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TRR photo by Chris Conroy
For their time served at Ground Zero following the events of September 11, 2001, members of the Bethel Volunteer Ambulance Corp were presented with a plaque of recognition and thanks by the Bethel Town Board. Pictured are William Boland, Gerard Sarosy, Mitchell Wolfe and Robert Falia. (Click for larger image)

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, probably.”

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 review;
  • 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 issues.
  • 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 for contamination;
  • 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 judge’s bench;
  • 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.

What do you think? Talk about it on the discussion board!

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