"Trucking" with Santa

FIREHOUSE CHRISTMAS FUN —Over 100 kids brought their parents to visit Santa at the Roxbury Firehouse on Saturday including Trevor, Derek, and Jordan Fronckowiak.  Photos were taken by Catskill Images and refreshments were abundant. Fire Chief Allen Hinkley was so impressed with the turnout that he decided to make it an annual event. Planning for next year is already in the works. — Photo by Jill Ribich, Catskill Images

Building owner charged with arson after Margaretville blaze

By Pauline Liu
Main Street, Margaretville, still recovering from the effects of two major floods over the past three weeks, suffered another blow Saturday when an alleged arson fire destroyed a four-unit apartment building at 688-696 Main Street.

The building’s owner, Eugene Gundelach, 58, of Margaretville, was arrested Saturday evening by Delaware County Sheriff’s Deputies and charged with felony arson.

Federal flood aid explained to public

By Pauline Liu
About 50 people filled the meeting room at Middletown Town Hall last Friday to find out about three federal flood relief programs.

People whose homes or businesses were ravaged by tropical storms Irene and Lee heard presentations made by representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA.)

334 Middletown structures damaged in flooding

By Brian Sweeney
A total of 334 structures in the Town of Middletown sustained varying degrees of damage from the August 28 flood.

Middletown Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) Patrick Davis presented a report to the town board last Tuesday outlining the work that he performed, along with other inspectors who were engaged to help assess the damage.

Mr. Davis said 77 structures in the town, 66 in Fleischmanns and 86 in Margaretville sustained damage from the historic flood.

Phoenicia's sign to the world: "Come visit"

By Jay Braman Jr
Ever since Hurricane Irene came to visit, Phoenicia has had a dilemma.
The hamlet suffered greatly at the hands of the storm. The flood came and did damage, high winds knocked out power, Internet and phone, but right now, weeks after that mayhem hit, the biggest problem facing this locale is the fact that they have almost completely recovered and no one knows about it.

City agrees to fund Andes water repairs


By Pauline Liu
Efforts to replace Andes’ seven-year-old malfunctioning wastewater treatment system could begin as soon as next year, at a cost of about $2.3 million to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP.)

Andes Town Supervisor Marty Donnelly made the announcement at last Thursday’s town board meeting, which was held at town hall.

“I was able to get the New York City DEP to agree to pay upwards of $ 2.3 million,” he said. “That means there will be little or no cost to the residents of our sewer district.” 

Primary heats up Andes race


By Pauline Liu
Now that the primaries are over, local political races are heating up, especially in the Town of Andes, where Republican incumbents seeking re-election are facing challengers.

Last Tuesday’s Republican primary for Andes town clerk resulted in an almost 2-to-1 upset. Incumbent Janis Lynn Jacques, who has held the job since 1996, was unseated by challenger Kimberly A. Tosi.  The official results, which were posted on Tuesday and took into account absentee ballots, gave the win to Tosi with108 votes to Jacques’ 60 votes. 

Roxbury still assessing flood damage

By Pauline Liu
While Tropical Storm Irene did not cause as much devastation in Roxbury as she did to neighboring municipalities, the town did not go unscathed. The repairs will be costly.

Floodwaters transformed Main Street into a river, deposited mud into storefronts, and caused the destruction of roads and streams, as well as a bridge. At its September 12 meeting, the Roxbury Town Board assessed the extent of the damage and discussed preliminary costs of repairs, which have so far run into hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

AT&T cell service set up in Shandaken

By Jay Braman Jr.
Three years after being built, the cell tower in Shandaken at Glenbrook Park will finally become operational.

It was announced at the September Shandaken Town Board meeting that AT&T will erect equipment on the tower.

The news comes on the heels of recent complaints by Shandaken Supervisor Rob Stanley, who noted the frustration of emergency service personnel during the recent Hurricane Irene catastrophe. Evacuating people under the harsh conditions was very difficult without adequate wireless communications, he said.

Arson results in another blow to hard hit Margaretville

By Pauline Liu
Saturday morning’s apparent arson on Main Street in Margaretville was the latest blow to the tiny picturesque village, which has already been rocked by two major floods in less than three weeks. The owner of four rental apartments at the addresses 688-696 Main Street, Eugene Gundelach, 58, of Margaretville, was arrested and arraigned the same day by Delaware County Sheriff’s Deputies for felony arson. He was arraigned in Middletown Court before Town Justice Gary Rosa. Sheriff’s Department Investigator Joe Mauro told the News that Gundelach is being held on $25,000 cash bail at the Delaware County Jail and additional charges could be leveled against him at a felony hearing which has yet to be scheduled. Investigators believe that Gundelach set fire to 688 Main Street in an attempt to collect on his fire insurance policy. His rental apartments endured flood damage from Tropical Storm Irene on August 28th, but he reportedly does not have flood insurance.

State to buy 1,200 acres from Crossroads Ventures

By Jay Braman Jr.
As the decade-long review of the $400 million Belleayre Resort at Catskill Park project grinds on, at least one part of the plan is now moving toward completion.

On Thursday, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced the approval of a contract for the purchase of 1,200 environmentally sensitive acres in the Catskills Forest Preserve adjacent to the Belleayre Mountain Ski Center, now owned by the resort project’s developer, to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

Fee negotiated

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