August 26, 2009: Perfect opportunity for communitiy

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To The Editor:
While I read with disappointment about the owners of the Galli-Curci canceling their plans for renovating the building/theatre and indeed plan to sell it, this actually might be just the opportunity for the village/town to step up and purchase the building ourselves or create a foundation to buy it to create a wonderful community center for all residents and guests to enjoy.
When you see the great programming that the Pine Hill Community Center creates every month, and that of numerous other types of facilities in the county, why can’t our area have such a great asset also? Walton has their beautiful theatre that was saved, renovated, and is now home to many creative and entertaining programs, plus it provides jobs for many people. Even Roxbury has its GRLIC Foundation, Roxbury Arts Group and Hilt Kelly Hall. Imagine a site for community programming that can include a place for artisans to show their products/creations; a showcase for locally produced movies or shows; a place for local clubs to have events and regular meetings and activities; the local boy or girl scouts, 4-H to meet; even a space for citizens to rent for special occasions; maybe a home for the historical society, too, etc.
Parking would not even be a problem if the Freshtown owners complete their plans to upgrade the lot across the street from them, plus the parking behind the Binnekill…both just a short walk to the theatre. Working with MARK Project, the Catskill Watershed Corporation, the O’Connor Foundation, the Chamber of Commerce, Catskill Mountain News, NY State, grant opportunities and local businesses just to name just a few… I’m sure a team could be put together that could help fund and create a treasure for all the community to enjoy. With the pavilion and a historic community center, the greater Margaretville area would have an exciting “one-two punch” for both indoor and outdoor programming. Plus, both would help draw people to the area, create jobs, bring in tax revenue and have no environmental impact, all without the hysteria often created by other development projects.
While there are continuing plans for potentially both a community pool facility on the Crossroads and a watershed museum in the same area, both projects are years down the road. The Galli-Curci is here, today. All it needs are some believers, supporters, community minded folks and a plan to make a real dream come true. How about it MARK, CWC, the chamber and the village board; can you put this idea on your agenda for your next meeting?

Steve Finkel,
New Kingston