The future of Fleischmanns

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To The Editor:
Although I currently live in Arkville, my early years were spent in Fleischmanns. In the 1950s my parents, Frank and Laura Beland, built the Westwind Motel on the corner of Depot Street and Route 28.

The future of Fleischmanns is very much of a concern for me. Over 15 months have passed since Hurricane Irene wreaked havoc in our community and the bridge on Bridge Street has not been rebuilt. I’m surprised and disappointed that a temporary bridge has not been installed while final plans are made.

Through a petition, Fleischmanns residents and visitors to the village have expressed the importance to Delaware County Public Works Department the need for this bridge. I understand that over 1,300 people have already signed the petition. Nevertheless, I attended two meetings in which Commissioner Wayne Reynolds presented information showing the reasons why Delaware County is reluctant to use the FEMA funds to rebuild this bridge. The county must concentrate on ways to rebuild the bridge.

The Fleischmanns community, in conjunction with the MARK Project, have been working very hard to bring more businesses to the commercial area on Main Street. Substantial private investments have been made and hopefully there will be more development. The two main roadways in Fleischmanns are Main Street and Wagner Avenue. Whereas all the bridges in Fleischmanns are essential to the layout and continuity of the village, the bridge on Bridge Street is the main bridge that connects these two thoroughfares. The village was designed and developed this way. The Bridge Street bridge melds the commercial store to the historic district and the sports recreational area.
Fleischmanns will be receiving and spending extensive funds to rebuild the ball field, tennis courts and reconstruct the playground. These facilities are used by residents and neighbors in surrounding communities and townships and tourists. The bridge on Bridge Street links the main part of town, its commercial center, to the important activities which are very much the heart and soul of Fleischmanns.

Delaware County Supervisors should understand that the safety of village residents, the cohesiveness of the village and the future economic success of the Village of Fleischmanns are very much connected to having a vehicular bridge restored on Bridge Street.

Janet Steiglehner,
Arkville