PIKE COUNTY, PA — For the fourth year in a row, the Pike County budget has no increase in property taxes.
The total receipts and balance will stand at $47,502,869. The millage stands at 16.29.
“We are in very good shape financially,” said Commissioner Karl Wagner. “We are seeing neighboring counties like Monroe increasing the millage by four mills. We were able to carry over $1.3 million from last year which we did not spend. Many counties are losing or lessening their pension fund. We are not. We set aside one quarter of a mill for debt service. It’s unprecedented.” Read more
ALBANY, NY — Governor Andrew Cuomo wanted to change the way economic development was pursued in the state, so he created 10 Regional Economic Development Councils, which all competed for $785 million through an application process. The 720 projects that won grants from all 10 regions were announced on December 8. Read more
Sullivan Alliance for Sustainable Development (SASD) has been providing consulting services to Sullivan County for the past year, but the cost of the contract for 2012, about $45,000, was not included in the tentative budget produced by county manager David Fanslau. Read more
While this lovely scene transpired during Hawley’s Winterfest last weekend, seasonal events continue to abound throughout the Upper Delaware River region as the holiday season moves along. Check out what’s happening on our Arts & Leisure section and in Where and When. Please remember to make every effort to support local vendors with your holiday shopping.
Anyone looking for detailed information about Governor Andrew Cuomo’s new tax plan could have learned a lot from the lengthy and complex presentation given by Frank Mauro, the executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute. Mauro spoke at a meeting called Forum on Tax Relief and Reform at the Hurleyville Firehouse on December 12. Read more
“No one wants drilling in Lumberland,” Catskill Farms developer Charles Petersheim told a standing-room-only crowd at the Lumberland Town Hall on December 12. Judging by the multitude of comments delivered at the Town of Lumberland’s public hearing on its proposed zoning re-write, opposition to natural gas extraction and the industrialization that accompanies it is undeniably strong. Read more
PAVILLION, WY — For years, the gas drilling industry has been adamant that there’s never been an incident in which it was proved that hydraulic fracturing has caused contamination in ground water. Perhaps that is why the drilling industry and its supporters have pushed back so forcefully against a draft report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), released on December 8, which links fracking and groundwater contamination in Pavillion, WY. Read more
In the spirit of generosity that characterizes the holiday season, an anonymous donor has given Dessin Animal Shelter in Honesdale a gift of $5,000 to support its Spay/Neuter Program for cats and kittens. “She approached us to help curb overpopulation, which is especially abundant in felines, and thought this would be a perfect time of year to ‘give back’ to the community,” said executive director Dara Coslett Granza. Read more
Now that developer Ilwon Kang is out of the picture for good, members of the community and the school board are once again discussing the future of the Narrowsburg School building. The board of the Sullivan West Central School district would very much like to sell the building and the 14 acres of land across the street. They have issued a request for proposals to real estate professionals to actively market the building, and will select a realtor on December 22. Read more
The position of the National Park Service on the proposed Roseland power line has been misinterpreted in the press, according to Bob Karotko, former deputy superintendent of the Delaware Water Gap National Recreational Area (DWGNRA), who retired on December 3.
The remark came after the release of the DWGNRA’s draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) on the proposed line. Read more
A law championed by State Senator John Bonacic dictates that at least 85% of revenues raised from county room taxes go toward the promotion of tourism in the county. Last year, the Sullivan County Legislature decided to grant the entire 100% of the revenues to the Sullivan County Visitors Association (SCVA), believing that it would provide a good return on investment. Read more
For the past 22 years, William Douglass has seen the River Management Plan (RMP) put to the test time and again. The executive director of the Upper Delaware Council (UDC), who announced his retirement effective January 1 at the council’s monthly meeting on December 1, got to see the process play out once again as members weighed in on a draft comment letter to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on its draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement. Read more
NORTHEAST REGION — The deadline to comment on the environmental assessment (EA) prepared by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for the Northeast Upgrade Project (NUP) proposed by Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company (TGP) is quickly approaching on December 21. The EA assesses the potential environmental effects of the construction and operation of the project in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Read more
The building that for generations housed Heinle’s General Store is getting a makeover, and already has been enlarged to what seems like twice its former size. The building has been purchased by Nick and Laura Santana, who also own the complex of shops known as the Narrowsburg Mews. Read more
WASHINGTON, DC — Rep. Tom Marino, PA-10, on December 2 said the decline in the national unemployment rate is welcome news but expressed concern about the hidden message behind the report. Marino acknowledged the national unemployment rate had dropped to 8.6 percent in November but said the mounting despair among Americans is most troubling. Read more