Saturday, December 01, 2007

Town of Hurley Updates

  • Public Hearing on Historic Preservation Law Monday, Dec. 3rd, 6 pm, Town Hall. The proposed law is posted on the Town website. Read it, show up, voice your opinion.
  • The Town Board passed a revised 2008 budget on Nov. 26th. The PDFs of the budget are on the Town website
  • You can subscribe to news updates from the Town website by entering your email address in the box at the bottom of this page on the website. Remember to confirm your subscription when you receive the confirmation update.
Doris Licht and I are working hard to understand the mechanics of the Digital Towpath software that supports the town website so we can teach its use to the department heads and committee chairs. It's pretty clunky, so we aren't there yet. Bear with us as we sort through it. Meanwhile, this blog is meant for you to post your opinions on town news. Leave us a comment. Thanks.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Dear Hurley Residents, On Monday November 19, 2007 Supervisor Shultis made a motion to adopt the 2008 Town Budget which gave a modest 0.2% property tax decrease to Hurley Taxpayers. After a lengthy debate this motion was voted down by a 3-1 vote with John Gill, Barbara Zell and Janet Briggs voting against Supervisor Shultis' budget. John Gill then introduced a motion, seconded by Barbara Zell to adopt Supervisor Shultis' 2008 budget WITH the following changes which resulted in a 12.4% Property Tax Increase!: Voting FOR this 12.4% increase: John Gill, Barbara Zell & Janet Briggs COUNCILMAN GILL STATED DURING THE PUBLIC MEETING THAT HIS CHANGES WOULD RESULT IN A 2.2% TAX INCREASE. . SUPERVISOR SHULTIS WAS THE DISSENTING VOTE AGAINST THIS EGREGIOUS ERROR !!! Increase GENERAL FUND Budget Lines, 1. A1220.4 Supervisor Contractual from $12,000 to $42,000 = $30,000 increase 2. A5182.4 Town Street Lighting Contractual from $6400 to $6700 = $300 increase 3. A9060.8 Medical Insurance-Employee Benefit from $62,400 to $73,400 = $11,000 increase Increase HIGHWAY FUND Budget Lines, 1. DA5112.2 Permanent Improvements-Capital Outlay from $175,000 to $300,000 = $125,000 increase 2. DA5142.4 Snow Removal-Personal Services from $186,600 to $210,000 = $23,400 increase 3. DA5142.4 Snow Removal-Contractual from $130,000 to $150,000 = $20,000 increase 4. DA9950.9 Interfund Transfers-Capital Projects from $0 to $10,000 = $10,000 increase The General Fund increase, to be raised by property taxes, is up $41,300 or 6.7% from $628,800 to $671,100 The Highway Fund increase, to be raised by property taxes, is up $178,400 or 15.5% from 1,152,900 to $1,331,300 THIS 12.4% Property Tax INCREASE comes when Hurley will end 2007 with a surplus of OVER $500,000 ! ! ! IF THIS STIRS YOU TO ACTION PLEASE ATTEND MONDAY NOVEMBER 26TH TOWN BOARD MEETING AT TOWN HALL 7 PM AND SPEAK UP AND BE HEARD!!!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

What we worry about -- New report on Mid-Hudson public opinion

If you are interested in public opinion, how it changes over time, and/or life in the Mid-Hudson, take a look at this report just issued by the Dyson Foundation and the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. Many Voices, One Valley 2007 provides a county-by-county and interest group-by-group picture of how we've changed since 2002. You can also attend a public forum discussing the study - Nov. 16th, 8:30 - 11 am, at Marist College. They're serving a light breakfast so RSVP
Many Voices One Valley: "Many Voices One Valley 2007 reports the results of a survey conducted by the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion and funded by the Dyson Foundation about what people in New York's Mid-Hudson Valley think of living in the region. The counties included in the study are Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan, and Ulster. The results provide a road map to residents' perceptions of the region and expectations for the future."

Monday, October 29, 2007

Budget Hearing Rescheduled

A handwritten notice on the door of the Town Hall announces that the budget hearings will take place on November 1st and 2nd. The specific information states that the meetings will be: Thursday, Nov. 1 at 6:30PM - Hurley Town Hall Friday, Nov. 2 at 4:30PM -- West Hurley Fire Department Hall It might be more appropriate to post such notices on the Community Events Bulletin Board erected this June by eagle scout Jacob Lane -- who also donated a box of letters..

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Budget Hearings Postponed

Apparently, the dates for the proposed budget hearing announced at the at the Town Board meeting did not leave enough time to publish in the media as prescribed by law. Consequently, the dates of Oct. 26 and Oct. 29 have been postponed. It is not clear how the new dates will be communicated other than small notices in the Kingston Freeman.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Tentative Budget Hearing Dates

Supevisor Shultis announced public hearings on the proposed town budget: Friday, October 26 at 7PM will be reserved for a public hearing on the budget at the Town Hall. A second meeting on Monday, October 29 at 7PM will be reserved for a public hearing on the budget at the West Hurley Fire Department Hall.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Budget Hearings

This note is to remind Hurley residents to thoughtfully look at the proposed budget. Hearings will likely be announced at the Town Board meeting at the West Hurley Firehouse this Monday, October 22 at 7PM. In 2007, the budget for Highway capital projects was cut in half -- to $150,000. The draft budget for 2008 will hold this amount flat, but will make provision for a major expansion to the West Hurley park on Dug Hill Road. According to Shingeviss Associates, the proposed park expansion is estimated at $686,750. Even if grant applications are successful, the Town's share of the cost would be $343,375 -- more than twice the budget for Hurley's highway improvements. Given the potential liability of NYC's tax litigation and the declining funds in the Watershed Towns account left to fight this suit, would we be better served with a rainy day fund, vs. a major park expansion? Or at the least, should there be a larger investment in the Town's highway infrastructure? After all, $150,000 buys less than 1.5 miles of road material. There are no doubt many different opinions on the subject -- please exercise your right to comment on the budget.

Hurley Rail Trail News

Hi, This section was supposed to be included in the Town's newsletter, but was inadvertently left out: Hurley Rail Trail Notes The summer flew by and the trail use stayed consistently strong, reflecting the importance Hurley residents place on a healthy lifestyle. Our committee did a sample trail census on Saturday, August 26 and found that the majority of trail users were Hurley residents in the morning, but visitors tended to come from a variety of locales through the afternoon. Hurley residents tended to use the trail daily -- Biking and walking were most popular. We counted 85 trail users even though the day was oppressively hot and humid -- over 70% of the activity occurred before noon. Another trail count will be done during a weekday to compare results. As we look back on the season, several items stand out: 1. Installation of the interpretive signs adds a further dimension for trail users. Both Hurley residents, as well as visitors, can now learn a little more about our heritage, thanks to the grant from the Hudson River Greenway. 2. The planted berms have all been adopted by various families or organizations that are responsible for maintenance. The berm sponsors are listed on the Town website at the Rail trail Committee page. We thank them for their efforts! 3. Many dog walkers use the trail (11% of our recent census). A dogi-pot sanitary station was added near the Esopus parking area and has gotten good use. If this experiment is successful, we will evaluate the addition of another station. 4. Garbage continues to be an issue. We have removed over 150 pounds of trash this year. The good news is that the volume of garbage has declined over the past three years. A good deal of trash seems to be sourced from Route 209 traffic; a smaller amount is related to children's articles, drinks, and snacks presumably sourced by trail users. Volunteers have picked up the trash -- and we hope that all trail users will get in the habit of keeping the trail a clean environment ('bring a bag' campaign). 5. Unfortunately, graffiti has been added to many signs and buildings this summer. The Rte 209 underpass is no exception. We have asked the NYSDOT for assistance in addressing the issue and we are planning a clean-up party to eliminate the freelance artwork. If you are interested in assisting, please send a note to Looking forward, there are issues which may affect trail users in the months to come. 1. A sinkhole developed near Russell Rd. which will require major engineering to repair. The cause appears to be the loss of embedment material along a major culvert which carries the Millbrook stream under Rte. 209. The NYSDOT will be addressing the repairs before winter and may result in closure of the trail at that juncture. 2. Ulster County is preparing a Non Motorized Transportation Plan which will outline all major pedestrian and biking routes in the county. The objective of the plan is to recommend trail projects which will create or link non motorized routes, such as our rail trail. Public meetings on the recommendations will begin October 9 -- please see for more information.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sheldon Quimby article highlights Hurley Rail Trail

Daily Freeman - Happy trails to all: "The old tune, 'I've been Working on the Railroad,' seems to be an appropriate theme song for Sheldon Quimby. For the past 15 years, the Port Ewen resident has dedicated a great deal of time to the D&H Canal Heritage Corridor's section of the O&W Rail Trail."

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Rosendale News

NY times article; NEW YORK REGION | September 23, 2007 With an Upscale Spa, a Clash of Meanings for the Word 'Green' A proposed development has sparked worry among Rosendale, N.Y., residents about losing access to three privately owned lakes that have always been open to them. (click on Title, "Rosendale News" to read entire article)

Friday, August 03, 2007

Conservation Advisory Council (C.A.C.) Walks Dughill Road

On Thursday, Aug. 2, 2007, the C.A.C. held a morning meeting in the Town Hall which was attended by Tom Schneller, a long time resident of Dughill Road in Hurley. After the meeting, Tom Schneller took us on a tour of Dughill Road where he pointed out wetlands, ponds and other scenic places that we hope to preserve for future generations.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Rail Trail in the Freeman Today

Here's an update on the rail trail from Kingston to Ellenville. It was in the Freeman today.
"The old tune, 'I've been Working on the Railroad,' seems to be an appropriate theme song for Shel-don Quimby. For the past 15 years, the Port Ewen resident has dedicated a great deal of time to the D&H Canal Heritage Corridor's section of the O&W Rail Trail."
Read the whole article in the Daily Freeman - Happy trails to all

Monday, June 04, 2007


On Friday, May 18, 2007, Maeve Maurer, Doris Licht and Lou Kozma attended the daylong Rondout Creek Watershed Council Training Day as representatives of the Hurley C.A.C. Council. The training was held at UCCC with more than 40 people from various towns in Ulster County attending and 7 presenters. During the morning session we heard an introduction and information on watershed awareness by Manna Jo Greene of the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, followed by an overview of Watershed Protection Plans by Scott Cuppett of the NYS Dept of Environmental Conservation Hudson River Estuary Program (HREP). The morning also held a fun activity of tracing our watershed and identifying stream order on a map (the Marbletown people were using our area map so we used a different one). We were all treated to pizza by the D.E.P. as the cafeteria was closed The afternoon session introduced watershed protection and planning, importance of stream monitoring and more. The day ended with an open roundtable discussion among all participants and presenters. There were many handouts distributed as well as a cd-rom containing PowerPoint slides of the day’s presentation.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Comp Plan Public Hearings Saturday and Monday

I heard today that the Town Board has scheduled two public hearings on the Comprehensive Plan -- one tomorrow, Saturday, April 14 at 10 am, West Hurley Firehouse. The second, Monday evening, April 16, 6:30 pm at Town Hall. This may be your last chance before a vote. I hope you'll try to make one of the meetings. You can review the plan on-line or download a large PDF -- both at the Town of Hurley new website.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Come to the Hurley Comprehensive Plan Hearing

The Comprehensive Plan is wending its way through the approval process. The Town Board holds its required public hearing Monday night, March 19th. You can read the draft plan here. One of the papers listed an old, unusable email address for comments. If you have comments please send them to the Town Board or post them here. (You can send them to me, too, if you want. Thanks to so many of you who helped put the plan together. There are some great photographers among you. I appreciate your generosity letting us use your photos on the site. I'm glad it's finished. I hope to see you Monday. Ruth Wahtera, Chair

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Hurley Comp Plan Published Finally!

The plan is finished and has been officially submitted to the Town Board. The County Planning Department has it in-hand to review. The Town Board will schedule hearings shortly. The plan hasn't been moved to the new Town Website but you can review it here.

Rail Trail Update & Survey

Three Reasons to Complete the Rail Trail Survey

1. Survey feedback strengthens our grant applications.

2. Your responses help us set priorities for expanding and enhancing the Trail.

3. By responding you let us know the time we spend improving the trail is appreciated. That keeps us going.

So, please complete the survey and forward the survey link to your friends and neighbors in case they don't subscribe to this newsletter. Rail Trail Survey

Complete the survey NOW! Five minutes of your time --
Happy New Year! Did you make a resolution to get more exercise this year? Do you use the Rail Trail as your exercise venue of choice? How often? How would you like to see it improved?

It may be winter, but the weather is still mild and we see many of you out on the Rail Trail. Meanwhile, we're huddled over our computer screens putting together grant applications to extend and enhance the trail.

Help us convince funders that the Rail Trail is a vital part of our community by completing this brief survey now. It will only take five minutes, but it's invaluable information for us.

What's Up on the Trail? It has been a busy year for the rail trail - and it's been great seeing so many of you out there. During 2006, we tamed the weeds on the twelve berms (planted hillocks), thanks to the help of many organizations and clubs who volunteered their time.

Most of the berms have now been adopted by volunteer groups. Come Spring, flowers will begin to sprout. Signs have been placed on the adopted berms - pass your thanks on to these organizations and families.

The Hudson Valley Greenway has designated the trail a "countryside corridor" and provided a grant to assist the Town in placing interpretive signs along the paved portion of the trail. The finished signs arrived in November and will be installed in April, 2007. These signs will inform trail users about Hurley's historical, environmental, and agricultural heritage.

Eagle Scouts built the new kiosk and six benches. Brendan Nugent (kiosk and two benches) and Wyler Gins (four benches) raised the funds to buy the materials and led volunteers in the construction/installation of their projects. Paul Esposito has begun installing mileage markers along the rail trail as part of his Eagle Scout project.

NYS Senator John Bonacic committed to provide a partial grant to build an additional parking area near the Russell Rd. intersection. We now need to find a sponsor for the remaining funds necessary for this task.

Please take five minutes to show your appreciation and support by completing the Rail Trail Survey before you head out for your New Year's Day walk.

All the best for the New Year,

Wally Cook

Hurley Rail Trail Chair

Review the Rail Trail Section of the Comprehensive Plan You can read the pages that address the Rail Trail at this link.

Hurley Comp Plan Rail Trail Recommendations