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2018-06-13 / Front Page

Carry In, Carry Out of Walton’s More Park

Trail Building, Boat Launch Projects Move Forward
By Lillian Browne

WALTON - Walton council members reminded More Park users that the park is not equipped with trash receptacles and that anything that is brought in, should be carried out. The request was made at a meeting of the Walton Town Council on June 11.

Signs posting the property, open from dusk to dawn, will be purchased and erected at the park entrance.

Supervisor Charlie Gregory and Flood Plain Manager Steve Dutcher gave an update on the progress being made on the town’s proposal for the construction of hiking trails on New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) property along South Mountain from state Highway 206 on Bear Spring Mountain to South River Road.

Dutcher has thru-hiked a proposed trail which measures 4.7 miles. “It’s not the easiest hike,” Dutcher told council members. “It’s tough getting up there, but once there it’s very pleasant - a stroll through the woods really.”

A portion of the proposed trail traverses a privately owned, land-locked parcel near Cable Hollow. Dutcher has spoken with the property owner about the planned trail and is hopeful permission will be granted to cross the property. If not, Dutcher said, other trail options are available. Dutcher will also make a presentation to the Walton Central School Board of Education on June 19, with the hope of the school allowing the trail to be connected to the two loop trails on the Stockton Avenue campus.

It would be ideal to have students involved in the project, Dutcher said. His goal is to have the required land use application submitted to the DEP by month’s end.

Gregory reported that the DEP has purchased another 10- acre parcel of land on Palmer Hill Road and it is now even more important that outdoor recreation of varying types on public land be not only permitted, but encouraged, as a means of economic sustainability for Walton.

Gregory presented the proposed trail initiative to the Greater Catskill Region Com- prehensive Recreation Plan information-gathering committee earlier in the day, along with plans for a river walk, boat launches and a possible R.V. park.

The public is encouraged to complete a survey about outdoor recreation at catskillsrecplan.com. The survey consists of 21 questions and is anonymous. A draft proposal, using information sourced from the public, will be presented to the DEP and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on July 20.

Land use applications for two planned boat launches on the West Branch of the Delaware River, one on town-owned property on Water Street in the village of Walton and one on DEP-owned property at Beertson, near the intersection of state Route 10 and Beers Brook Road, have been submitted to the DEP, Gregory reported. The next steps, Gregory said, are site plans and environmental reviews for each location.

Walton resident Bruce Dolph told the board that town-owned property on Water Street is not the best location for a boat launch. The existing boat launches, Dolph said, were poorly designed, several feet above the water line, costing between $60,000 and $70,000 each. It would be more cost effective, Dolph said, to construct the boat launch on village-owned property on Water Street.

Gregory explained that the boat launch will be constructed after soil is removed from near the cell tower as part of the unfinished flood mitigation plan, leaving the cell tower on an island of sorts - but leveling the slope for boat launch construction.

Dolph also remarked that the overgrown Japanese knotweed near the DEC-designated public access fishing location below the Bridge Street bridge is an embarrassment to the community. There is no signage and no access, he said.

Council member Luis Betancourt Rodriguiz stated that the public fishing access project was abandoned by the DEC and the location is not designated as public access.

In other business:

• Paul Wood was appointed to the town planning board as an alternate member.

• There will be a free rabies clinic at the town highway garage on state Highway 10 on June 13 from 6 - 8 p.m.

• Discussion regarding the size and purchase of a generator for the town’s designated emergency evacuation center took place, with further study needed.

• Regarding county matters, Gregory reported that a resolution to proceed with the purchase of the Delaware Street property for a consolidated mental health facility, was passed by the board of supervisors. The next steps, he said, are to complete an environmental review and move into phase two of the project which includes design and construction. The relocation of the county’s department of public works facility is being negotiated by the county attorney and the attorney representing Joyce and Bob Bishop of Hamden, who own the property the county proposes to purchase for the new garage.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Walton Town Council will be on Monday, July 9 at 6 p.m.

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