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DELAWARE, NY — The start of spring brought summer topics to the Town of Delaware council meeting Wednesday night.
A committee of four, led by Irene Nickolai, presented plans to the board for PorchFest 2019, a three-day music and art festival they’re hoping to hold August 16 through the 18 that would involve all of downtown Callicoon. Supervisor Edward Sykes also discussed plans to create zoning regulations for Airbnbs in the area. All of this, along with updates on various projects from the town’s engineer, took place as the council celebrated its 150th anniversary.
Nickolai’s committee was asking the town to apply on their behalf for a reimbursement grant that would help cover the $22,000 budget for PorchFest.
Council members expressed concerns about working out the details of the event, including applying for the appropriate insurance certificates, but after Nikolai guaranteed that she would take care of the details and insurance ahead of time, all but one councilmember approved a motion to apply. Alfred Steppich was the opposition, saying he “saw too many flies in the ointment,” for a time when the county and town could use the money elsewhere.
Nickolai argued that with the Woodstock anniversaries coming up this summer, Callicoon should have its own event to draw attention to its arts and culture scene. “People that go to Bethel don’t even know that Callicoon exists,” she said. If the committee does not receive the grant, they plan to go ahead with the project on a smaller scale.
Also looking ahead to the tourist season, Sykes said he plans to use some of a $20,000 grant the town has received from Sullivan Renaissance to create zoning regulations pertaining to Airbnbs.
“Right now, we don’t have any regulation at all,” Sykes said. “So if there’s a health and safety issue, we won’t even know about it.”
There are currently 65 Airbnb listings in Callicoon, or nearby. Sykes said that it should cost less than $2,000 to draw up zoning regulations for Airbnbs in the area, so that the building inspector is permitted to check for safety issues in houses and apartments.
That grant will also be used to spruce up the gardens in Callicoon Creek Park, for maintenance around town, garbage issues and for expansion of the park.
Other items on the agenda included a motion to accept the lowest bid for a new town generator. The bid was awarded to the Goshen-based TAM Enterprises, for $164,300, and the money will come from the town’s surplus sewer reserves.
The town cleanup will take place April 27 and 28, and the Callicoon Country Fair is set for July 27.