Bethel PAC ready for next step
BETHEL — After one deadline extension,
the environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Bethel
performing arts center (PAC) has arrived.
The document, presented by Gerry Foundation
(GF) officials on Friday, August 23, contains the
bulk of the information required for the town to determine
if the PAC project will be beneficial to the town.
Contained in the statement are analyses of traffic
patterns, historical significance of the building
site, site plans and many other aspects that will
either affect the project or effects that will be
caused by the project.
An extension had been requested by
GF officials due to the volume of response from the
public following the required public hearings on the
draft version of the EIS. The revised version addresses
many of those concerns.
According to supervisor Alan Scott,
there is one more round of review that needs to take
place before a final decision is made on the project.
“[This part of] the project is still within
20 days of the initial completion target,” Scott
said. “Groundbreaking this fall is not something
I would wager a lot of money on… a spring groundbreaking,
Scott also emphasized that within the
document, and at no time in the course of the planning
of the project, has the idea of the PAC being a tax-exempt
property been seriously discussed.
The EIS has been forwarded to the town
planner, Tom Shepstone, and his review committee for
evaluation before it is presented to the joint planning
and town boards.
At the meeting the board also:
- referred an ambulance service
agreement from MobileMedic to legal counsel for
- announced that practice for
the annual International Aerobatic Club contest
would begin on September 5. Exercises should remain
confined to the airspace immediately around the
Sullivan County International Airport;
- accepted the supervisor’s disclosure
that he has met with Woodstone Development partner
Howard Shure regarding the marketing of a piece
of property owned by Scott’s wife. Scott recused
himself from any voting related to Woodstone Development
- requested from the highway
department, at the behest of numerous residents,
that Old Tacey Road be paved as soon as possible.
Residents on that road said they had been waiting
for seven years for it to be paved;
- announced that a USDA and New
York State Agriculture and Markets clean up and
decontamination of an outbreak of Asian flu in
a number of birds at one location is nearly complete.
The flu is not a threat to humans, but deadly
to many types of fowl. Scott said the agents on
site were confident that the outbreak had been
contained and no other locations were at risk
- reported that the Department
of Environmental Conservation (DEC) requested
that any discussion of bald eagle nesting areas
in the town take place in executive session. Scott
said the DEC sited environmental legal proceedings
as a reason for the executive sessions;
- announced that Jake Gunther
will present the town with a flag that has flown
over the White House. The flag will be mounted
in the town courthouse on the wall behind the
- agreed to have the highway
department look into the status of the right-of-way
that was once Moscoe Road, before the Toronto
Reservoir was filled. This is at the request of
the Smallwood Civic association, which is seeking
to have access to the reservoir off of Pine Grove
Road re-opened; and
- entered into executive session
to discuss a personnel matter.