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Yukiguni presents new plan, pays fees

By Dan Hust
WURTSBORO — April 11, 2008 — Now that the Yukiguni Maitake Manufacturing Corporation of America has paid $118,000 in application and professional fees required by the Town of Mamakating, officials are letting the company move ahead on its plans to build a mushroom processing facility north of Wurtsboro.
But the next step is unclear.
At Tuesday’s town planning board meeting, Yukiguni representatives presented a scaled-down version of the project, attempting to divine board members’ amenability – or lack thereof – to the changes.
While Yukiguni CEO Kaz Kameyama felt encouraged by board members’ rapt attention, he acknowledged that the board has to settle several important issues, including whether or not to hold another public hearing.
Kameyama’s hopeful a decision could be made in time to have a public hearing in May, but the board could decide to restart the entire permitting and review process, which he estimated would set back Yukiguni’s plans by 4-5 years. However, if that became the case, he said the company would revert to its original project, which already has conditional approval.
Basha Kill Area Association President Paula Medley doesn’t yet know how much difference there really is between the original and revised proposals.
Though the square footage appears to be reduced, she said the water usage won’t really be reduced as far as some people think.
While the current plan allows Yukiguni to withdraw up to 600,000 gallons of water a day from the Basha Kill valley’s underground aquifer, the revised plan drops that to 438,000.
What Yukiguni is touting in this new plan is to consume only 95,000 gallons per day rather than 489,000 – yet it will still have the ability to pump up to 438,000 gallons into the factory every day (water is a crucial part of the maitake mushroom growing process).
Of that 438,000 gallons, however, 343,000 gallons will be discharged back into the aquifer, rather than the 111,000 gallons out of the 600,000 proposed in the current plan.
That will still require a withdrawal permit from the Delaware River Basin Commission, said Medley, and possibly a discharge permit.
Plus, while the factory itself will be reduced in height, it will still be taller than the nearby Kohl’s Distribution Center – though, as Kameyama pointed out, it will sit a foot lower in elevation above sea level.
“The information that was presented [Tuesday] night was… very cursory,” remarked Medley. “…We need more information.”
She’s seeking the engineer’s report on the new water system and revised site plan maps, which will be forwarded to the association’s engineer and hydrologist for review.
“We’re doing this in a very methodical, planned-out, non-reactionary fashion,” she explained.
Medley hopes the planning board will do the same – and that preliminarily appears to be the case.
Yukiguni is not on any future meeting schedules, and board members plan to talk with their consultants about the proposed revisions before making any decisions.

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