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

Arkville Water District residents hear proposal for system upgrade

By Julia Green
Despite letters being sent to all property owners within the Arkville Water District inviting them to attend a special meeting of the Middletown Town Board regarding proposed upgrades to the water system, the turnout at Thursday’s meeting was less than spectacular.
Fewer than 15 property owners attended the meeting, at which representatives from the New York State Department of Health, Lamont Engineers and the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) were on hand to discuss various aspects of the project.


Andes unveils $2.25 million budget

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By Matthew J. Perry
The Town of Andes presented a preliminary budget for 2009 at a public hearing last week Tuesday.
A figure of $2,253,814 is projected for town’s general fund, highway department, and water, sewer and lighting districts. The fire district budget was not included in the totals.
The town’s tax revenue is expected to increase by approximately five percent. There is one noticeable increase in residents’ fees: 128 customers of Andes Water District #1 will pay $425 in fees per dwelling unit in 2009, a $50 increase over the ’08 budget.


DEC Commissioner says agency is well prepared for a gas rush

By Matthew J. Perry
The New York Assembly Committee of Environmental Conservation held a public hearing in Albany on October 15 to investigate potential impacts of natural gas drilling. Twenty-four witnesses, including high-ranking representatives of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), gas company executives, independent scientists and environmental activists were invited to testify at what became a day-long event.


Community input sought for Middletown Comprehensive Plan

Margaretville — All residents, property owners, civic groups, businesses and government officials are invited and encouraged to participate in a special “planning and visioning” workshop to shape the future of the Town of Middletown. The event will be held on Nov. 1 at the Margaretville Firehall starting promptly at 11 a.m. This is a public planning session and the entire community is encouraged to participate.


DEP position on gas drilling still vague

By Matthew J. Perry
While The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner spoke volumes before the state assembly at an October 15th public hearing in Albany, New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) representative presented the equivalent of a few sound bites.
DEP Deputy Commissioner Paul Rush followed DEC’s Peter Grannis to the microphone and spoke for less than 10 minutes. The questioning period that followed was also brief. Grannis, by comparison, testified for nearly two hours.


Supervisors vote "no" on watershed drill ban

By Matthew J. Perry
By a vote of 17 to 1, the Delaware County Board of Supervisors voted Wednesday for a resolution that pushes against proposals to close the New York City watershed to natural gas drilling.
Supervisors were free-wheeling both in defense of the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which regulates drilling, and with criticism for interests that have called recently for moratoriums on gas exploration within the watershed.
“Let the DEC do its job,” said Hamden Supervisor Wayne Marshfield. “We don’t need big bullies like the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) pushing us around. It’s just wrong for one municipality to try to control another. The DEC has been so diligent.”


Prescription drug discount cards pitched for Delaware Board approval

By Matthew J. Perry
ProAct, Inc., a subsidiary of Kinney Drugs, pitched the Delaware County Board of Supervisors Wednesday with a plan that could realize savings on prescription drugs for thousands of uninsured and underinsured residents. While the board expressed interest in the plan, no action will be taken until the county attorney has reviewed and approved a contract with ProAct.
The product, a discount card that would be sent out in mass mailings and made available at pharmacy counters, would cost the county nothing beyond an endorsement. David Warner, ProAct’s representative, described the discount card plan as “a way to introduce ourselves to the community.” Under questioning by the board, Warner acknowledged that in providing the service, ProAct would hope to contract with the county in its main business, which is managing prescription plans for county employees.


Junkyard owner gets probation in insurance case

A Fleischmanns junkyard owner has pleaded guilty to charges of fifth-degree insurance fraud and second-degree offering a false instrument for filing and was fined and given a conditional discharge. William Hrazanek, 61, was allowed to plea to the reduced charges in Delaware County Court stemming from his arrest in February. He was originally accused of fraudulently insuring and registering vehicles for illegal aliens.


New principal on board at Roxbury

By Julia Green
A puppy. That was one of the bargaining chips that sold new Roxbury Central School principal Eric Windover’s young family on moving to the area.
Windover started his new position at RCS yesterday.
“We’re excited to fill the position permanently and we welcome him to our school as well as his family,” said RCS Superintendent Tom O’Brien. “He’s enthused to be here and that’s the big thing.”
Prior to coming to Roxbury, Windover, who holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from SUNY Brockport, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Scranton, and a certificate of advanced studies in education administration from SUNY Brockport, worked in the Rochester City School District, where he had a leadership role even as a teacher.


Belleayre season plans announced by state DEC

By Jay Braman Jr.
Belleayre Mountain will be open for riding and skiing seven days a week for the 2008-2009 season, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced Monday. Weather and conditions permitting, Belleayre will open the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, Nov. 28, and run through March, operating six lifts and 41 trails and glades.


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