Updated budget approved for Arkville water project

Staff report
An updated spending plan for the Arkville Water District upgrade project was approved by the Middletown Town Board last Monday.

The board passed a resolution authorizing the issuance of an additional $556,625 in serial bonds to help fund the project.

The total price tag for the water system upgrade is $2,344,000. The town has secured $1,492,000 in grant funding to offset project costs. Water district residents will repay the anticipated balance of $852,000 through loan-interest loans over a 38-year period.

Nolan to face Stanley in Shandaken Supervisor race

By Jay Braman Jr.
It’s official. Election season has begun in Shandaken.
The Republicans have chosen the following candidates.

Supervisor Rob Stanley, now in the last few months of his first term, was not challenged in his bid to seek a second term.

Another incumbent, Conservative Vince Bernstein, was granted the Republican endorsement.
And now there is a new face on the political front. Al Higley, who owns the controversial farm stand in Mount Tremper, has thrown his hat into the ring and will run for a council seat on the Republican ticket.

Tremors from VA earthquake felt throughout region

By Pauline Liu
An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 centered in Virginia sent tremors across the northeast and was felt locally on Tuesday.

It’s not clear how far the quake spread, but reports of tremors came from as far away as Ontario, Canada. Buildings in the nation’s capital, including the White House and the Pentagon, were evacuated.

25th Annual Street Fair this Saturday

Margaretville — Celebrate 25 years of late summer fun at the annual Margaretville Main Street Fair that will be held on Saturday, August 27 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

There will be live music at Summerfields Restaurant, wine tastings at the Margaretville Liquor Store on Main and loads of vendors selling lawn ornaments to designer jewelry filling Main Street with lots of choices. Don’t stop there. Visit the “Marvelous Margaretville Merchants” shops and enjoy a day of shopping and eating “local” in the time-honored tradition of Margaretville’ s Street Fair.

Fracking forum set for Friday in Andes


By Pauline Liu
In response to requests from several residents, the Town of Andes will hold what Supervisor Marty Donnelly calls “a natural gas drilling forum” on Friday, August 19 at 7 p.m. at Andes Central School.
For those who wish to be heard, there will be a sign-up sheet at the school. Each speaker will be given up to three minutes to either express their views or ask questions.

Middletown agrees to template plan for assessing wastewater plant

Staff report
The Town of Middletown has agreed to a template to be utilized in determining tax assessments on the Margaretville Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The agreement signed by the town board at its August 9 meeting effectively ends many years of legal wrangling over the proper assessment of the plant, which is operated by the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
The city has pending litigation in which it challenges the assessments on the Margaretville plant from the years 2006-2010.

Black bear boom in the Catskills

By Pauline Liu
If it seems as though there are more black bears in the Catskills than ever before, that is the case. Their numbers are soaring in this region. Not only are residents experiencing more close encounters with bears, but some have endured property damage and lost livestock. Matthew Merchant, who is a wildlife biologist for Region 3 of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), explained that his office has received between 200 and 300 calls this year from people asking for help in dealing with bears on their properties. He offered some bare facts to make living with bears more bearable.

Fleischmanns wins control of theater

By Jay Braman Jr.
The last bit of red tape has been cut through and the Village of Fleischmanns is now the owner of the theater building on Main Street.
At least that is what it looks like.

Last week in United States Bankruptcy Court Bankruptcy Judge Diane Davis decided that the village did indeed properly take over the property when it was seized in a foreclosure action that started back in 2008.

Andes Wastewater Treatment Plant woes continue


By Pauline Liu
With weeks to go before the Town of Andes and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) hope to strike a deal to overhaul of the town’s wastewater treatment plant, the facility’s filtration system appears to be on borrowed time.

One of the two microfiltration units at the plant has broken down twice since July. The second breakdown occurred only a week ago.

Shandaken loses power in Monday's storm

By Jay Braman Jr.
Lights in the Town of Shandaken went dark Monday night after a transformer fire caused electrical outages from Big Indian to Boiceville.

This was just one of the problems of the day, which saw heavy rain, the threat of flooding and some confusion about whether or not Route 28 was underwater.
At about 5 p.m. New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) customers in town experienced sporadic outages over a 30-minute period, and a total blackout at approximately 7 p.m.

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