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October 25, 2014
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TRR photo by Fritz Mayer

MONTICELLO, NY — The last commission to examine the Sullivan County Charter was convened in 2005. It met twice a month for two years and ultimately recommended changes to the county.

This process is scheduled to occur every 10 years, so the county legislature is beginning the process of forming a new commission, and the co-chair of the previous commission, Robert Green, met with the legislature to give his input on how the process might play out.

Fracking film gets mixed reviews; Multiple spoiler alerts for ‘Promised Land’

The broad outlines of the film “Promised Land” could have been found in numerous towns in the region in recent times. A landman, in the person of Steve Butler (played by Matt Damon), turns up in a struggling Pennsylvania farm town trying to convince local landowners to sign gas leases.

That might have been an easy task were it not for an outsider environmentalist named Dustin Noble, played by John Krasinski, who turns up to work against Butler’s goal, not to mention the efforts of a local teacher Frank Yates, played by Hal Holbrook.  Read more

Stephan Schick sworn in as judge

At a gathering of members of the Sullivan County legal profession, along with politicians, business people and assorted movers and shakers, Stephan Schick, who served as the executive director of Sullivan County Legal Aid and was a legals aid attorney for nearly 30 years, was sworn in as a New York State Supreme Court Justice for the Third Judicial District, which serves Sullivan County as well as Ulster, Green, Albany, Schoharie, Rensselaer and Columbia.  Read more

Winter storm warning, Sullivan County offices on normal business hours

Monticello, NY:

Sullivan County Manager David Fanslau issued the following statement: "All County Government Offices in Sullivan County will open today for normal business hours. The Commissioner of Public Safety and the Deputy Commissioner of Public Works have reported that all County roads have been treated, and that DPW is presently heading out with another round of salt.

Residents, visitors, and employees are urged to drive with caution, allowing extra travel time to arrive safely at their destination."  Read more

Minisink residents file petition

TOWN OF MINISINK, NY — On December 19, Carolyn Elefant, the lawyer representing Minisink residents, filed a joint petition for review with the DC Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. The community intends to challenge the orders made by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) earlier this month to deny residents’ rehearing request, and to approve Millennium Pipeline’s compressor station proposal as the final order on Minisink’s docket. The commission ruled in an unprecedented 3-2 split.  Read more

PA to consolidate child care services

MILFORD, PA — Jill Gamboni, director of the Pike County Child Care Information Services (CCSI), announced to the Pike County Commissioners that the state is going to consolidate the delivery of child care services for families who need assistance in paying for child care.  Read more

CASA faces sharp budget cuts

ALBANY, NY — Sullivan County’s Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) program faces the possibility of losing $18,000 in funding beginning in April. This is because New York State’s Unified Court System, in its proposed budget for the next fiscal year budget, has dropped funding for CASA programs statewide, a cut of about $800,000.  Read more

Honesdale approves CVS traffic pattern

The Honesdale Borough Council has approved the original traffic pattern plan proposed by CVS engineers. A motion to reject the pattern by council member Harry DeVrieze failed by a 4 to 3 vote. Juanita Pisano and Bob Jennings voted yes with DeVrieze to reject the plan with F.J. Monaghan, James Brennan, Michael Slish and Scott Smith voting no.

“I think there should be a better traffic pattern,” DeVrieze said.  Read more

Town of Delaware to move highway department

Town of Delaware officials on December 19 unanimously adopted a resolution allowing them to move forward with a plan to purchase land for the relocation of the highway department. The estimated cost is $100,000.  Read more

No increase in Berlin Township budget

The Berlin Township Board of Supervisors on December 18 unanimously adopted the 2013 budget with no tax increase. The total millage rate was set at 1.375. A mill is a $1 tax on every $1,000 of a property’s assessed value.  Read more

Lackawaxen launch site argued again; battle is over nonconforming use

Like an angler presenting a dry fly in a favorite Lackawaxen River fishing pool, the town presented its proposed regulations for use to the current owners of the parcel of land known as the Threshman property on the Lackawaxen River. And just like what happens all too often while fly fishing, nothing rose to take the bait.  Read more

Looking back in Pennsylvania in 2012

PENNSYLVANIA — One of the major stories of the year was that the Pike County Commissioners and a local group called “Save Cummins Hill” protested a plan by the Tennessee Pipeline Company to cut through environmentally sensitive land around Cummins Hill Road to lay a 7.1-mile stretch of pipeline as part of the company’s 300 line called the Northeast Upgrade Project (NEUP). The new line will carry gas produced from the Marcellus Shale gas fields in central Pennsylvania to markets in New Jersey and New York.  Read more

Looking back on NY 2012

NEW YORK STATE — In Sullivan County, 2012 started out with six newly elected legislators out of a total of nine. The newcomers came in looking to make changes, and one of the first shake-ups was they wanted to put the tourism contract out to bid, after the contract had been awarded to the Sullivan County Visitors Association (SCVA) every year for a decade.  Read more

NY ag commissioner visits Sullivan

“I think the assets you have here, and the focus that’s being brought to agriculture, and the fact—and it’s not a fad—that people want to know where their food is coming today; they want to know how it’s produced, where it’s produced, who is producing it, and how it got from the farm to their dinner plate. People read labels today. And that puts Sullivan County, I believe, in a very unique position to be able to fill a lot of the niche markets that are out there for local food, to one of the largest marketplaces in the world.”  Read more

Grants for Discovery Center, three river projects; Narrowsburg waterfront among funding recipients

ALBANY, NY — Awards for the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council were announced on December 19, and a significant amount of funding was targeted to Sullivan and Orange counties. Most significantly, the Center for Discovery will receive $2.5 million toward a $42 million project.

Another project that will benefit from the awards is the waterfront development in Narrowsburg, which in the announcement by the council is still called the Big Eddy Esplanade project. It will receive $106,400.  Read more

Sullivan tax increase 8.9%; cuts to outside agencies, vacant positions

After spending much of the day negotiating cuts to the final Sullivan County budget for 2013, at about 9 p.m., the legislature voted to adopt a budget that comes with an 8.9% tax increase. That’s down from the tentative budget that was adopted on November 1, which called for an increase of about 13.77%.  Read more

Monticello woman arrested for sale of prescription drugs

Holly Huebsch, 43, of Monticello, has been arrested by the New York State Police at Liberty after an investigation into the theft of prescription pain killers from the Family Drug Store located on Broadway in the village of Monticello. The arrest was made on December 11.

The investigation determined that Huebsch, an employee of the store, was stealing the drugs over the course of the past several months and then selling them.  Read more

Tax increase for Wayne County

The Wayne County Commissioners are proposing the new 2013 budget that will carry a 4% hike in property taxes. The commissioners expect to adopt the new budget at their final meeting on December 27.

The current 2012 budget saw a decrease of 1.16% from the previous year. There was no increase in property taxes in the 2012 budget. The millage rate has not increased since 2009.  Read more

Wine festival in Hawley nixed

The food and wine festival proposed to be held in Hawley has been nixed because a majority of the Hawley Borough council thought it was not a good fit for the town. The council vote four to three on December 12 that the event would not go forward.

Opponents said they were concerned with liability issues with allowing alcohol to be consumed in a public park should something go wrong.  Read more

Job Corps student arrested for terroristic threat

Patrick Milliken, 20, was arrested on December 16 for making a “terroristic threat” at the Delaware Valley Job Corps (DVJC) in Callicoon, where he is a student. According to a release from the Sullivan County Sheriff’s office, officials at the DVJC called police and said that Milliken had threatened to go to his home in Newburgh, obtain a gun, return to the facility and “shoot the place up.”  Read more

Gillibrand pushes credit union change

After the Great Recession hit the economy in 2008, commercial lenders became much more cautious about lending money, especially to small businesses. Since then, the economy has recovered a bit, but the credit crunch for small businesses continues.  Read more