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News briefs

April 5, 2011

Damascus barn burns

DAMASCUS, PA — An abandoned bard on de Court Road was burned to the ground on April 4, with dozens of firefighters responding to the scene at about 4:15 a.m.

According to fire officials the blaze is considered suspicious because there was no electricity in the barn, no equipment or machinery and there was no lightning reported in the area at the time of the blaze.

The barn was on property owned by Don Hamilton of Milanville.
Firefighters from the Beach Lake Fire Company were joined by emergency response workers from Welcome Lake Volunteer Fire, from Equinunk Volunteer Fire Company, White Mills Volunteer Fire Department Company, Damascus Township Volunteer Ambulance Corps an Lake Huntington Fire Department in New York.

Lake Huntington, a tanker from Equinunk Volunteer Fire Company, a mini-pumper from White Mills, and Damascus Ambulance.

The State Police Fire Marshall’s unit investigated the blaze, which was the second fire to be termed suspicious in the area in recent months.OSI: plenty of land for development

REGION — According to a new Open Space Institute (OSI) study, the Catskill region contains 10 times the land needed to support population expectations through 2035, meaning growth can occur without negatively affecting open space resources.

The findings were released earlier this week as part of “Private Lands, Public Benefits,” a study that identifies more than 520,000 acres of privately owned land without physical impediments, restrictions against development or important open space resources. Of the counties studied, Sullivan contains the greatest percentage (30 percent) of preferred growth area in the region, much of it concentrated in the center of the county, alongside existing infrastructure, like schools, roads, water and sewer services and emergency facilities.

The report’s 22 pages of maps, analysis and appendices could help officials in Sullivan, Ulster, Greene and Delaware counties as they work to attract sustainable development that will increase the region’s prosperity while protecting the wildlife, agricultural and recreational resources that make the Catskills a desirable place to live. Visit