Meeting set for Route 28 towns

Tue, Jun 17 2008

By Patricia Breakey

Delhi News Bureau?

The first public meeting on the state Route 28 corridor will be held by the Central Catskills Collaborative at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Catskill Center for Conservation and Development in Arkville.

The center is located at the junction of Route 28 and Delaware County Route 38.

Deputy Secretary of State Robert Elliott will discuss ?Intermunicipal Cooperation and Smart Growth,? officials said.

Elliott founded the Historic River Towns of Westchester County, a 13-community consortium focused on waterfront development, tourism and Main Street economics. As deputy secretary of state, he serves on New York?s Smart Growth Cabinet, an interagency initiative created by executive order of then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer in December.

The Central Catskills Collaborative is a group of six towns and villages along the corridor in Delaware and Ulster counties. Andes, Fleischmanns, Middletown and Margaretville are among them.

Donald Kearney, of Fleischmanns, is a town of Middletown councilman and is representing the town on the CCC. He said the group, which is still in the formative stages, has met twice.

?This stems from the push to help the upstate economy,? Kearney said. ?We have been discussing the development of a scenic byway and coming up with some kind of uniform advertising and developing ideas like a scenic bicycle route.??

Peter Manning, Catskill Center regional planner, said the group has been engaged ?in a regional dialogue focused on protecting and promoting the scenic, cultural, historic, and economic well being of the Route 28 corridor and the central Catskills.?

The state-sponsored Central Catskill Mountains/Park Smart Growth Program was announced in April, and made $500,000 available for local improvement projects along the Route 28 corridor and in the hamlets.

The CCC has developed recommendations to improve economic activities while sustaining the Catskills? sense of place, officials said.

The recommendations include:

 Improved interpretation of and access to the Catskill Forest Preserve; greater CCC participation in rail corridor revitalization;

 Exploring the creation of a scenic byway;

 Pursuing intermunicipal funding opportunities; engaging educational institutions to assist the CCC in its objectives;

 Regular communication with DEC and DOT; and

 Implementing recommendations from planning documents.?

For more information, call Manning at (845) 586-2611.

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