STATEMENT FROM THE CATSKILL TOWN BOARD
As individual residents and taxpayers, every member of the Town Board opposes new business uses that could increase pollution in the town of Catskill. As Town Board members, however, we welcome discussions with any business that proposes to create jobs and reduce our high residential taxes. Our “welcome,” therefore, always includes a statement that any proposal to be considered by the town must first meet all applicable regulations, including environmental, for the use of that site.
Three years ago, Wheelabrator approached the Town about potential use of a quarry along Route 9W owned by Peckham Industries. Our response was that we would await notification from the DEC that they had studied the proposal and concluded that it meets all environmental regulations, including those governing the Hudson River estuary. That’s where we stand today. The DEC review is still underway. No proposal has been approved and none submitted to the town.
So why don’t we show some leadership and pass a Town Law NOW that’s creatively tailored to ban that specific use?
Because everyone has a right to fair process. If we bring action tailored to deprive a landowner of rights, they can (and do) bring legal actions backed by deep pockets against the town government, which can cost taxpayers millions. We choose to minimize that risk by following our established process and allowing the DEC to conclude its mandatory examination before we take our next step.
Perhaps even more important, we’re being asked to create a special law targeted to deal with this issue, which we all agree is an important one. But in doing so, we create a dangerous precedent: what about the next group that wants a Town Law passed for their issue? What if it’s specifically tailored to achieve something we don’t all agree on?
While we appreciate the quality of the information and the intensity that has been brought to the discussion, we maintain our position as a board that there is no proposal to consider until the DEC completes its review.
Catskill Town Board