Shandaken board replaces planning chair

By Jay Braman Jr.
The Shandaken Town Board has removed longtime Planning Board Chairwomen, Joanne Kalb, from that position.
Supervisor Rob Stanley made the announcement at Monday night’s town board meeting. Kalb, who will remain on the board, has been replaced as chair by planning board member Donald Brewer.
After the meeting Stanley said that the planning board has some big cases coming before them in the near future, notably the Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park project and also the controversial Hanover Farms business in Mount Tremper.
“Joanne has some personal matters that require more attention. We need a chairman that can devote more time to the position,” Stanley said.
The resort, slated for the High­mount area, is a multi-million dollar proposal that has been under review for over a decade but is now expected to be in the final stages of that process.

Farmstand controversy
The farm stand is a business that town officials allege has been operating illegally, a position that was upheld in State Supreme Court last fall. While Justice Mary Work demanded the business cease and its structure be torn down, the town, according to Stanley, agreed to a consent order that would allow the building to remain standing while farm stand owners Al and Alfie Higley, the later being a Shandaken Town Board member, apply for a permit to open properly.
In other news, the town board is looking at floating a $40,000 bond for the tiny Phoenicia Water District, which Water Commissioner Ric Ricciardella says needs a new back up pump. The goal, Stanley said, is to spread out the debt over several years because the district is so small that the ratepayers cannot afford to handle the burden in one year.
Also, the board adopted a resolution to protect pollinators in the town. Because the use of herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides has greatly reduced the population of insects and animals, the town has pledged that the people of Shandaken will do the following: Pledge not to use herbicides, pesticides, or fungicides, pledge to plant milkweed, and/or not cut milkweed, since it is the only plant on which monarch butterflies can lay their eggs and a plant that supports many other species, but not in fields that will be mowed for hay, pledge to plant some native flowers, shrubs and/or trees, and pledge not to plant GMO crops.