By Dan Hust
WHITE LAKE Bethel’s town board was informed at its Wednesday meeting that a petition asking for a public vote on a sewer extension has been dismissed as “untimely.”
Supervisor Dan Sturm said Sullivan County Supreme Court Judge Christopher Cahill’s decision had just been received that evening, so Town Attorney Rob McEwan was still reviewing Bethel’s options.
In December, the town board voted 3-2 to extend the Kauneonga Lake Sewer District to a five-acre residential parcel on Schultz Road in White Lake, owned by the non-profit Kollel Averichim Torah Veyirah (KATV), which plans to erect eight dwelling units.
Nearly 90 existing sewer district residents petitioned the town to hold a public vote and were told by town officials to file the petition by January 10.
They did so, but KATV and two supporters challenged the petition’s legitimacy in court.
On May 9, Judge Cahill ruled that the petition was “untimely” in that the petitioners waited too long to file they didn’t file within 30 days after the December 9 adoption of the extension by the board.
Barry Kula, one of the petitioners, was at Wednesday’s town board meeting and recalled getting the January 10 deadline from town officials.
“I think this makes the town look bad, the town attorney look bad and the town board look bad,” he assessed. “Maybe this was misinformation or a mistake [but] the taxpayers in the Kauneonga Lake Sewer District are entitled to due process.
“... I hope you guys are going to do the right thing.”
Sturm said he should have options for a next step from McEwan within a few days.
Taxi on its way
Elsewhere in the meeting, the board unanimously approved Sureway Taxi owner Gary Putter’s application to start taxi service in White Lake.
Putter said he plans to build a facility somewhere in the hamlet but for now will station a car at the gas station in town for quick service.
The Smallwood resident plans to offer up to three taxis locally.