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Yasgur’s Farm gets noise permit; smoke in the sewer

Yasgur’s Farm on Route 17B in Bethel, NY will be the site of a Woodstock Reunion event this year.
TRR photo by Fritz Mayer

By Fritz Mayer
May 1, 2013

In addressing perhaps the last hurdle to Woodstock Reunion this summer, the Bethel Town Board voted to grant a noise permit to Yasgur Road Productions. However, perhaps mindful that at previous reunion events the loud music reportedly upset the dairy cows next door, which are owned by former supervisor Harold Russell, the planning board attached some conditions to the permit. Supervisor Dan Sturm read the conditions, “The speakers and amplified music shall be turned away from adjoining residences, and agricultural buildings, and shall be angled toward the ground.”

The property, which was owned by Roy Howard, who passed away in January, and Jeryl Abramson, has been the site of numerous Woodstock Reunion events. But they were controversial and sparked a sustained and public legal battle between the owners and the town. Eventually, the town won and put a halt to the event.

Asked why the situation seems to be moving along smoothly this year, Sturm said it’s because the owner of the property applied for the proper permits through the planning board. He said he believes the event can be positive for the town, and provide a few jobs.

The event is scheduled for August 16 through 19 and the permit allows for up to 900 cars and 3,000 campers.

Smoke in the sewer

Also at the meeting, Steve Grimm, a wastewater technician with the New York Rural Water Association, said it was time for the Kauneonga Lake sewer system to be put to the test with a technique called Liquid Smoke Testing. During the process, smoke and air are forced into sections of the sewer line, and seep up through the ground at any location where there is a fault in the system.

The faults need to be addressed because they allow rainwater and other clean water to get into the system, which increases the cost of operating the sewer system. Grimm said a campaign to let the sewer users know the testing is coming is very important because it’s possible that the smoke will appear inside people’s homes if there is a problem with individual hook-ups.

He said this can anger some people, until they understand that, “the smoke gets into your home, sewer gas is getting into your home,” and that poses a health hazard; sewer gases can also explode.