora Board of Education has been discussing later start times for secondary students, using an 8:45 – 9:00 a.m. target. Classes now start at 7:40 a.m. Paul Jenkins, superintendent of the Glens Falls School District, presented information to the OCS community on why and how a similar change was implemented there in 2012.

News announces 2014 Best Service Award winners


The Catskill Mountain News officially announces the winners in its 2014 Best Service Awards contest.
This year’s contest produced a record number of ballots submitted by readers who voted for their top choices in local businesses, organizations and in the public service category.
Following is a list of winners in each category. Our print edition also includes profiles on a number of the businesses that earned prizes in this year’s contest.
Congratulations to our winners and a special thanks for all who took time to submit ballots.

Correction to RCS project story


In a story last week about the repair project for Roxbury Central School, the News stated that taxpayers will be asked for authorization to borrow a little over $1 million. That figure was in error and the exact amount to be borrowed has yet to be determined.
From an original project of $5 million that would have seen $4 million in borrowing, board members have removed project components totaling $750,000. Removing those components will not only reduce the amount to be borrowed, but will also reduce the cost of the borrowing.

Three Shandaken fires keep volunteers hopping


By Jay Braman Jr. and J. Lawrence-Bauer
Any firefighter’s nightmare is having too many blazes to put out at once, but that is just what was happening in Phoenicia Thursday evening when the Phoenicia Fire Department was dispatched to handle the rekindling of the Monday night blaze that damaged Key Bank on Main Street and were called to a dwelling fire that left a school bus driver and her family homeless temporarily homeless.
STARTING OVER — Firefighters were called to douse a rekindle at Key Bank in Phoenicia on Thursday evening. The bank had been heavily damaged by a fire last Monday night. The blaze was ruled accidental. — Photo by Jay Braman Jr.STARTING OVER — Firefighters were called to douse a rekindle at Key Bank in Phoenicia on Thursday evening. The bank had been heavily damaged by a fire last Monday night. The blaze was ruled accidental. — Photo by Jay Braman Jr.

Shandaken town employee charged in illegal vehicle ID case

By Jay Braman Jr.
Pine Hill resident Tracy Longhi was arrested at Shandaken Town Hall last Thursday by New York State Police and charged with illegal possession of a Vehicle Identification Number, otherwise known as a VIN, a class E felony.
The VIN is a traceable number that is used to keep track of all vehicles. It is attached in various locations to cars, trucks and trailers. It is also printed on the registration and inspection stick­ers glued to the windshield.
Troopers had little to say on the matter Monday as they are continuing their investigation.

Flood hazard mitigation applications to be released


By Joan Lawrence-Bauer
The Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC) is expected to make Flood Hazard Mitigation Improvement Program (FHMIP) applications available next week, using a set of rules approved in May 2014 and revised in October of last year.
The rules, as written, contain language excluding projects featuring “structural flood control practices such as flood walls, berms and levees” as well as “stream dredging or channelization,” to the dismay of Margaretville Village officials. But CWC Director of Communications Diane Galusha and Environmental Engineering Special­ist Nathaniel Hendricks, CFM said the program as outlined is not a flood buyout program and will provide a variety of options to individuals and communities.

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