NARROWSBURG, NY — Before the The Tusten Town Board entered an executive planning session, wildlife management issues were raised, updates on the pending pavilion project was discussed, and a …
NARROWSBURG, NY — Before the The Tusten Town Board entered an executive planning session, wildlife management issues were raised, updates on the pending pavilion project was discussed, and a new grant for the development of an open space plan was explained at the board’s September 12 meeting.
A Flats resident shared his concerns about wildlife management with the board during public comment. He said there are increasing deer herds and geese. Without the ability to hunt in a residential area and a mild winter, the does will birth fawns and the problem will snowball, he said. He’s asked the board to consider this moving forward. The board acknowledged the problem and added it to the future agenda for consideration.
It seems animal management will be a priority, as the board also voted to accept Nico Juarez’s resignation as animal control officer. The board asked that people thank him for his service.
They will look into replacing him and inquire about contracting with the Town of Highland to fill the gap.
The contested grant-funded pavilion still stands in limbo as to whether it will be built.
The board moved to approve the payment for the original and re-drawn renderings of the pavilion to Charles Woods Architecture for $4,800.50.
Town supervisor Ben Johnson is still waiting to hear back on what the definition of “public facility” is, which could impact whether a toilet is needed. Some residents are apprehensive about the cost.
Board member Jane Luchsinger reported that her request for an extension on the timeline to Sullivan 180, the organization providing the grant for the project, has neither been denied nor approved yet.
The Upper Delaware Council (UDC) also needs to review the plan for the pavilion as to whether it is in compliance with the River Management Plan, as it is located within the river corridor. Despite no resolution on the size of the pavilion, final timeline, or inclusion of a toilet, the board moved to present the project to the UDC for review so as to keep options open.
Answering a public inquiry, the board agreed that the pavilion would not be built if the UDC determined that it was not in compliance with the plan. Additionally, a public suggestion of using a playground supplier as an alternative to the current building project could potentially avoid the costly addition of the toilet that might be required under the current plan.
Due to the fact that the Town of Tusten has ecologically connected landmasses of above 80 percent, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has identified the town’s environment as globally significant. Through this designation, the town has been awarded a grant by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to develop an open space and recreation plan.
This recognition and subsequent grant is because of Tusten’s “connectivity.” Connectivity is a term used by environmentalists to describe the connection between various natural environments, both spatial and ecological, in a certain landscape.
Luchsinger said that the United States has ecological connected landmass categorized at 35 percent. The two-year, $150,000, 50/50 match grant will help Tusten protect important open spaces and develop recreation opportunities.
The board has requested aid from the UDC’s Technical Assistance Grants (TAG) to help cover the grant match and hopes to spend no more than $12,000 per year on the project.
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