2012 Ulster County Real Estate Update - Local Political Battle Over Ashokan Water Release Set For June 19th
by Dylan Taft
on Tuesday, June 12th, 2012 at 4:04pm.
The Ulster County NY Legislature recently changed the location of an upcoming meeting so that it would be literally right down the hall from a NY State DEC public hearing on releasing turbid water from the Ashokan Reservoir. Changing the location of this meeting ensures that Ulster County lawmakers will be in the building and present for this public hearing, which discusses giving permits to allow for even more releases of turbid water into the Lower Esopus Creek. The events surrounding the June 19th meetings are an interesting example of some of the local political jousting that is occurring with regards to this controversial issue.
A Reservoir's Controversial History
Taft Street Realty has been covering the issue; most recently in a post on the controversial history of the Ashokan Reservoir. Releasing turbid water from the reservoir into the Esopus Creek can ruin the surrounding watersheds, which many homes in Ulster County NY rely upon for their wells. So in essence, using this method to clean New York City’s water supply (the Ashokan), state officials are destroying some of Ulster County’s water supply (the Esopus Creek and surrounding watersheds). Naturally Ulster County residents and politicians want to voice their discontent about these continued water releases, which leads us to the bizarre events surrounding June 19th’s public NYSDEC hearing.
Conspiracy or Conspiracy Theory?
It may be a conspiracy, or just a conspiracy theory; a case of sneaky politics, or just politics as usual. Call it what you want, but members of the Ulster County Legislature have pointed out that the NYSDEC has, on more than one occasion, scheduled their public hearings for the exact same time and dates as Ulster County Legislature meetings. Thus, Ulster County Legislators would be unable to attend these hearings and voice their concerns. Coincidence? Apparently the Ulster County NY Legislature doesn’t think so. After it happened, yet again, for an upcoming June 19th hearing, they decided to change the time and venue of their meeting – to right down the hall from the DEC hearings at SUNY New Paltz, and ending slightly before. This way, the legislators need only to take a few steps and they’re at the hearing; ensuring they won’t miss it. Though it is unlikely that the entire 23-person Ulster County Legislature will be able to comment at the hearing, they contend that by making their presence known at these hearings, they are “sending a message” to State and City officials that simply re-scheduling hearings will not make opponents of releasing turbid water into the Esopus Creek go away.
Local Issues That Affect Ulster County NY
For more on this and other local issues that affect Ulster County NY, keep reading our Taft Street Realty blog; the most popular blog in the Hudson Valley. We have our finger on the pulse of Ulster County real estate related activity and events!