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Arts Center
Nears Approval

By Dan Hust
WHITE LAKE — August 30, 2002 – The Town of Bethel is nearing the end of its review of the Gerry Foundation’s plans for a performing arts center near the Woodstock festival site in Bethel.
According to both Town of Bethel Supervisor Allan Scott and Gerry Foundation spokesperson Glenn Pontier, the foundation – which owns the 37.5-acre site and 1,300 surrounding acres – submitted the preliminary final generic environmental impact statement (EIS) on Friday, August 23.
Scott said the town is now reviewing the thick report with its consultants, and shortly a special permit hearing will be scheduled and a joint town board/planning board meeting will be announced to approve the plans. The town and planning boards are joint lead agencies in this effort.
Of course, the town could reject the 17,500-seat performing arts center project, but officials indicated that is unlikely.
“We are very excited about it,” said Scott. “We’re relieved the process is behind us.”
That process has been 18 months in the making, and Scott said they expect to complete it by the end of September.
“At that point in time, it is up to the Gerry Foundation [to complete the project],” he remarked.
“Step by step, we’ve been plodding along,” added Pontier. “I think we’re taking the right amount of time.
“The last hurdle is the town saying ‘yes’,” he concluded.
The final EIS is available to the public. Please call Town Clerk Rita Sheehan at 583-4350 to obtain a copy.

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