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Johnsburg board discusses vandalism and economic challenges

NORTH CREEK Town of Johnsburg board members and attendees were shocked to hear news of a recent incident of vandalism in the North Creek Ski Bowl Park. On Monday, Warren County Sheriff Patrol responded to the discovery of anti-Semitic graffiti in the park, and along an adjacent walking trail. During the discussion, Supervisor Goodspeed noted an eyewitness to the event came forward, and he believed that arrests had been made. The news comes on the heels of a board resolution to move forward with potential improvements to the existing Ski Bowl enclosed pavilion. A conceptual approval was drafted to enter into formal discussions with representatives of ORDA, in the interest of applying the remaining portion of a National Grid grant. The board specifically agreed to have a second approval vote prior to any improvements being made, and further resolved the project would not put a financial liability on the town. The joint venture would allow ORDA use of the building through the winter season as a warming hut facility, with use reverting to the town during the off-season months. Goodspeed mentioned the parallel need to have a facility for the Johnsburg Youth Commission, and remains confident that both needs could be met. Cellular service in the North Creek area took a significant step forward following a presentation by a regional site development representative. Following an extensive study of the town, including the evaluation of several possible sites, an area located above the current Town of Johnsburg landfill was identified as an ideal location for cell tower installation. The board passed a resolution to authorize Supervisor Goodspeed to sign a letter of intent, subject to attorney review, that would initiate a formal review process. The potential leasing of the 10,000 square-foot parcel would provide revenue to the town, and cellular phone coverage in the North Creek hamlet area. Economic challenges continue to face the board, this time from a community organization. The North Creek Depot Museum reported a significant budgetary shortfall, due in large part to increased heating costs and other overhead, that threaten the closure of the organization. At stake is the Railway Depot Museum, the Owens House property, and the contractual agreement the group has to provide platform services to the Upper Hudson River Railroad. Supervisor Goodspeed and the board pledged their support to the organization, and noted their valuable role in welcoming over 13,000 annual visitors to the area. While the organization was working under the same pressures as others in the area, Goodspeed stated his belief that a solution could be found, possibly in conjunction with other community or educational needs. In other business, Ed Milner, President of the Gore Mountain Region Chamber of Commerce, presented his committee report regarding the Bed Tax allocation process. The group worked to establish an equitable standard, and scoring system, for Bed Tax applicants. Projects would be evaluated through a set of criteria, available funds distributed based on the score, and percentage of distributed funds. Town Clerk William Rawson alerted the board to a Red Flag warning issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The alert warned residents of the dangers associated with outdoor burning, including the danger of forest fires during the recent dry weather conditions. The DEC press release did not call for an outright ban on outdoor burning, but one board member noted a full ban was in effect for Washington County. The next regular meeting of the Johnsburg Town Board will be Tuesday, May 6, 7 p.m., at the Wevertown Community Center.

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