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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
“We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to Dick for his wisdom, foresight and unrelenting determination in spearheading the establishment of special protection waters standards for the Delaware River during a pivotal time in the river’s history,” said Sean McGuiness. “It’s ironic that we’re in another pivotal time,” he added, a reference to the gas drilling issue. Read more
The Town of Highland recently completed a draft rewrite of its comprehensive plan following a lengthy process that included 16 working sessions open to the public, as well as four community-wide visioning sessions. Members of the Comprehensive Plan Task Force, which was established in April 2007, presented the draft to town supervisor Andrew Boyar at the town meeting on October 11. Read more
Building collapse injures workers
LIBERTY, NY — A gas station which was being rebuilt on North Main Street in Liberty collapsed on October 15, trapping two workers. A majority of the roof substructure and several new trusses caved in during a period of strong winds.
Liberty police, along with the Liberty Fire Department, the Monticello Fire Department Trench Rescue Team and the Mechanics Town and Goshen collapse teams, the New York State Police, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Department and MobileMedic all responded to the collapse.
Cora Edwards, who is running for a seat on the Sullivan County Legislature, has a page on the Liberty Democrats website that says, “Cora has successfully brought hundreds of thousands of grant dollars to Sullivan County.” Listed below that are four grants that Edwards says she worked on, including one that brought a broadband project to the county. Read more
In the ongoing battle between the Town of Bethel and property owners Roy Howard and Jeryl Abramson, the latest round goes to the town. At a town meeting on October 12, town supervisor Dan Sturm announced that State Supreme Court Justice Christopher Cahill ruled against the couple, and said they violated a consent decree. Read more