“The very imminent threat that the DEC [Department of Environmental Conservation] has insisted does not exist in Phoenicia, came perilously close to repeat last night,” said Supervisor Robert Stanley during the town’s monthly board meeting on Monday, March 7. “Although the Cold Brook Gauge did reach flood stage, it was a slow and steady increase, dissimilar to the floods of October and December past.”
According to Stanley the flood stage this weekend reached 12.8 feet. That is 1.8 feet above the National Weather Service flood stage, which is declared when a body of water reaches a level of sufficient height, capable of damaging man-made structures.
“Thankfully we were able to avoid a State of Emergency, but there are still some treacherous areas including Silver Hollow, where a washout is occurring and the road has been reduced to one lane,” said Stanley who also noted that due to a “substantial” landslide, Peck Hollow was open to local traffic only.
Despite this past weekend’s flood conditions, Stanley says that the town has yet to receive any sort of response from the DEC since filing its latest request for mitigation efforts along the Stony Clove and Esopus Creek. However, he did comment that he hoped for a response in the coming days.
In the wake of this past weekend’s weather, and the lack of response by the DEC, the town board unanimously passed another resolution aimed at finding some sort of assistance in reaching a solution to the flood issue that continues to linger over the township.
The newest resolution is aimed at showing the town’s commitment towards getting federal involvement in assisting the town on the flood matter said Stanley. Although formal requests have been submitted already to a number of agencies, the resolution highlights the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Resource Soil and Water Conservation Service and the Environmental Protection Agencies as, but not limited to, examples of government agencies from which the town will continue to seek assistance.
The resolution also takes aim at the DEC stating, “the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS-DEC) have made extremely limited efforts to mitigate the concerns of residents and business owners that reside along the waterways relating to stream management, flooding and property loss…”
The resolution concludes, “The Town Board further requests a response from these agencies based on sound science and common sense regarding the environmental impacts on the watershed’s soil, vegetative, riparian, water and fisheries resources due to what the Town Board of Shandaken deems as a lack of stewardship by the NYS-DEC and overburdening regulations by the New York City Department of Environmental Protections [DEP].”
In other Shandaken business…
Following a public hearing prior to its March 7 board meeting, in which those in attendance made a handful of comments and constructive criticisms, the Shandaken Town Board unanimously passed a new law creating a Parks and Recreation Board.
“The hope is that this law would help standardize the town’s approach and maintenance of its recreational holdings,” said Stanley. “Secondly it gives a better outlet for discussion to specific recreational activities and improvements from a consolidated town-wide perspective.”
The town is now accepting applications for board positions on a volunteer basis. The new board will be composed of a chairperson, vice chairperson, and four different park managers.
Also during the meeting, the town board re-appointed Nick Alba to the Board of Assessment Review and appointed Thomas Sharon as a part-time police officer. ++
Olive discusses senior exemption
There was little business in the Town of Olive during their March 8 board meeting, passing no new resolutions. However the board agreed to look into the possibility of increasing the town’s senior citizens tax exemption after Supervisor Leifeld said he received a handful of calls on the matter.
In agreeing to further discuss the matter, Councilmember Bruce LaMonda said that trustees would have to look into what impact it would have on all the taxpayers.
Town Clerk Sylvia Rozzelle noted that any changes to the senior citizens tax exemption would not be able to become effective until next year.
The Olive Town Board also stated that it is requesting applicants for a new Planning Board and Assessment Board of Review member.++