A new sporting event will unfold in the Town of Bethel and surrounding areas this year. At the Bethel town meeting on February 27, an event organizer named Doug Rice went before the town board to explain the Woodstock Triathlon Festival, which will be held on May 4.
Rice said the event would kick off with the swimming section, which would be held in Lake Superior at the state park in Bethel. He said one concern is that early in the season the water temperature might still be pretty cold. But he said he has held events with water temperatures in the 50s, and most of the entrants wear wet suits, so it might not be a problem.
After the swim, entrants will take part in a 26-mile bike race, which will go down Crystal Lake Road, up State Route 97, out State Route 52, onto County Route 115, then onto Route 17B and to Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. Following that will come a 6.2-mile run starting and ending at Bethel Woods.
Rice said he expects the event will draw about 150 people the first year but, in subsequent years, he believes it could grow significantly.
In other business, Eric Francis, from Bethel Woods, addressed the board about the center’s desire to change the zoning of two parcels of land, across the street from the center. The parcels would be changed from the Agricultural District to the Performing Arts District.
One of the parcels contains an empty house, and the center intends to use that for its growing educational program that involves children and music. Francis said there would be three such programs this year: one involving jazz, one involving Broadway shows, and another called Exploring the Arts. He said there would be 50 children involved in the activities, and there would be a culminating performance in the Event Gallery.
The board began the process of passing a local law to enact the zoning change.
Sewer system addition
The board also voted to spend $252,000 for the construction of a septage receiving station for the Kauneonga Lake Sewer System. This will allow the system to once again accept septage from outside vendors. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation asked the town to stop accepting septage last year because of deficiencies in the system.
Those deficiencies will be alleviated with the dredging of the pond at a cost of $104,000, and the addition of an aeration system for about $100,000. Because it stopped accepting outside septage, the sewer system has been deprived of about $30,000 per year in payments.
With the upgrades and the installation of the septage receiving station, the system will be able to collect about $40,000 to $60,000 per year in additional revenue.
The station will be paid for, in part, with a $30,000 engineering grant and what supervisor Dan Sturm said was “$137,000 in left-over grant money” from the Environmental Protection Agency, which was awarded to help pay for the sewer extension to Bethel Woods.