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

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Shandaken Town Hall move could help settle debt to NYC environmental department

Daily Freeman story dated September 14, 2016:

Plans for a new town office complex are taking shape, and a fringe benefit of the project is the town could be off the hook for $70,000 it owes to the New York City Department of Environmental Protection.

The complex, which is to be on land set aside for a Phoenicia sewer project that voters rejected, would house the town’s government offices and highway and ambulance departments.

Before voters rejected the sewer project, the town used more than $70,000 of Department of Environmental Protection money to buy the property. The department asked for its money back after the project failed at the polls.

Shandaken Supervisor Rob Stanley said the town has tried to sell the land but has been unsuccessful, and now the city department is demanding payment, sale or no sale.

But thanks to the Catskill Watershed Corp., which provides funding to relocate municipal buildings out of floodways, the town could be able to both keep the land — which is on Route 28 in the hamlet of Phoenicia, just east of the Phoenicia Plaza — and pay back the New York City department.

The current town office complex is on Route 28 in the hamlet of Allaben, on land within the Esopus Creek floodway.

The Town Board on Monday agreed to file a funding application with the Catskill Watershed Corp. If the application is approved, the town will use the money to pay back the Department of Environmental Protection.

Asked what would happen if the funding is approved but the town office move fails to materialize, Stanley said it would be better to owe money to the Catskill Watershed Corp. than the Department of Environmental Protection.

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