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Letters to the Editor - The Millerton News - 9-23-21

Ancram Planning Board dropped the ball

Palumbo is back. Those of us who were living in the Boston Corner area 20 years ago might remember the controversy caused by Mr. Anthony Palumbo’s attempt to mine gravel near the beautiful scenic overlook off Route 22. Luckily his attempt failed and it was determined that gravel mining would not be permitted. 

We now have another problem. The farmer who rents Palumbo’s land, Mr. John Langdon, apparently approached excavator Fred Schneeberger to ask for help leveling the land he farms in Boston Corner, Ancram. The reason? To safely move his farm vehicles. Therefore, it’s not really gravel mining but it’s for the “sole” benefit of agriculture. 

Langdon hired Mr. Schneeberger’s excavation company to level the land and, incidentally, extract 25,000-cubic yards (later reduced to 20,000) of gravel to be hauled back to Palumbo’s gravel company, Palumbo Block Co. Inc., in Dover Plains. 

Palumbo and Schneeberger stand to make thousands of dollars each. The farmer stands to get flatter land. Who is the real beneficiary of this project? 

I’m outraged at the lax way the Ancram Planning Board has approached this application. 

If the land is that dangerous to move vehicles safely, let’s have some proof. Let’s have some research, perhaps an engineer to determine how much land must be removed for safety. Instead we get an arbitrary 20,000 cubic yards. Who determined that?

At all the meetings I attended, neither the farmer, Mr. Langdon, nor Mr. Palumbo attended. It was Mr. Schneeberger, the excavator, who attended and he was the one who made the case on behalf of Mr. Langdon. 

It appeared that minutes were never taken, our numerous letters in protest of the project were not answered and the entire process was handled sloppily and with no transparency. 

The Planning Board seems to have favored this proposal from day one without what I consider proper discussion or research. 

We learned recently that the farmer, Mr. Langdon, finally made an appearance at the September meeting. But amazingly, no one knew he was there! He was not introduced nor was he invited to speak or to accept questions from the public. 

A board member said, “Our job is to protect the town.” 

I’d like to remind him that WE are the town. We must protect our beautiful countryside. 

If this application is approved, it will set a precedent for future excavations.

Angela Darling

Boston Corner

 

Dear town of Gallatin residents and landowners, CP Open House is Oct. 2

On behalf of the Town of Gallatin, I wanted to let Gallatin residents know that the Town of Gallatin is seeking input for its Comprehensive Plan (CP) update!  

The Town of Gallatin’s Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee is hosting an Open House on Oct. 2, at Pavilion E at Lake Taghanic State Park and people can visit anytime between 10 a.m. and noon. 

This will be an informal community gathering where you can wander among several tables and offer input, see maps and learn about the planning process in Gallatin. All are welcome to drop by anytime and stay as long as you like during those hours. Your input is important — we want to hear your ideas on issues, concerns and vision you have for the Town.

The Town of Gallatin has started work on updating their 2009 Town Comprehensive Plan. The Town Board has appointed a volunteer committee of residents to help update the plan. 

The first step in this update will be to hear from residents and landowners. This Open House will be a chance for the Steering Committee to hear the thoughts, opinions, hopes and aspirations of Gallatin residents and landowners in an informal setting. The Committee will follow up later in the year with a town-wide survey. The updated Plan will be a blueprint to guide the physical growth, land use, recreation, infrastructure and community development for the next 10 to 15 years. 

This Open House was designed with COVID-19 precautions in mind, and will be an easy and quick way for residents and landowners to participate. The Committee urges all Gallatin residents and landowners to participate in updating our Town’s Plan. Everyone’s input is important and will contribute to the plan. 

Please drop by and offer your comments on Saturday, Oct. 2, anytime between 10 a.m. and noon at Pavilion E at Lake Taghanic State Park. Refreshments will be available. The park is located at 1528 Route 82, Ancram, N.Y. 12502 and park access is also available off the Taconic State Parkway. For directions to the park see www.parks.ny.gov/parks/laketaghkanic/details.aspx.

We hope Gallatin residents will attend the Open House.

Nan Stolzenburg

town consultant

Wright, N.Y.

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