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CALLICOON, NY — The Town of Delaware is finally ready to break ground on the new highway department and salt shed on Route 17B near the Callicoon Creek.
The current highway department, along Route 97, is in a floodplain. The buildings are old and no longer protecting the equipment properly, said town supervisor Ed Sykes, and the town has been trying to move to a new location for roughly eight years.
“There’s holes in [the garage] the size of snowballs, all over the place,” Sykes said. If there’s more flooding at the current site, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) won’t cover the cost of repairing it again.
Presenting to the town board on April 10, the engineering firm handling the project, Delaware Engineering, said the final stages of the project will be completed in two phases over two years. The first phase will include construction of an access road to the shed, while the second phase will see actual construction of the garage and storage facilities.
“When we started this project seven or eight years ago, we thought the cost was going to be three and a half million—times have changed,” said the representative from Delaware Engineering. On top of price inflation on certain materials, including steel and concrete, there was more excess soil on the site than anticipated, he said. It will require more cost per unit to move that soil if towns including Fremont and Callicoon decide not to take it.
Now the project could cost up to $5 million, for which the town will seek a bond resolution.
In response to a letter Callicoon resident Martin Beitler, who lives down the road from the new salt shed, sent to The River Reporter, about the environmental impact of the salt shed, Sykes said there is no concern that the project will affect the water at Callicoon Creek.
The town developed a stormwater management plan for the site, as well as conducted a New York State Environmental Quality Review Act study through Delaware Engineering. The study determined that “no significant environmental impacts would result from this project,” according to Robert Chiappisi, of Delaware Engineering. A negative declaration of potential environmental impact means that an Environmental Impact Study is not required at a site.
Sykes said that all of Beitler’s concerns were addressed in a public hearing years ago. “I believe this is a case of ‘not in my back yard,’” Sykes wrote in a letter responding to Beitler.
In other news from the town, the Callicoon PorchFest group, headed by Irene Nikolai, did not receive a grant for the event slated for Woodstock weekend, but plans to move forward by fundraising the money.
The town also approved resolutions to appoint Matthew Mullally to the Board of Assessment Review and Ian Blumenthal to the Zoning Board of Appeals. The town approved a motion for Delaware Engineering to move forward preparing bid documents for the highway facility.