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Ready to pick Apollo bidder

By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO — February 18, 2011 — Carbon Harvest Energy’s plan to obtain energy-producing methane from the county landfill and to erect greenhouses garnered unanimous support from legislators on Thursday.
“I think Carbon Harvest is definitely a project we want to pursue,” affirmed Legislature Chair Jonathan Rouis.
The question now is who to pair them with.
Carbon Harvest is only proposing to work with whomever is chosen to develop the former Apollo Plaza, not develop that property itself.
Thus legislators are expected to soon decide on either Chancellor-Livingston – proposer of demolishing the old mall to make way for a new big-box-anchored retail center – or Resnick Supermarket Equipment Corporation – proposer of keeping the existing mall and turning it back into an outlet center, with a supermarket anchor.
At yesterday’s full legislature meeting, the legislators decided to postpone a decision on which bidder to pick until this Wednesday, Feb. 23.
This 9:15 a.m. might also involve the discussion of county workforce layoffs.
Solid waste facility nearing completion
Next door to where Carbon Harvest Energy plans to build its greenhouses and powerplant sits the county’s new Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), which is just about to open.
“We’re waiting on the DEC [Department of Environmental Conservation] permit to begin operation,” Public Works Commissioner Bob Meyer informed legislators last week.
That operation will include single-stream recycling, enabling residents to dump their recyclables in one container rather than separating them.
The Hudson Baylor Corporation will administer the single-stream portion of the facility, shipping the recyclables to its Newburgh processing plant and eventually to a new complex being built in Beacon.
Legislators agreed at last Thursday’s Public Works Committee meeting to authorize a contract with Hudson Baylor. The official, formal vote was expected yesterday.
County Manager David Fanslau said he anticipates the county’s net revenue to increase from the arrangement.
“The gross recycling revenue for 2011 is budgeted at $536,042, and the budgeted expense for Hudson Baylor is $226,832,” Fanslau explained. “Therefore, we have budgeted a net revenue of $309,210.”
Wants more say in college’s budget
During last week’s Government Services Committee meeting, Legislator Ron Hiatt said he wants the county to have more input on Sullivan County Community College’s (SCCC’s) budget.
The county contributes $4 million directly to SCCC’s budget every year, though Fanslau said the actual costs exceed $6 million.
Hiatt advocated for a joint budget committee with SCCC board and faculty members.
“Perhaps we can avoid tilting at future windmills, so to speak,” he said, referencing a lawsuit the college has filed against a company that had been contracted to build a windmill behind SCCC’s Loch Sheldrake campus.
Alan Sorensen, Leni Binder and Kathy LaBuda agreed to sit on that committee with Hiatt, along with a Town of Fallsburg representative.
“Since we do contribute to it, I think we have a right to question certain things,” Binder explained.
Rouis suggested the Government Services Committee meetings would be sufficient, which Hiatt agreed to so long as both SCCC board and faculty reps were present.
Sorensen, who chairs the committee, said the matter will be discussed further in March and/or April.
Address changes
Public Works Commissioner Bob Meyer revealed on last week that 28 properties – including about two dozen residences – along County Route 95 between North Branch and Obernburg will see their 911/postal addresses change.
“The problem was, there was a disconnect with the E-911 maps and the maps in the Division of Public Works [DPW],” explained Assistant County Attorney Tom Cawley.
The road straddles the townships of Callicoon and Fremont. In Callicoon, said Meyer, it’s called the “North Branch-Obernburg Road,” while in Fremont, it’s simply called the “Obernburg Road.”
Dispatching of emergency response teams to properties along that stretch of road has been problematic, he added, with at least one case of a fire department ending up at the wrong house.
Thus the plan is to rename the entire road “County Route 95.” It’s always been called such by the DPW, Meyer noted.
Signage will be updated to reflect the change, including the little blue reference signs mounted on residents’ mailboxes.
Legislator David Sager said since it’s not citizens’ fault, they won’t have to pay for replacing their street-number signs – the county will take care of it.”

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