2018-04-11 / Front Page

Merrill named to CWC Board at organization’s annual meeting

Updates provided on year’s activities
By Eddie Donoghue

Colchester Supervisor Art Merrill was elected to serve on the board of the Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC) April 3 when the group met for its annual meeting and year end review.

Current directors Roxbury Supervisor Tom Hynes and Harpersfield Supervisor Jim Eisel were easily reelected. It was the seat of outgoing Martin Donnelly, who served on the board since 1998, that was truly up for grabs with multiple Delaware County supervisors vying for the spot that ultimately went to Merrill. Stamford Michael Triolo will remain as president of the board for the organization where he once served as Economic Development director.

Communications Director and Education Coordinator Diane Galusha kicked off the recap of 2017, saying, “It has been another incredibly busy year,” for the organization now more than two decades old. She outlined a number of programs and accomplishments. Environmental Engineering Specialist John Mathieson gave a report of the CWC’s Community Wastewater Management Program which completed nine septic systems in 2017.

More than 700 homes and businesses are served by those nine systems in Bovina Center, Delancey, Hamden, Bloomville, Boiceville, Ashland, Trout Creek, Lexington, and South Kortright.

Mathiesen also noted four more systems are in the design stage in West Conesville, Claryville, Shandaken, and Halcotsville. Potential projects in Kingston and Shokan are still in the study phase and have yet to be determined. He also talked about some of projects the board of directors had approved in 2017 which included a “$900,000 grant to Ulster County to remove the Mt. Pleasant Bridge,” a “$23,000 grant to Town of Windham to design stabilization of Mitchell Hollow Stream,” and a “$20,000 grant to Town of Olive for feasibility study on possible relocation sites for structures in the flood hazard area in Boiceville.”

Kimberly Ackerley a Stormwater Program Specialist talked about the CWC’s accomplishments in 2017, saying, “In 2017, 15 applicants were approved for future stormwater funding from the CWC. The total project funding approved by the CWC was $884,000. Of the 15 projects, eight are small businesses.”

Leo LaBuda talked next about the Septic Rehabilitation and Replacement Program, noting the CWC implemented 178 systems in 2017 and 5,382 systems altogether in the program’s history. “If you use a theoretical number of 330 gallons per household per day that’s 1.7 million gallons of sewage a day. That’s a big number,” he said. He talked about the benefits of the program, stating the number one benefit is how grateful financially struggling families are when they are told the CWC can cover the costs involved in their septic systems.

Galusha talked about the Education Grant Program which approved another 38 grants earlier in the day at a committee meeting which will send those grants to be approved by the full board in May. “Thousands of more students will have the opportunity to learn about the importance of water quality, the New York City water system, about how best to protect the New York City watershed and any watershed you may happen to live in. And also how to conserve this precious supply if you’re on the receiving end.”

The future location of the CWC was revealed and discussed in some detail. The CWC is currently situated in the former home of the Catskill Mountain News on Main Street in Margaretville. The organization will be move its offices to Delaware County Route 38 (the cut-off road) in Arkville. “The 32,000-square-foot structure will also be occupied by up to 40 NYC DEP staffers to allow closer communication between the partner agencies,” they reported. The new and larger facility will better allow the CWC to fulfill its duties as they continue to expand.

Return to top

Click here for digital edition
2018-04-11 digital edition