It’s still summer, guys, and
before we all know it, the flowers will have passed to frost
and we’ll be wondering why we didn’t take the time
when we had it
Everyone Agrees That Adjudication Looms, The Major Question Being
According to attorneys for the New York City Department of Environmental
Protection, a final decision regarding which issues will face
full adjudication regarding the Crossroads Ventures’ proposal
to build its proposed Belleayre Resort in Shandaken and Middletown
will be handed down by state Department of Environmental Conservation
Administrative Law Judge Richard Wissler before the end of the
month. Moreover, that decision will likely include a number of
issues for full, trial-like adjudication that will likely push
the ongoing review process for the proposed mega-resort, set to
include two golf courses, hundreds of hotel rooms and dozens of
condominium and single family vacation homes, back another four
to twelve months, per DEP spokesperson Ian Michaels.
Town Prepares For It’s Big Day August 27 Complete With Parade,
Music & A Contest
Phoenicia Times Staff
A search for Miss and Mister Shandaken is underway.
Organizers are asking “Who’s the fairest of them all?”
this year at the first ever Shandaken Country Fair, where all
are invited to attend a feel good celebration in the heart of
Organizers say preparations are well underway for the August 27th
event, and they urge Miss/Mr. Shandaken hopefuls to call (845)
254-5318 to register.
Cross Speaks Of A ‘Watergate Break-In’ While Dems
Question Timing, Motives
Phoenicia Times Staff
The current election season heated up several notches this past
week with allegations of a “Watergate style” break-in
supposedly having occurred in the Republican Supervisor’s
personal office at Town Hall at some point last week, where the
door was reportedly “jimmied” open, one folder of
old e-mails stolen, and other papers “moved around on my
desk,” according to Robert Cross, Jr..
All Of One’s Talents
Painter, Clown And Phoenicia...
By Violet Snow
The walls of Phoenicia artist Anique Taylor’s house are
adorned with the brilliant palette of her paintings of angels,
quilt-inspired abstracts, and the intricately juxtaposed images
of her alphabet series. Scattered around the floor are papier-mache
sculptures of fantastic creatures, riotously striped and flowered.
Despite the vibrancy of her current work, one of Taylor’s
favorite pictures is a delicately rendered pencil drawing of
herself as a child, sitting with her mother in an intimate moment,
a work that had a pivotal role in her development as an artist.
months after the April flood that caused millions of
dollars worth of property damage in Ulster County, the
Town of Shandaken is still struggling to finance road
and creekside repairs, while negotiating with Federal,
State, and New York City agencies for reimbursement
and watershed permits to complete the work. The town
has depleted its highway department budget on emergency
repairs and finalization of some restoration projects,
which will be largely funded by outside agencies, but
reimbursement is slow, and the red tape is mind-boggling.
On Wednesday, August 10, for example, it took seventeen
people two hours to decide how to accomplish the removal
of the house still lying on its side in a creek bed
on Route 42. In attendance at the town hall meeting
were five representatives of the NYS Emergency Management
Office (SEMO), four from the Federal Emergency Management
Agency (FEMA), three from the Town of Shandaken, two
from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
(DEC), one from the NYC Department of Environmental
Protection (DEP), the owner of the house, and his lawyer.
Also under discussion were the finishing up of road
repairs at the site and the need to widen and modify
the Bushnellsville Creek to accommodate normal springtime
high flows. The construction work requires permits and
oversight by the DEC. The total cost of the project
will be about $80,000, with 75 percent of that amount
paid by FEMA, 12 1⁄2 percent by SEMO, and the
remaining 12 1⁄2 percent by the town, a standard
reimbursement formula for FEMA-funded projects.
Meanwhile, said highway superintendent Dick Merwin,
other projects await. Following emergency repairs to
make the roads passable, he still has to beef up bridges,
culverts, and roadsides washed out in Oliverea, Allaben,
and elsewhere. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has
promised to reimburse the town for two recently completed
repair projects on Silver Hollow Road in Chichester,
totaling $250,000. The paperwork went out several weeks
ago. “The check is in the mail,” shrugged
Merwin. Supervisor Bob Cross, Jr. estimates that another
$1.5 million in repairs will be needed for full recovery.
As for the house in the creek, the highway crew rerouted
the stream back to its original channel, so the house
is not in the water any more, but it will be after the
next spring thaw, a major concern of the DEP, concerned
with preventing the pollution of New York City drinking
water. The owner, Ortelio Grillo, spent $281,000 on
the 6.3-acre property and hundred-year-old house in
2004. “This is not my idea of a weekend retreat,”
he murmured to Jack Isaacs of the DEC during a break.
The final decision, on the advice of FEMA and SEMO representatives,
was for the town to condemn the house as a hazard to
health and safety, since the town and/or homeowner would
be liable if any curious child were injured while exploring
what is known as “an attractive nuisance”.
A condemnation notice would give Grillo thirty days
to remove the house and would put it into the realm
of coverage under homeowner’s liability insurance.
If no action is taken within thirty days, the town has
the right, under a local ordinance, to remove the house
and bill the homeowner, putting a lien on the property
if necessary. Everyone seemed satisfied with the resolution.
While the town figures out how to fund infrastructure
repair, homeowners have their own problems. Cross said
that of fifteen homes damaged by the flood, twelve are
still uninhabitable. Two or three families have moved
out of the area, while others are living with relatives
or friends. Kids in one family have split up to stay
with various relatives.
Ed and Jessica Ryder and their three children are still
living in a rented cottage while they try to figure
out what to do about their condemned house on South
Street in Phoenicia. “The town has said it can’t
be fixed,” said Jessica. “The insurance
company says it can be, the contractors who’ve
looked at it say it can’t be.” To meet FEMA’s
flood plain regulations and town zoning requirements,
the Ryders have been told they have to raise the house
eleven feet. “We’re trying to get a house
mover to see if it’s possible, but I would lose
my kitchen, bathroom, and utility room, which are concreted
into the ground. And we can’t get a certificate
of occupancy without a bathroom.” With their life
savings sunk into a house they bought two years ago,
the Ryders are in limbo.