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August 29, 2014
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ELDRED, NY — Forty-five years ago this month, Woodstock descended on Max Yasgur’s farm in Bethel and Sullivan County has never been quite the same since.

An error correction or a zoning change? Proposed site for scrap metal processor

The six lots on 39 acres adjacent to Route 17 at exit 99 are at the heart of a controversy in the Town of Liberty. In 2006, the Town of Liberty, together with the Village of Liberty, began the process of creating a joint comprehensive plan. In 2008, the committee working on the plan produced a map in which it was proposed, among many other things, that the zoning of the parcel be changed from industrial commercial (IC) to residential.  Read more

Sullivan lawmakers nix their own budget; money for environmental group axed

In a surprising move, the Sullivan County Legislature voted six to three on December 15 to reject the budget they have spent months working on. The legislators did not come up with a new budget by December 20; therefore the tentative budget, which was submitted by county manager David Fanslau on November 16, automatically became the adopted budget.  Read more

Hinchey bill would avert rural PO closures

WASHINGTON, DC — Congressman Maurice Hinchey has joined several of his U.S. House colleagues in introducing the Postal Service Protection Act, legislation designed to alleviate the U.S. Postal Service’s (USPS) immediate financial crisis and prevent the layoff of thousands of USPS employees nationwide.  Read more

Helicopter, thermal retrieve lost hunter

A hunter lost near Puckyhuddle Rd. in Bethel on Saturday, December 10 was found with the help of modern technology.
The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call of a lost hunter in the Town of Bethel on at approximately 7 p.m.  Read more

Wayne budget holds the line

WAYNE COUNTY, PA — The 2012 budget recently approved by the Wayne County Commissioners will require no increase in taxes despite declines in funding available from the state and federal governments. The balance is achieved by cutting costs by 1.16%.  Read more

Pike budget: no increase for fourth year

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

Shohola passes 2012 budget

The Shohola Township Board of Supervisors passed its new budget on December 8 with no increase in property taxes. The vote was unanimous. “There were no cuts in personnel nor in services again this year,” said George Fluhr, chairman.  Read more

Cuomo’s grant awards announced; Sullivan gets $1.7 million

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

Sustainability group granted partial funding; SASD presents roadmap for county climate plan

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

Winterfest one of many regional holiday marvels

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.

Progressive versus regressive and tax exempts; New York State tax policy discussed

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

Lumberland debates new zoning; drilling and development key issues

“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

Gas industry rips EPA study; report links fracking to groundwater contamination

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

Retirement request a surprise

Members of the public who attended the Eldred Central School (ECS) Board of Education meeting on December 8 were surprised to learn that George Ross Mackenzie Elementary School principal Kathryn Ryan has requested early retirement effective December 31.  Read more

Dessin donor delivers $5,000

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

Schooling for the school; repositioning for agriculture, arts, high tech and lodging?

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

NPS takes no stand on PPL route; three public hearings planned for Water Gap powerline

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

Highlights open house—a yearly tradition

For over 20 years during Christmas time, Highlights for Children has been holding an holiday open house for children and adults at its home on Eighth and Church Street.  Read more

Tourism CEO explains where the money goes

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

UDC grapples with comments on NYS draft SGEIS, Executive director Douglass to retire

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