Tusten withdraws petition to upgrade railroad crossing

By JANET NOBLE

NARROWSBURG, NY - The most important news coming out of the December Tusten town board meeting was the decision to withdraw the town’s petition to upgrade the railroad crossing adjacent to Ackerman Road.

A public hearing was held on September 14 before a judge from Albany to discuss the pros and cons of the railroad crossing upgrade-from private to public-which was strongly desired by the developer of the Campfield Flats area. At the time, developer Salvatore Paolillo said he wanted to develop a community called Stone Arch Estates, and needed the upgrade of the crossing to provide adequate access to the lots. He said that his company would absorb the cost of the upgrade. But Tusten officials have since discovered that money had not been formally committed, so the petition to the New York Department of Transportation was withdrawn.

In other news, a public hearing was scheduled for December 26 at 6:00 p.m. to consider a resolution concerning the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention & Building Code. The state has changed the code and, according to code enforcement officer Dave Sparling, this is a good update of the original law. It addresses the storage of hazardous waste, requires more inspections and brings uniformity to the code. As the changes will go into effect on January 1, 2007, the town board must take action on the resolution this month.

In another matter concerning the building department, the board gave Supervisor Ben Johnson authorization to purchase a Business Automation System (BAS) Integrated Property System. This computer program is already in use by other town departments and the program will bring more uniformity within departments. It will cost $6,112, and money from an Upper Delaware Council grant will pay for it.

In the last month, the building department carried out 28 inspections, issued three certificates of occupancy, 14 permits and one stop-work order. It collected $2,310 in fees. All told, the department will have taken in about $25,000 this year. “Even though we’re in a downturn, Tusten rates are attractively low,” Sparling said. “Also, we’re taking care of the little things and they add up.”

Also at the meeting, the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance applied for an extension to their lease on the Tusten Theater to the year 2013. The application was granted.

Ed Jackson asked for and was given tentative approval for “Rally New York” to take place on March 30 and 31 next year. Final authorization depends on the route of the car race, which Jackson will submit next month.

The town’s reorganization meeting will be held on January 8 at 7:00 p.m. At this meeting, yearly appointments for the coming year will be set.

At the end of the meeting, Ben Johnson read a formal tribute from the board honoring Edith Rossler on the occasion of her 100th birthday. As he gave it to her son, Ed Jackson, who will bring it to his mother’s celebration, Johnson quipped, “If she’s 100, Ed, you must be as old dirt.”