Corralling Camp FIMFO

Posted 8/30/22

ELDRED, NY — “We attempted to address everything that was requested,” attorney Daniel Rubin began.

Rubin was the lead spokesperson at the Highland Planning Board meeting on …

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Corralling Camp FIMFO


ELDRED, NY — “We attempted to address everything that was requested,” attorney Daniel Rubin began.

Rubin was the lead spokesperson at the Highland Planning Board meeting on August 23, the day the board took up the conditional-use application submitted by LaBella Associates on behalf of Northgate Resorts/Sun Communities, LLC. The application is for a $34 million renovation of the former Kittatinny Canoes in Barryville.

Rubin ticked off the submission of additional documents in response to questions and requests from the July 26 planning board meeting, including significant information about the water and septic, a breakdown of the structures and their occupany rates, information about traffic, flood plain and boundary maps, an informational section about the proposed mountain coaster and additional documents that were requested.

“My first question to you all is: Is there anything that you were expecting that you did not receive?” he asked.

Chairman Norm Sutherland responded, noting that he particularly appreciated the large rendering of the project that was provided to the board. Additionally, a full set of large-scale renderings were provided for public review at the town hall. The renderings map out the different types of units, color-coded to show where they are to be located, and include the different amenities that the resort would offer.

Rubin announced that a public information session, hosted by the Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development, has been set for 6:30 p.m. on September 15 at Cedar Rapids. He said a public website is in the works. “In the spirit of transparency and getting the information out to the public so that we can get their comments,” he said, “we’re taking as proactive of an approach that we can.”

Other progress on the review process was noted. Sullivan County has completed its 239-M review, which was received earlier in the day and had not yet been reviewed by the planning board. The UDC completed its review, with the full council scheduled to discuss it at its September 1 meeting, and comments from the NYS Department of Transportation have been received, Rubin said.

The town’s engineer, Ken Ellsworth, reviewed the process of plan review, saying that he is working in real-time via Zoom with the engineers at LaBella Associates, the firm that is shepherding this project through the regulatory process. He said that a stormwater runoff pollution plan has been received and reviewed, and plans have been advancing quickly with each meeting. The plans are detailed so that the public can understand what is happening, he said.

He noted, too, that with a project so large, any public presentation needed to be geared to answer resident concerns about traffic and the environment. Among other technical questions about utility trenches and lines, he noted, “there will be quite a bit of clearing,” and asked what happens to trees and stumps. LaBella senior planner Caren LoBrutto indicated that she would answer that question as well as others in writing and said that the resources would be used onsite if possible.

Additionally, there was concern about the condition of the bridge that leads to the zipline, and it was suggested that it be reviewed by a structural engineer, especially considering, Sutherland said, that construction vehicles would be utilizing it.

Planning board member Laura Burrell asked about the blast plan that was mentioned in the environmental assessment plan in regard to the construction of the mountain coaster. Rubin said it would conform with regulations and would be created by the contractor in coordination with the town engineer.

Planning board member Scott Reed asked for more information on the change in the per-night usage, in order to understand how emergency services and the community would be affected. “I’m looking for a range,” he said. Rubin said that they were currently “working with all of those jurisdictions, and the fire department has already taken a look.”

In answer to a question as to whether the campground has its own security, Kittatinny general manager Rocco Baldassari indicated that the facility contracts with a third-party vendor and it would be increased as the resort is built.

The board voted to schedule a public hearing on the project on September 28 at 7 p.m. at the Highland Town Hall. Speaking with the River Reporter before the meeting, Sutherland indicated that the board would not make a decision about the project during the same meeting as the public hearing: “Before we make a decision, we hear the UDC, the public comment and the park service.” The NPS has a 45-day window of review for the project starting on September 1.

At the meeting’s end, resident Courtney Crangi, one of eight people who attended the meeting, said that the project made her nervous. She was concerned about the septic, the effect on the river and traffic on Route 97. “Who benefits?” she asked.

“I want to see full-time jobs, health insurance and community outreach,” she said. “I can’t say that I am totally anti; there are just so many questions to be answered.”

These included vibration of the mountain coaster, displacement of animals and disruption to the eagles, which have recently been taken off the endangered species list.

Highland planning board, Camp FIMFO, Sullivan County Partnership for Economic Development, Northgate Resorts, Kittatinny Canoes


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