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Dan Hust | Democrat

The owners of the Dancing Cat Saloon in Bethel have requested township action on the speeding and passing traffic in front of their establishment.

Bethel requests speed limit drop by new saloon

By Dan Hust
BETHEL — July 30, 2010 — The Town of Bethel is making another request to the NYS Department of Transportation (DOT) to lower the speed limit on Route 17B between White Lake and Bethel.
Bethel Councilwoman Vicky Vassmer-Simpson told her fellow town board members at Wednesday’s meeting that Monte Sachs, co-owner of the just-opened Dancing Cat Saloon in Bethel, requested the township take action on the speeding and passing traffic in front of his establishment.
The saloon is just the first part of a farm distillery slated to open later this summer or fall, and it has increased business in the mostly residential hamlet.
The entrance/exit to the saloon, however, is on a small hill along Route 17B, where the speed limit is 55 MPH and westbound traffic can pass slower vehicles.
Sachs wants the passing zone eliminated and the speed limit reduced, so Vassmer-Simpson asked her board to approve a resolution requesting such of the DOT.
Supervisor Dan Sturm and other board members, however, weren’t confident the DOT would take action on a request that’s been made repeatedly and unsuccessfully, especially with Vassmer-Simpson’s suggestion to extend White Lake’s 40 MPH limit two miles west to Hurd Road (the turnoff to the Woodstock site and Bethel Woods).
“I think at 40 they won’t even consider it,” Sturm related, offering a 50 MPH suggestion instead.
“The main driveway for the Dancing Cat Saloon is [in] a blind spot – that’s the problem,” offered Bethel Constable Ray Neuenhoff.
Councilwoman Denise Frangipane suggested the board send a letter of explanation with its request, noting the change in activity.
DOT spokesman David Hamburg confirmed to the Democrat yesterday that the DOT will undertake a study, though whether or not it will agree to the town’s requests is uncertain.
In other business
Elsewhere during the town board meeting, Frangipane pushed for a law to regulate clearcutting in the town. She argued that the town’s code does not fully address such a potential, though Sturm countered that commercial logging and clearing more than an acre of land are addressed by town rules.
Also, a public hearing was announced on the Bethel Farmland Protection Plan, a document which seeks to protect and enhance viable farmland throughout the township. The hearing is set for Wednesday, August 11 at 7:45 p.m. (during the regular town board meeting) at the senior center in Kauneonga Lake, and the plan itself is available for review at the town hall in White Lake or online at Directory.htm.
Sturm also announced that the second town board meeting in August, currently scheduled for August 25, may be the first one held in the former Duggan School. Several rooms are being leased from the Monticello Central School District for a variety of purposes, one of them being a new meeting space for town government.

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