June 4, 2008: Turn it over to the developers

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To The Editor:
In rebuttal to the recent speculation of Ms. Rubin and her associates in the Catskill Mountain News' Letters to the Editor, questioning our intentions concerning our property, on which the proposed Fleischmanns water tower is to be built, I would like to state for the record once and for all, that we are not city people wanting to ruin the landscape of the area.
My wife grew up spending every summer of her formative years in Fleischmanns. Her grandfather had a farm there and her mother and uncle were born up on that farm over 90 years ago. Barnett Schneider, (her grandfather), later owned a home on Red Kill Road (where the family spent all their summers). The spring water reservoir, which was located on his property on Red Kill Road, was used to supply water to the inhabitants of Red Kill Road for years. The well is still on our property and people to this day are still using this water. Schneider Avenue is still off Red Kill Road as a memorial to her grandfather, which he was so proud of. The property that Mr. Schneiderman’s and Ms. Rubin’s house was sold to him years ago by her grandfather.
Recently we were approached by a group who wanted to purchase the property across the road from the Schneiderman’s house and in deference to the location of what they wanted to build, we did not make this property available to them. My wife has never entertained that idea because she sees that the Schneidermans seem to use our property for their turning around and parking. Yet we have made no mention of that to them, nor have we made it off limits.
The estate was willed to all my wife’s cousins who wanted to dispose of the complete tract of land in order to fulfill the financial obligations of the trust. Rather than selling this property to developers, my wife Roslyn purchased the complete tract of land from her cousins in order to fulfill her grandfather’s wish that the family never sell the property in Fleischmanns. I spent a year negotiating with her to do her wishes to camouflage this water tower so that it would not be visible to our neighbors nor the view of the mountainside.
She wanted to have a place to spend her years of retirement to contemplate about the past years of growing up in this area when the hotels were booming and Main Street was busy with a more vibrant selections of stores, restaurants and tourists flocking to our beautiful area, and to visit with friends who still live and love this area.
Why in heaven’s name, do you think we would think about ruining the beauty of the area by cutting down or destroying the forest land? The only trees we intend to remove are the ones that are in the roadway, septic area and the home area, which we would need for building purposes and would not be seen from the road or by our neighbors.
After reading the nasty letters referring to us as “City People” who will benefit from the defacing of the beauty in this area by Ms. Rubin it is very unfortunate that we have to put up with this name calling and we are very dismayed by her nastiness. It was our intention to put up a family home for us and our children, to enjoy its use when skiing in the winter or to teach our children and grandchildren the beauty of nature, its wildlife and hiking in the area.
After listening to all the accusations made in the past meeting, and subsequent letters to the editor in the Catskill Mountain News, perhaps Ms. Rubin is correct. We should not care about the particular area and dispose of it to unscrupulous types of developers who would probably do exactly what everyone is afraid of.

Arnold W. Bernstein,
Floral Park