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DELHI – Delaware County has interceded on the Bramley Mountain Fire Tower project, stalled by the town of Delhi over a permitting and insurance dispute.
Delaware County Economic Development Director Glenn Nealis announced at a committee meeting held May 3 that late Davenport Supervisor Dennis Valente and Tina Molé, county supervisor chairperson, asked that the county take the lead on the project as permit holder, to move it forward, as a outdoor recreation/tourism project.
Nealis reviewed draft contracts, lease agreements and permits between Friends of Bramley Mountain and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, he said; and changes have been requested to documentation to make it more clear which organization is responsible for what.
It is anticipated that there will be insurance costs to the county for the fire tower structure, Nealis said, and has requested a quote for liability insurance from the county’s insurance carrier. It is possible, he said, that insurance costs may go under the county’s umbrella policy with minimal or no charge. Once he has received a quote for insurance costs, Nealis said, he will ask economic development committee members to support a resolution for approval by the board of supervisors.
The disassembled fire tower is proposed to be reassembled at its former site at the summit of Bramley Mountain in the town of Delhi, as an recreational attraction accessible by hiking trails maintained by the Catskill Mountain Club.
In February, a petition signed by 781 people was presented to the Delhi town council, urging the town authorize contracts to advance the project. Delhi councilmembers voted against entering into an agreement with the DEP, required for a land use permit to reconstruct the tower on DEP-owned property. Delhi Councilmembers said local code enforcement is prohibited on DEP-owned land.
The Bramley Mountain Fire Tower and hiking trails, Nealis said, will create an outdoor recreation asset for Delaware County increasing tourism. “It will encourage visitors to further explore Delaware County,” Nealis said.
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For previous coverage of the project in the Reporter, see the below links: