Jane Kelly, who will seek an appearance before the Kingston Water Board on February 9 and urges others to schedule appearances before the same board, sent along correspondence from the city of Kingston Water Department which begins in 2008 with notification of the project to contiguous neighbors. A map of the cutting area is included. In the letter, Kingston water superintendent Judith Hansen says, “The purpose of the harvest is to improve the health and sustainability of our watershed which is critical to our mission as a water supply.” The project was to have been done in 2009 but was postponed.
Here’s some brief history.
In July of 2000, Kingston announced plans to remove some 7000 trees from the Van Hoagland Road area. Woodstock sued Kingston over it, but the case was dropped by agreement of both sides, when Kingston agreed to abide by town law in regards to logging.
The issue came up again with another project in late 2001. Citizens were unhappy with Kingston’s clean up after the project and objected to more. The Woodstock Environmental Commission and the Planning Board were at odds over the application, and, after Kingston went ahead with its plans, the town issued a stop work order, which Kingston appealed to State Supreme Court. In his decision, Justice Michael Kavanagh, a Woodstock resident ruled that as long as Kingston’s operation was designed to ensure the ecological health of the forest and protect its watershed, it was not subject to town zoning. A town appeal went nowhere. Thus, the legality of Kingston’s actions was established.
Kingston’s actions in the current project are within the language of the established law.
This does not sit easy with many Woodstockers who feel that within the municipality, all of its laws should be applicable.
If you wish to be heard by the City of Kingston water department on this issue, call 331-0175 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be on the agenda for the February 9 meeting of the water board.++