County wants $81.3B for local fracking ban

By Pauline Liu
The Delaware County Board of Supervisors is demanding that New York State and New York City pay county landowners $81.3 billion in reparations, as the state proposes widening its ban on hydraulic fracturing beyond New York City’s watershed.

The proposed award would be paid out over 60 years. The money would be “for the mineral rights taken from affected landowners and communities.”

Lack of snow falls on plowing costs

By Brian Sweeney
A warm, largely snowless winter has been detrimental to businesses relying on seasonal trade, but area highway budgets have benefitted from the unusual weather pattern.
The highway bosses interviewed by the News all stressed that March, in particular, is notorious for serving up large helpings of severe weather. In fact, one of the the season’s most significant snowfalls may have fallen by the time this story appears. Despite this week’s weather, the season has been very light on snowfall.

Insurance woes stall Freshtown reopening

By Brian Sweeney
The owners of Freshtown Supermarket in Margaretville continue to wait for an insurance settlement so they can ready the store for reopening.

Spokesperson Joan Lawrence-Bauer said this week that PSK Supermarkets, which owns the store, is continuing to negotiate an insurance settlement for damage sustained by flooding from Hurricane Irene.

No Fleischmanns mayor after vote falters

By Jay Braman Jr.
At a special meeting Monday night, the Fleischmanns Village Board failed to appoint a mayor to replace Dave Morell, who resigned that post a week ago.

The action, or lack of action, surprised Deputy Mayor Todd Pascarella, who expected to become Morell’s replacement that evening.

Trustee Ben Fenton made a motion that Pascarella be appointed mayor, to serve out the rest of Morell’s term, which expires in March 2013.

But neither trustees Harriet Grossman or Fred Woller would give Fenton’s motion a second.

Hog Mt. Road closing proposed

By Pauline Liu
The “landslide” on the closed quarter-mile of Hog Mountain Road appears to be getting worse and now a Binghamton-based engineering firm has recommended to the Middletown Highway Department that the flood-damaged portion of road remain closed permanently.

The town received that recommendation from Keystone Associates on Tuesday. Next, the findings will have to be presented before the Middletown Town Board.

5 'sick' employees painful for Belleayre


By Pauline Liu
The administration at Belleayre Mountain Ski Center posted a notice last Saturday assuring skiers and snowboarders that its facilities “will be in complete operation for the holiday week.”
The state-run ski center is making that guarantee, after three  lift mechanics and two electricians, all called in sick on Saturday morning in what some suspect may have been a job action or more specifically, a “sick out.”

New Oliverea bridge nears completion

By Brian Sweeney
A new bridge providing access to the upper part of the Oliverea valley is expected to be open in a little more than two weeks.

The bridge, which has a span of approximately 90 feet, is being installed on Ulster county Route 47 to replace a culvert that washed out in August 28 flooding.
The historic flood erased a section of road 43 feet across and 27 feet deep, according to Deputy County Executive Robert Sudlow.

Fleischmanns mayor Dave Morell resigns

By Jay Braman Jr.
Halfway through his second, two-year term in office, Fleischmanns Mayor Dave Morell abruptly resigned last Thursday.

The Fleischmanns Village Board has canceled its February meeting and will convene next month.
By then, according to Deputy Mayor Todd Pascarella, the village’s attorney will have reached a conclusion as to how the process of filling the mayor’s position will go.
In the meantime, Pascarella said he will be in charge of all mayoral duties.

Andes health clinic plans unveiled by O'Connor Hospital


By Pauline Liu
If all goes as planned, a new primary-care health clinic will be up and running in the Town of Andes by September. Drawings of the proposed facility were presented to the Andes Planning Board last Monday night by O’Connor Hospital Chief Operating Officer Edward McGrath. 

The presentation was the culmination of a year’s worth of planning by hospital administrators. “O’Connor plans to purchase the land, build it, and then we hope to turn it over to Bassett Healthcare by September,” said McGrath.

Nurse & PA staffing

Route 42 finally opens for traffic


By Jay Braman Jr.
State transportation officials say a key road, connecting Ulster and Greene counties, that was damaged by Tropical Storms Irene and Lee last summer has reopened

Route 42, which starts in the Town of Shandaken in Ulster County and runs over to Route 23A in the Greene County Town of Lexington, is the last of the damaged roads to reopen, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office said.

Final paving will be completed in the spring, when the weather is warmer.

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