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Bethel reports increased building activity in 2013; Aquatic invasive species also addressed

Bethel council members pose with two cheerleaders who won second place in the Pop Warner National Cheerleading competition for 2013. Posing for the shot are Councilmember Bernie Cohen, left, Councilmember Dawn Ryder, cheerleader Olivia Steigler, Supervisor Dan Sturm, cheerleader Krista Novello, Councilmember Lillian Hendrickson and Councilmember Vicky Simpson.
TRR photo by Fritz Mayer

By Fritz Mayer
January 29, 2014

WHITE LAKE, NY — The year that just ended was a good one for the Town of Bethel in terms of construction and building activity. At the town meeting on January 22, Supervisor Dan Sturm went over some of the figures for 2013.

Overall spending on construction costs for the year was $10,000,694; in 2012 construction spending was $7,700,00; that represents an increase of 38%. Sturm said, “So 2013 was a very good year for construction, and we’re looking for that to continue; the trend is there and it’s going well.”

Also in the area of construction, 36 new homes were built in the town in 2013, as opposed to 20 in 2012. Further, there were 21 new wells, 47 new septic systems and three subdivisions.

Permit and building fees were also up significantly. Fees generated in 2012 amounted to $46,000 for the town, while in 2013 the figure was $69,000, an increase of 51%.

Sturm said that a significant number of the new homes were built on the Chapin Estate.

Aquatic invasive species

Members of the Bethel town board also considered new regulations being proposed by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) regarding the spread of aquatic invasive species.The proposed regulatory changes would require boaters to remove all visible plants and animals from boats, trailers and associated equipment and to drain boats before launching at or leaving a DEC boat launch and waterway access.

A DEC access point to Kauneonga Lake (a part of White Lake) exists in the town, and is used frequently by boaters in the warmer months.

A statement from DEC Commissioner Joseph Martens said, “Boats, trailers and the equipment can spread aquatic invasive species from water body to water body and significantly harm recreational and commercial use of a water body while having a detrimental effect on native fish, wildlife and plants.”

Councilmember Vicky Simpson said she had experience in the matter because she has spent a lot of time working on the issue of the milfoil infestation in White Lake. She said the proposed regulation was “a great thing,” but she wondered how the DEC would enforce the regulation, and wondered if the DEC would provide the town with a “nuisance invasive species disposal station,” which have been located at other access areas.

Strum said he would send a letter to the DEC, which is accepting public comments on the proposed regulations through February 24, that the town is in favor of the regulations, but “make them aware that we would not want the municipality to have to foot the bill for it.”