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February 01, 2015
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TRR photo by Fritz Mayer

MONTICELLO, NY — A visitor to the Sullivan County Legislature showed lawmakers a map of the world at a meeting of the agricultural and sustainability committee on January 15. The map showed which areas are likely to be most negatively affected by climate change. The impact on the Catskills is going to be much less than other areas.

UDC comments on DEC’s gas drilling plan

NARROWSBURG, NY — The Project Review Committee of the Upper Delaware Council (UDC) on Tuesday unanimously approved a draft of a letter to be sent to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regarding its SGEIS on natural gas drilling in New York. A previous draft had failed to pass the council as a whole at its last meeting earlier in the month.  Read more

PA car charging stations get grant

HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has announced a $1 million grant award to help develop electric vehicle infrastructure on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The grant recipient, Car Charging Group, Inc., will install charging stations at 17 turnpike service plazas.  Read more

Farmers can get flood relief

WALTON, NY — Flood relief funding is currently available for Catskill region farmers through the Raise the Roof Donation Fund. These are small grants available to farms that suffered flood damage or product loss during Hurricane Irene and/or Tropical Storm Lee. A first round of $15,000 in funding has been completed. The second round of funding is open between December 15 and January 15, 2012. Applications can be obtained from the Scholarships & Grants section of the Pure Catskills webpage online at www.purecatskills.com, or by contacting Challey Comer at ccomer@nycwatershed.org or 607/865-7090.  Read more

Delaware Basin Conservation Act passes committee

WASHINGTON, DC — The Delaware River Basin Conservation Act of 2011, federal legislation to help protect the Delaware River Basin, has passed the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. A companion bill is still in committee in the House of Representatives.  Read more

Highland honors highway super

With expressions of mutual respect and gratitude, the Town of Highland honored its retiring highway superintendent, Norman Sutherland, at its monthly meeting on December 13. Town supervisor Andrew Boyar roasted Sutherland at the meeting’s end with a series of gag gifts and a humorous account of Sutherland’s history and successful service to the town.  Read more

Two activists receive Gadfly awards

In a bit of end-of-the-term merriment, the Sullivan County Legislature bestowed Gadfly awards on two county residents whose activism in certain areas led to significant changes. One award went to Dave Colavito, who was instrumental in tightening and expanding disclosure requirements that county legislators and other officials must adhere to.  Read more

Christmas in the Mountains

MONGAUP VALLEY — This scene from Santa’s Village reflects not only the festive atmosphere of the holiday season but also the spirit of giving that is a large part of the celebration. Last weekend, for the third year in a row, David Dunlap of Hilltop Homes, helped by volunteers from the community, pulled together Santa’s Village for a two-day, where children and adults alike marveled at the many lights and displays, and donated gifts to Toys for Tots. For more on the event, go to Jonathan Fox’s column http://www.riverreporteronline.com/column/my-humble-opinion/15/2011/12/2...

Burned building to be demolished

The Town of Bethel, which has been more aggressive than most in Sullivan County when it comes to clearing away eye-sore buildings, took another step in that direction when a public hearing was set for January 4 over the demolition of a building in Swan Lake.  Read more

Hunter’s friends turn him in

A resident of Long Island has been issued two summonses for illegally taking wildlife in the Town of Tusten.  Read more

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