Advocates for Farmers, Residents and Taxpayers in the NYC Watershed
Ulster County Executive Mike Hein met with New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) Commissioner Caswell Holloway on Thursday, March 18, 2010, in New York City at City Hall, to discuss a number of key issues of concern to residents, farmers, school districts and municipalities located within designated New York City watershed towns in Ulster County. During his visit, County Executive Hein also met separately with New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg to discuss challenges facing their respective administrations.
The discussions with NYCDEP officials focused on three main topics: Expanding NYCDEP’s grant funding for farms to implement water pollution containment measures. The County Executive asked City officials to expand the program to include more farms within the watershed towns of Denning, Hardenburgh, Hurley. Marbletown, Olive, Rochester, Shandaken, Wawarsing, Woodstock and the Town of Kingston.
A fair resolution of the problems encountered by the residents of Wawarsing who have been impacted by significant flooding. The County Executive urged City officials to promptly address a long standing problem that many suspect is the result of leaks in the New York City aqueduct system that passes through Wawarsing.
A fair and prompt settlement of tax assessment issues surrounding assessment of property owned by the City in and around the Ashokan Reservoir, particularly in the Town of Hurley.
“Ulster County’s economy certainly benefits from its proximity to New York City, however, residents of New York City receive tremendous benefit from the excellent quality water that our region provides. Ulster County and New York City have a mutual interest in maintaining the integrity of the watershed. My meeting with the Commissioner and other City officials was designed to focus attention on key issues and concerns. I look forward to continued dialogue with New York City officials so that we can resolve current concerns in a much more timely and cooperative manner,” said County Executive Hein.