Feb. 13, 2008: Foul play

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To The Editor:
I’d like to address two articles in last week’s Catskill.
The first being about the Dollar Store and the zoning issue. It seems to me that the people who want progress and economic development in Margaretville are the same people who want to stop it at every turn. It also amazes me that the people associated with the M-ARK Project who say this store will lead to unfair competition are also backing this huge resort. What do you think this resort will do to the small mom and pop stores? And please tell me what mom and pop stores have been here for decades?
I was born and raised in Margaretville and the buildings may still be there, but the mom and pop stores have long been gone. Maybe the people backing this resort are afraid that people will see that small development can work and there might not be a need for a huge resort. It seems to me that some people want to pick and choose our progress for us.
I think Walton is a good example of small town progress. They have three dollar stores that seem to coexist well together. They also have restaurants, antique shops, many business establishments, a full service hospital, a functional theater and even a McDonalds. They survived much worse flooding than we did and they came back twice as strong. I’m surprised with the flooding at the A&P they are not trying to stop that from expanding too. Maybe the resort will have a supermarket.
Now to the other article about Greene County. I think they should stand on top of the highest mountain and yell foul play. Maybe if Windham and Hunter got all the tax breaks that Belleayre gets they would do well also. Maybe they should host a ball and have someone like Joe Kelly and Tony Lanza play footsie with the governor’s office and have a cocktail hour paid for by the Emerson and the developers, I’d call that an unfair playing field. Of course I’m sure there’s some deal in the works to throw a carrot to Greene County to keep them quiet.
Just one more point of interest and you can check this out on line. Did you know that it takes 75,000 gallons of water to make a six-inch deep by 200 feet square area of artificial snow? Two thousand gallons of water can be converted to snow in one minute. This can empty a tanker truck in three to four minutes. So you take Belleayre as it is, expand it and then add the resorts and all the water going to them, just imagine how much water will be needed. One more fact from places like Killington, when their snow guns are running they use enough energy to run a town of 10,000 people. Think about that.
I hear that they are talking about reviving The Catskill Interpretive Center. Maybe because of this proposed resort. Guess who’s going to foot the bill for that if it goes ahead? In 1995 the estimated price for building it was $3.68 million. What do you think it is now? So do you still think your taxes will go down?

Bernadette Beyea,
Hardenburgh Association of Residents and Taxpayers
Margaretville