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October 23, 2014
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News in brief


DEP offers emergency relief grants

HARRISBURG, PA — The Department of Environmental Protection has announced emergency funding that will help flood-affected small businesses in 33 counties to make energy efficiency and pollution prevention improvements. Projects eligible for 50-percent reimbursement grants of up to $9,500 could include high-efficiency lighting systems, building insulation, air sealing, recycling and reuse systems and new water-conservation technologies.

“These grants can help small-business owners create something positive, moving forward, out of what had been a disaster,” DEP Secretary Mike Krancer said.

Costs incurred between August 23 and December 31 are eligible for grant consideration. The grant application package contains the materials and instructions necessary for applying. Applications must be postmarked or hand-delivered by 4 p.m. on December 31. Faxes or other electronic submissions will not be accepted.

Grants are available to for-profit small-business owners whose facilities are in counties that were declared eligible for disaster relief by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which includes Pike and Wayne counties. All types of small businesses qualify for funding, including manufacturers, retailers, service providers, mining businesses and agricultural outfits. About $400,000 total is available and comes from the state’s Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act.

Jail inmate found hanged

MONTICELLO, NY — Vincent Leone, 31, an inmate at the Sullivan County Jail, was found hanging in his cell at about 6:15 p.m. on Saturday, October 22. A corrections officer had spoken with him and another inmate at around 6 p.m.
Leone was taken by Mobile Medic to Catskill Regional Medical Center, where he expired. The New York State Commission of Corrections and the sheriff’s internal affairs unit are investigating the death.

In May of this year, Kerry Castello, 45, a fugitive from justice on a warrant from the state of Massachusetts, was also found hanged in his cell, and in June Anthony D’elia, 46, of Bloomingburg, who was being held on a charge of Criminal Contempt in the first degree, was also found hanged.
The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating the suicide.

Residents seek to save post office

KENOZA LAKE, NY — Approximately 35 concerned residents of the Kenoza Lake community met with United States Post Office representative Neal T. Fitzpatrick, from White Plains, at the Kenoza Lake United Methodist Church on Thursday, October 20. The topic was the possible closing of the Kenoza Lake post office.

Fitzpatrick stated that the decline in post office volume was due to the Internet and the use of UPS and FedEx. He said that NetFlix is the third largest user of the post office. He advised residents that the post office could stay open if the gross revenues were in excess of $27,500. That means that if Kenoza Lake residents buy as many of their stamps and other postal needs from the Kenoza Lake post office rather than from other post offices or venues like Walmart, it should help to keep the post office open.

It was also suggested at the meeting that concerned residents write letters to elected officials like Congressman Hinchey and Senators Schumer and Gillibrand.

Kenoza Lake residents impressed upon Fitzpatrick their view
that the Kenoza Lake Post Office is an integral part of Kenoza Lake and the surrounding community, and that its closing would adversely impact affect especially seniors and disabled residents as well as small/medium business owners and religious organizations.

Lackawaxen gets solar panels

LACKAWAXEN, PA — The municipality of Lackawaxen has received $250,000 for solar system panels. The panels will cover a 180-by-80 square-foot area next to the new municipal building on Urban Road, according to supervisor Richard Krochta.

“This is fantastic, to be part of energy that is safe for the environment,” supervisor Brian Stuart said.

The bid was awarded to Spotts and Association, a Pennsylvania-based company. Excavation of the ground has already started for the panels, which will have a charge of 40,000 watts of power.

“We can actually make money at the end of the year with these panels. Whatever power isn’t used on the grid will be returned to us in revenue by PPL. We will sell the reserves back,” Krochta said