J.M.W. Turner's "Chichester Canal" at the Tate Gallery, London

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ulster town's plowing policy draws scrutiny

St. Francis De Sales parishioners leave the church in Phoenicia after Sunday Mass. The Shandaken Highway Department plows the parking lots of local firehouses and four churches, including St. Francis De Sales. The highway department uses St. Francis De Sales' lot to dump snow into the Esopus Creek. Kelly Marsh/For the Times Herald-Record

The Town of Shandaken's decades-old practice of plowing snow from the parking lots of local firehouses and churches is under fire. Shandaken resident Lance Hoffman asked the town board Feb. 10 not to continue the practice. "I told them that municipal plowing of churches was unconstitutional, because it's a violation of church and state," Hoffman said last week. "It's a frivolous municipal largess; they're just throwing away taxpayer money, and the town could be held responsible for any damage." The board approved it anyway. Unanimously.

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