04/11/2019 - A large crowd of Watershed officials, state and federal agency representatives and regional partners celebrated National Water Week by attending the Catskill Watershed Corporation's (CWC) Annual Meeting of CWC Member Towns on April 2.
Attendees included US EPA Region 2 Administrator Pete Lopez, Phil Rumsey and Carly Norton of the Governor's Southern Tier regional office; Patrick Palmer and colleagues of the NYS Department of Health, and NYC Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Vincent Sapienza.
They joined CWC Board and staff for a review of 2018 accomplishments, and to welcome the newest Board member, Chris Mathews, Supervisor of the Town of Neversink, who was elected by fellow Sullivan County Watershed Town Supervisors. Outgoing Sullivan County representative Mark McCarthy, a member of the Board since 2014, was lauded for his service to the organization.
Re-elected to four-year terms on the Board were Innes Kasanof of Halcott, Greene County, and Rich Parete of Marbletown, Ulster County.
The 2018 Annual Report was released at the meeting and can be viewed at cwconline.org (Documents). A link to a video summary of the year's actions can be found on the Releases page of the website. To get a paper copy of the annual report, call 845-586-1400, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Among the highlights of the report:
202 failed septic systems were replaced, with permanent residents reimbursed 100 percent of eligible costs, part-time residents 60 percent. Two classes for septic designers and contractors were offered in 2018.
308 septic systems installed since 1995 were pumped and inspected; CWC covered half the cost for each maintenance visit.
Community Wastewater Management Projects in Shandaken, West Conesville, Halcottsville and Claryville advanced towards implementation. Two others, New Kingston and Shokan, are in the study phase.
Several residential and commercial fuel tanks were anchored under the Flood Hazard Mitigation Implementation Program. Funds were also awarded under this program to investigate options for flood proofing 19 homes, municipal buildings, businesses and institutions.
The CWC reimbursed 11 property owners the cost of required stormwater controls. These ranged from the massive Hunter North ski expansion, to a small mini-golf range in Bovina. Five previously funded projects received operation and maintenance support.
Four low-interest loans were approved for businesses in Watershed Towns through the CWC's Catskill Fund for the Future. These included the Walton Big M, Fruition Chocolate in Shokan and the Catskill Revitalization Corp. for its Delaware & Ulster Railroad. Other economic development initiatives included collaborative efforts to enhance tourism and outdoor recreation in the Catskills, such as the Reservoir Boating Program, which drew 1,660 kayaks and canoes to four NYC reservoirs in 2018.
38 Watershed Education Grants were awarded to schools and non-profit organizations in the Catskill-Delaware Watershed and in New York City.
The September groundbreaking for a new building to house both CWC and NYC DEP staff was a highlight of 2018. Project coordinator John Mathiesen and Paul Bedford, Keystone Associates Partner in Charge of the project, updated the gathering on construction progress to date. Images and details of the project can be found on the CWC website.
The building is going up on County Route 38 near Arkville and is expected to be completed in time to host the 2019 CWC Annual Meeting.
The CWC is a non-profit Local Development Corporation which runs several environmental, economic development and education programs in the New York City West-of-Hudson Watershed. Visit www.cwconline.org, or call 845-586-1400.