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April 02, 2015
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MONTICELLO, NY — Judging by the experts invited to address them, the members of the Sullivan County Charter Review Commission seem especially interested in exploring the differences between the form of government Sullivan County has—an elected legislature with an appointed county manager—and the form some other counties have, which is an elected legislature and an elected county executive.

DEP seeks use of natural gas well brines on secondary road systems

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has proposed an amendment to and renewal of its permit authorizing the use of natural gas well brines on state roadways and is seeking public comment by November 16.  Read more

Winter Storm Warning from 8:00 AM Saturday through 2:00 AM Sunday morning

Sullivan County Manager David Fanslau has issued a Winter Storm Warning through 8:00 AM Saturday through 2:00 AM morning: Fanslau said, “The National Weather Service in Binghamton has issued a Winter Storm Warning, for a snow storm that will come into Sullivan County with heavy snow potential (total of 6 to 10 inches with up to 12 inches in the highest elevations of the Catskills).  Read more

Will Sullivan lawmakers override tax cap?

Sullivan County lawmaker Jodi Goodman, who is chair of the budget committee, released a letter on October 21, requesting that county manager David Fanslau create a tentative budget that stays within the new property tax cap increase imposed by Albany of 2%. That came two days after she said it was too early to tell what would happen with the tax cap.  Read more

Will gas drilling turn any elections?

While there are many issues facing elected officials this year, including in New York the reality of the newly imposed two percent property tax cap and reduced municipal revenues from taxes and other sources, the issue that stands out most is gas drilling: are you for or against, and where do you stand?  Read more

Damascus campaign pits Joe Canfield against Dolores Keesler

The campaign that pits resident Dolores Keesler against incumbent supervisor Joe Canfield is generating a lot of heat and energy in Damascus Township.  Read more

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.  Read more

Cochecton appoints zoning committee

The major topic of discussion at the Cochecton town meeting on October 12 was the proposed Cochecton Zoning Advisory Committee, whose primary mission will be to advise the town on what should be done about hydraulic fracturing. With little conversation about it, the board voted to create the committee.  Read more

Two river towns’ budgets stay same

There will be no increases in taxes in two river towns in Pennsylvania. In Shohola, millage remains the same as last year at 9.25 mills from the council and 1.75 mills from the fire company. In Damascus, the millage remains unchanged from last year’s total of 2.15.  Read more

Lumberland receives Pond Eddy bridge painting

George Sosnowski, left, unveiled his painting of the historic Pond Eddy Bridge, which he has generously donated to the Lumberland Town Museum. The painting was presented at the town meeting on October 12 and accepted by museum director and town historian Frank Schwarz, at right, above. “The Pond Eddy Bridge has been a very important link for the Town of Lumberland going back to about 1870,” said Schwarz.  Read more

Hinchey asks for information on drilling and mortgages

Congressman Maurice Hinchey has written to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) asking that they examine mortgage rules as they relate to gas drilling and the signing of gas leases.

The request came after a story in The New York Times reported that banks and real estate executives, especially in New York, are refusing to offer mortgages on properties that have gas leases attached to them. The report, published on October 19, said at least eight banks are now following this policy.  Read more

Is this sign illegal? Thompson officials say it might be

The Culligans, who live on Route 42 across the street from the Monticello Motor Club, are not shy about letting anyone know that they do not appreciate the noise from the motors on some of the beefy cars that traverse the winding roads of the club.
So, like several of their neighbors, they put up a sign on their lawn that reads “Stop the noise.” That first one, which was stuck in the ground, was stolen. And so was the one that followed.  Read more

Private well survey and database planned in PA

In preparation for natural gas extraction and its potential impacts and opportunities, a session on methane migration was hosted by the Wayne County Oil and Gas Task Force on October 18 in Honesdale.

During his presentation, licensed professional geologist Brian Oram announced that a private well owner and watershed survey would be conducted to obtain information on regional concerns related to development of the Marcellus Shale.  Read more

Tusten highway candidate charges opponent with wrongdoing

Glenn Swendsen, who is running for the position of highway superintendent in the Town of Tusten, provided several pictures of newly resurfaced driveways in the Flats that he said were done using town materials and manpower in violation of rules.

Highway superintendent George Kinch said he may have gone a “little too far” with the resurfacing of the area where the driveways meet the town roads, but he said, “It’s not as if I was out there buying votes.”  Read more

Sullivan legislators tighten disclosure rules

Sullivan County lawmakers voted unanimously to make their disclosure rules significantly stronger. A resolution, passed at a meeting at the government center on October 20, requires that about 120 elected and appointed officials, along with the yearly financial disclosure, must disclose when any client they have is going to be helped or harmed by an upcoming vote.  Read more

Hamlet of Callicoon gets highest award

Glenn Pontier, program director of Sullivan Renaissance, came to the Town of Delaware Board meeting on October 19 to praise the members of the hamlet of Callicoon for their inventiveness and creativity in winning the Sullivan Renaissance Golden Feather Award for 2011, the highest award given by the community beautification group.

Only one Golden Feather Award is made each year. The award comes with a gift of $25,000 that the group can spend on future projects.  Read more

Unwanted drugs to be collected by Pike sheriff

Pike County Sheriff Phil Bueki has arranged a time when unwanted and unused prescription drugs will be collected—no questions asked.  Read more

Lackawaxen crossing nears completion; PCCD concerned about ‘slow restoration’

PIKE COUNTY, PA — The controversial “wet crossing” of the Lackawaxen River began last week following ongoing delays due to unusual amounts of rainfall and hurricane impacts in the region. The crossing is nearing completion as crews from Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) and its contractor, Henkels and McCoy, work to fill the 15-foot-deep trench excavated during the ongoing expansion of TGP’s 300 Line Project.  Read more

Pig Mountain packs ‘em in

Despite the wind and intermittent rain, about 240 people came to the Pig Mountain event on October 15, held at Bridle Hill Farm on Hemmer Road in Jeffersonville. The event featured four chefs from New York City, preparing eight hogs.  Read more

Many Wayne County dairy farmers still hurting

Dairy farmer Joe Davitt, a third-generation Waymart dairy farmer, is having a rough year, like many other area dairy farmers. “The weather since the spring, with nearly 60 inches of rain, killed us,” he said. “We couldn’t plant as much as we wanted and we didn’t get nearly enough hay cut.”  Read more

Occupy Monticello, briefly

The Occupy Wall Street movement, which has now been going on for more than a month, received support from some local groups who held a demonstration in front of the post office on Broadway in Monticello on October 11.  Read more