Up in Smoke

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Part of the VW Parts Inc. complex at the intersection of Wagner Avenue and Main Street, Fleischmanns went up in flames late Tuesday afternoon. More photos in our front page story.— Photo by Brian Sweeney

Bovina residents still shocked by damage from October storm

By Matthew J. Perry
Last week’s snow couldn’t melt away soon enough for Bovina residents.
What might go down in history as the October Surprise Storm of 2008 was mostly cleaned up by Saturday when the last of Bovina households once again had power. The town was under a state of emergency for nearly two days, and the hardships of those who lived at higher altitudes lasted even longer.
“In 24 years with the department, I never saw anything like it,” said Bovina Highway Superintendent Bob Burgin.


Public hearing set on pool project

By Brian Sweeney
A public hearing on the proposed Catskill Recreation Center in Arkville will be held on Thursday, Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Middletown Town Hall on Route 28, Margaretville.
Arkville resident Kingdon Gould Jr. presented drawings for the Community Recreation Center to the planning board at its October meeting.


Village parcel takeover denied in ongoing Binnekill dispute

By Julia Green
An attempt by the Village of Margaretville to take ownership of a 1.738-acre parcel of property owned by village resident Lauren Davis, that includes the Binnekill stream bulkhead, was denied by the New York State Appellate Court on Oct. 23. Also denied was the village’s attempt to take an easement on the entire parcel.
In its decision, the court stated that it agreed with Davis’ assertion that “the taking of the parcel in fee is excessive” and that “the power of eminent domain cannot be used to take land in excess of that needed for the particular public purpose involved.”


Middletown Comprehensive Plan in first stage of production

By Matthew J. Perry
The Town of Middletown kicked off its effort on Nov. 1 to draft a new comprehensive plan with an interactive meeting at which residents and town officials discussed the needs, goals and character of the community. It was the first of what will likely be several workshops and informational hearings that will be convened before the plan is worked into its final form, likely sometime next year.


Gillibrand race is highlight in local voting next Tuesday

By Julia Green
It would be virtually impossible not to know that Tuesday is Election Day. Anyone who has turned on a television, perused a newspaper, listened to a radio, or driven along area roads in recent weeks has undoubtedly been assaulted with news coverage on the upcoming presidential election and advertisements pushing a candidate. Bumper stickers adorn cars, yard signs grace residences and T-shirts bear political affirmations and allegiances.
Come Wednesday morning, it will all be over, save any “hanging chad” debacle reminiscent of the 2000 presidential election.
Voters will be headed to the polls on Tuesday, where the much-anticipated 2008 presidential race will be atop the ballot.


Shandaken voters to choose board member

By Jay Braman Jr.
Voters will see many names on the ballot in Shandaken this year, where one local race takes place alongside several county- and state-level races. In the Town of Shandaken, Democrat Doris Bartlett will be faced by Woodland Valley resident Tina Rice, a Republican, to fill out the remaining year on what had been the town board seat of current supervisor Peter DiSclafani.


Shandaken Board working to reduce budget expenses

By Jay Braman Jr.
A special session to shave dollars from the Town of Shandaken’s $5 million preliminary budget yielded little results Monday night, but there are some items, including raises for staff and officials, on the chopping block.
Filled with four percent raises for all public officials and non-union employees plus a whopping 18 percent increase for the town’s ambulance squad, the preliminary plan caught attention when first revealed earlier this month, prompting one councilman to note that while this would be a hard winter for town employees it would be harder for taxpayers.


ACS Board votes support for future of ONC BOCES

By Matthew J. Perry
The Andes Central School (ACS) Board of Education passed a resolution last Wednesday voicing support for the continuation of the Otsego Northern Catskills (ONC) Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), which serves Andes as well as the schools in Roxbury, Margaretville and South Kortright.


Roxbury wind project flapping in the breeze

By Julia Green
The wind game remains a waiting game.
When the Roxbury Planning Board convened for its monthly meeting on Wednesday night, their consulting firm LaBella’s representative John Collins began the discussion by reminding the board that the current stages of review do not constitute a formal step in the SEQR process.
He added that the possibility of further studies being conducted arose and that by communicating those possibilities to wind turbine developer Invenergy early would allow them to get started.


Middletown budget shows 6.9% tax hike

By Julia Green
Town of Middletown taxpayers will face a 6.9 percent property tax hike if the town’s preliminary budget is adopted following a public hearing on Nov. 5.
After an Oct. 7 meeting to discuss the tentative 2009 budget, the Middletown Town Board adopted the tentative budget as the preliminary budget at its monthly meeting on Oct. 14. The budget reflects a 6.9 percent tax levy increase, which translates to a $147,324 total tax increase, excluding special districts.
A total budget of $3,277,040 is estimated for Middletown’s general fund and water and lighting districts, with $2,305,216 to be raised by taxes.


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