NARROWSBURG – The Upper Delaware Council (UDC) approved $12,822 in Fiscal Year 2024 Technical Assistance Grants (TAG), bringing the cumulative amount awarded since 1988 to $943,096 to fund 264 municipal projects in the Upper Delaware River Valley.
The Council granted $10,000 to the Town of Tusten to develop an Open Space and Recreation Plan and $2,822 to Damascus Township to revamp an Emergency Preparedness brochure.
Tusten’s Phase 1 project will use New York State’s online inventories of species and habitats of concern to develop GIS maps as an update of its Natural Resource and Open Space Inventory, which was a recommendation in the town’s Comprehensive Plan.
The town is largely undeveloped and contains expansive forests, wetlands, contiguous habitats, and species of concern. This planning process will identify areas to protect, describe tools, and set forth an implementation framework with timelines, strategies, and actions.
It’s expected to take at least two years to complete, working with the Town of Tusten’s Conservation Advisory Council, planning consultant Peter Manning, an engineering firm to be retained, and Sullivan County’s Planning & Community Development and Real Property Tax Services departments for GIS data assistance.
Goals in creating the Open Space and Recreation Plan are to protect resources, provide greater public access to open spaces, outline educational opportunities, and serve as a model for other Upper Delaware River Valley communities.
Damascus Township will create a new Emergency Preparedness brochure to mail to all residents and distribute though outlets such as the township building, the UDC and National Park Service, lodging and recreational sites, and real estate offices.
The purpose is to inform residents and visitors of what to do when facing unexpected dangers, including disasters involving the Delaware River and its tributaries. The brochure will detail how to prepare, where to go, what to take, and how to stay updated during emergencies.
A Quick Response code will be published to direct individuals to helpful resources and general safety tips will be offered, such as always wearing a life jacket when on the water.
Damascus Township Emergency Management Coordinator Ed Lagarenne, Supervisor Steven Adams and Secretary Melissa Haviland will work with Bailey Design & Advertising of Honesdale, PA to update, redesign, and print 2,500 copies of a prior 2016 UDC TAG-funded emergency action publication.
The two applications were submitted by an August 19 deadline and preliminarily reviewed at a September 12 special meeting of the UDC’s Project Review Committee before the full Council voted on a TAG resolution at the October 5 monthly meeting.
They have until August 16, 2024 to complete their projects, with a mid-term progress report due by February 23.
2023 Project Completed
The new round’s Aug. 19 deadline also applied to completion of the Fiscal Year 2023 (Oct. 1, 2022-Sept. 30, 2023) TAG program, in which the Town of Tusten received $8,622.50 to collect all recent zoning law amendments into an online, indexed document.
The Tusten Town Board hired General Code and Peter Manning from Genius Loci Planning for this project, which ultimately cost $11,863.18.
Deputy Town Supervisor Jane Luchsinger reported, “The Town of Tusten has had several updates of the zoning revisions over the years between 2017-2022. These revisions have resulted in separate documents, and it had become difficult to refer to the newest regulations. With funding from this grant, we now have one zoning document that integrates all recent zoning amendments.”
The digital document is publicly accessible by visiting www.townoftusten.org, clicking Building/Code Enforcement, selecting Town Code of Ordinances & Town Zoning Law, then scrolling down to ECode360, Chapter 300.
TAGs for Members
The UDC annually allocates a share of its operational funding from the National Park Service to support projects that meet the goals and objectives of the 1986 River Management Plan for the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River.
The Council’s eight member New York towns, five Pennsylvania townships, and their counties of Delaware, Sullivan, Orange (NY), Wayne and Pike (PA) are eligible to compete. Buckingham and Manchester Townships could participate if they opted to join the Council. No local match is required, and municipalities may work with subcontractors.
Please visit the Technical Assistance Grants page at www.upperdelawarecouncil.org to see guidelines and a directory of completed projects.
Contact UDC Resources and Land Use Specialist Kerry Engelhardt at (845) 252-3022 or email@example.com for more information.