Location: Coalition of Watershed Towns, Main Street, Margaretville, NY
Present: Art Merrill, Mike McCrary, Ric Coombe, Mark Tuthill, Bruce Dolph, Diana Cope, Peter Friedel, Counsel – Kevin Young.
Others attending: Alan Rosa, Tim Cox, Larry Underwood, Alicia Terry, Molly Oliver, Aaron Bennett, Jeff Flack, Joan Lawrence Bauer – Catskill Mountain News, Frazier.
1. Call to Order 6:17
2. July 18, 2016 Minutes – Motion to approve Art Merrill, second Mark Tuthill, passed.
3. Update on WSP & Side Agreement, WR&R
a. Kingston Meetings 8/8 – FAD Meetings – Kevin summarized the Kingston meetings. Parties to the negotiations are working in good faith however; we sense there is a fair amount of resistance to our proposed changes. The solutions will likely be in expansion of partnership programs and delegation of program administration of some programs, for example the CWC Future Stormwater Program. CWC and CWT have sent proposals to them, but they have not received feedback yet. Also, the City provided a new schedule for accepting septic waste. The volumes that have been proposed should provide plenty of head room to take care of current needs. Kevin read off data for all DEP WWTPs. DEP will be sending out a final schedule.
b. The CWT has been asked to draft a Conservation Easement for municipalities who are purchasing property. Jeff Flack reported that the appraisal has been accepted by the Business owner in Jewitt. So the CWT will work on that easement language.
c. Delaware County Meeting with Regulators – Molly, Shelly Johnson, Frazier and Kevin Young met with DOH, DEC and EPA. The purpose was to have a more thorough discussion about the challenges we have cited as problems. Two or three examples where given and discussed in-depth. We felt the meeting was well worth-while as we were better able to explain in a small group some of the pitfalls in the processes and gaps between what is being said at the stakeholder meetings and what is actually happening on the ground and why. We advocated for expansion of partnership programs at CWC and changes related to the NCRA’s. No matter what changes made to the WR&R there will be ambiguity in interpretation of the WR&Rs.
d. Molly offered an invitation for Mike Dulong to come and visit the watershed as he had not been in Delaware County. Molly summarized the day. Took him to 3 sites where pre project meetings were underway with contractors. One of the contractors showed him directly and discussed some of the projects. We think it was helpful for him and in turn it was useful for us to hear his thoughts on things. Graydon Dutcher took us on a tour of the Water Street Project in Walton. That too, was a very useful and informative stop. Graydon did a great job explaining what was being planned.
4. 360 Report- Molly reported on the meeting Delaware County had with the five authors of the proposed changes to the NYD DEC Part 360. There was ambiguity with regard to how they might affect our flood mitigation efforts, particularly where historical fill needs removing or reuse of navigational dredge material of stream materials. There is a potential for large costs for dealing with contaminated soils. A sampling protocol is outlined. Sampling costs could be extremely large. Sampling might have to be done before you even get bids. Under an Article 15 permit, many of the regulations would not apply. Taking fill out of a flood plain triggers the regulations. They want us to review their transition language. Our comments suggested that if you have funding in place that the project should not be subject to these changes. It is a self-regulatory program.
5. Flood Commission Reports – Bruce complimented the flood commission reports that have been sent in and cited some very significant projects will be implemented in the future. He emphasized the need for municipalities to institute a debris removal program to minimize structures plugging up during events.
a. Larry Underwood reported on the Walton Flood Commission. CWC fuel tank anchoring program is out there and being used. Doing a great service and job. Code officers are pushing it. East, West and Third Brook Tributaries are underway. Two public meetings have been held in Walton. The plan is to have a walk-through of the tributaries for the public this fall. Arkville is rescheduling their next Flood Commission meeting. Fleischmanns is having and Clovesville had a meeting on August 8th. A plan was adopted. Delhi is scheduled for August 25 and then a joint town and village meeting on September 13. Andes had a public meeting and introduced the public to their consultant. Hamden had a meeting on findings on August 2. Field surveys are being conducted in Hamden to collect flood data, etc.
b. Jeff Flack reported that Ashland has formed a commission. Town of Hunter, Village of Hunter, and Village of Tannersville will each have their own commission, but will use the same consultant for continuity.
c. Alicia reported that Conesville had a kickoff meeting and first meeting with the public. Good attendance and good information was shared. Will be meeting again in September.
d. Aaron reported on Ulster County.
i. Town of Shandaken
1. Phoenicia (post-LFA Implementation):
a. Shandaken submitted an application to the CWC’s Flood Hazard Mitigation Implementation Program last month for $15,000 to hire a consultant to conduct a feasibility study for the possible relocation of two adjoining, commercial structures (on one parcel) on Main Street Phoenicia. Desire is to relocate to a location in the hamlet outside of floodplain. The relocation is tied to the floodplain mitigation project.
b. The town recently discovered that all of the Benefit-to-Cost ratios included in the final Phoenicia – Mt Tremper LFA were incorrect. The consulting firm mistakenly double-counted the equalization rate for the town. Revisions were done (at no additional cost), however the updated BCRs are lower than the originals. The BCR for the highest priority project the Town is pursuing – a floodplain bench in Phoenicia, remains above 1.0.
2. Mt Tremper (post-LFA implementation):
a. Similar to what occurred in Prattsville with respect to the Route 23A bridge, Shandaken officials recently met with NYSDOT and NYSDEC staff to discuss opportunities to coordinate with one another on the replacement of the Route 28 bridge over Esopus Creek. The town presented the state with results from the LFA process. Town and State officials will collaborate closely as this bridge project moves forward (2019-20 construction).
3. Shandaken / Allaben:
a. Town of Shandaken has settled on a scope of services and a price from Milone and MacBroom (MMI) to conduct a Local Flood Analysis for the hamlets of Shandaken and Allaben. The town is in the process of applying to the AWSMP for funding to hire MMI. The LFA should begin this fall.
b. The next SAFARI (flood committee) meeting is scheduled for September 13, 10am in Shokan
4. Town of Olive
a. The first draft of the LFA final report for the hamlets of Boiceville and West Shokan is expected to be delivered to the town’s Flood Advisory Committee in August. This project is on schedule for completion by November.
b. The next meeting will be scheduled upon receipt of the draft LFA report.
Rondout – Neversink
ii. Town of Denning
a. Town of Denning accepted the Claryville LFA report at its July town board meeting. The Sullivan County Town of Neversink accepted the Claryville report in July as well.
a. LFA is underway with Barton & LoGuidice as the selected engineering firm/consultant. Two public information-gathering sessions have already been held. The Flood Committee met the first week in August and was given a preview of some of the preliminary modeling that has been already conducted for several of the locations identified by the residents. One of the projects being discussed, at least preliminarily, is a 1,600’ stream restoration project immediately upstream of the Sundown Bridge (scheduled to be rehabilitated by Ulster County DPW next year). More modeling is needed for this potential project, as well as the others, before moving ahead to the BCA.
iii. The next Sundown community LFA meeting where the modeling scenarios will be presented is scheduled for 6pm on September 1 at Church Hall in Sundown. The public presentation with the BCA results is scheduled for October 13.
e. The City came to Walton to discuss appraisals for The Breakey Motors and County Building in the Village of Walton and will soon be doing them.
f. Water Quality workgroup. Phil Eskeli and Beth Riechheld met with the TAG working group on July 26th. We are expecting their comments on the narrative the group has developed. This is related to the 1:1 BCA issue. This narrative in the matrix is for use with any source of money to justify the water quality.
CWC reports – Alan reported that DOH has reached out to CWC on the waste water program. CWC has worked out the program rules and the Future Stormwater and Retrofit programs have also been discussed with them. On July 28th CWC met with Paul Rush, Corp Council and people doing contracts to discuss what would be needed by DEP with regard to the new building and leasing it. Tim did a little research on the people within DEP we work with in the DEP. About 70% live outside the watershed and even outside NYS. Getting them up here would help with communication and accountability.
6. 25th Anniversary of CWT
a. RSVP Update: as of tonight 21 have sent an RSVP. Another reminder was sent out this morning. Some have been sent direct mailings. Video footage – Kevin is having all their files taken out of storage and brought to their offices. It will involve dozens of boxes they are law firm boxes.
b. Kurt Ossenfort – Video Footage – The board approved Molly to follow up on the Kurt Ossenfort subject to clarify the situation given that Jeff is on vacation.
c. Speakers – it was decided to have Jeff and Kevin speak of the general history as the main speakers and would ask past members or other guests to say a few words as they desire. Alan, Clayton Brooks, Carl Stuendel, Bruce and others would offer some comments as they desire.
7. Below the Reservoirs
a. Delaware – Paul Rush will be reporting on the studies they did below the Cannonsville dam. Involved parties are meeting this Thursday to sort out the final schedule for meetings this fall and early spring for the SCMP. Outreach with communities on the history of the streams is going well. Grants for two more pilot projects, one in Colchester and one in Deposit have been submitted.
b. Esopus – no report
c. Schoharie – no report
8. Warrants(s): no warrants this month. Treasurer’s Report $1,000.19, Savings $86,489.02 Moved by Ric Coombe to accept the Treasurer’s report, second by Mark Tuthill. Passed unanimously.
a. Dues Payment Update – Looking up. Currently, only 7 members have not paid this year’s dues.
a. DOH replied to the letter sent by the CWT in response to Environmental Group letter that went to the Commissioner of DOH regarding the lack of progress on the flood mitigation program.
b. Letter from Town of Olive. Septic systems being required are too costly. Shokan soils are not well suited to individual septic systems and lot sizes are far too small. Shokan is in 1A, the highest category. DEP did a study on the hamlet. The town of Olive has sent a letter to state that the report does not address the problems. This community needs a community waste system. Kevin recommended that the CWT get a copy of that study. Alan says Shokan was missed when communities were identified. Community cluster system will not work here either. There is no incentive for a municupality to get involved if there is no funding for O&M should a bad actor use the system. There is not a septic solution for Shokan. Alan indicated he could forward the information to Kevin. The Coalition supports Shokan’s position via their comments on the FAD. The supervisor for Olive should attend the stakeholder meetings on this subject.
c. The DOH summary of the review of compliance by DEP with the revised 2017 FAD is out.
d. Kevin reported that DEC just released the new NYS Standards and Specifications for Erosion and Sediment Control. It is a guidance document. It is some 600 pages long. Three DEP staff were very influential in its development. Some discussion ensued about that. It will be used as regulation by DEP based on past practice. It appears the only solution to this debacle is that CWC get delegated authority to approve projects and funding to administer future stormwater and retrofits.
10. Adjourn – At 7:33 Mark Tuthill made the motion to adjourn, seconded by Pete Friedel. Carried.