Welcome to The Town of Olive!

Nestled in the Catskill Mountains of New York State is 40,000 acres named the Town of Olive. In 1824, theory has it that it was so named from the biblical story of the dove returning to Noah’s ark with an Olive branch. The Ashokan Reservoir geographically divides Olive–north and south. The hamlets around the shoreline are Boiceville, Olivebridge, Samsonville, Krumville, Shokan, West Shokan, and Ashokan.

The passing of the Water Act of 1905 led to the building of the handmade Ashokan Dam on the Esopus Creek and upon its completion in 1916 created the Ashokan Reservoir, a main water supply for the City of New York-Olive’s largest landowner. The demand for pure, clean drinking water for New York City inhabitants changed the course of history for the Town of Olive and still has an impact on everyday life. The Town center and the majority of the Town’s residents were forced from the rich Esopus Valley and relocated to the nearby foothills. In May of 1997 Land Use Regulations, which could become a model for the rest of the country, became effective as a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between Watershed Towns and the City of New York to provide for protection of water quality throughout the New York City Watershed.

Traveling west on State Route 28, Olive is thirty minutes from Kingston, New York—the first capitol of New York State-and is a little more than an hour travel time to the current state capitol of Albany. Being only two hours north of New York City and totally within the Catskill State Park, Olive has been a seasonal recreational area for New Yorkers. The boarding house days and hunting camps of the 30′s, 40′s, and 50′s have vanished and are now seasonal second homes or primary residences for many city folk.

The major industries of timber harvesting, tanneries, and excelsior mills, which once ravaged the mountains of Olive, have long vanished as the Catskill Forest Preserve was created in 1885 keeping forever the preserve as wild forest lands. The Catskills have been a favorite tourist destination for over 100 years. Today’s Olive is primarily residential in nature, with a large percentage of seasonal residents, and a limited number of backyard farms with victory gardens.

August 11th Town Board Audit & Workshop Meeting

Local Flood Analysis for Boiceville and West Shokan

Resolution #12 of 2014 Supporting Coordinated Engineering Services for Local Flood Analysis (LFA) has been presented to Town Board members for approval at the August 12th monthly meeting.  Local Flood Analysis will be undertaken to determine the causes of flooding in the hamlets of Boiceville and West Shokan and to investigate and analyze the overall potential of specific projects that may assist in the mitigation of flood damages and  hazards.  This LFA will be conducted with funding from the Ashokan Watershed Stream Management Program (AWSMP) Grant Program.  The Town of Olive requests that Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County (CCEUC) be the facilitator of the Request for Bids of engineering/consultant firms as they will pay any and all costs associated with a signed grant agreement.  AWSMP will advertise for bids, organize & review bid proposals, and present their findings to the Olive Flood Advisory Committee who will then make their recommendation to the Town Board.  The figure obtained through the bidding process will be the amount of funding that Olive will apply for when the grant application becomes available in September.    The Flood Advisory Committee met on July 10th and will meet again on August 7th, 6:30 pm at the AWSMP office on Route 28 in Allaben.  We are meeting in Allaben as we will be plotting flooding areas on maps and will need to access data files and maps that are on their server.  Anyone interested in attending the August 7th meeting is welcome as your first hand account of flooding events is a valuable source of information.

Minutes of the Flood Advisory Committee meeting of July 10th are available at this link:   Olive Flood Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes_7-10-2014

Resolution #12 of 2014 and the Memorandum of Understanding between Olive and Cornell Cooperative can be viewed at the following two links:

Resolution #12 Supporting Coordinated Engineering Services for LFA      Memorandum of Understanding between Olive & Cornell Cooperative to Establish Local Flood Analysis Contracting


Landfill Cap Repair

Clark Patterson Lee is the engineering firm that oversees groundwater monitoring and methane gas levels at the landfill as required by NYSDEC regulations effective  December 31, 1988.  Several years ago our engineering firm observed in their annual environmental monitoring event that the landfill final cover system showed significant signs of erosion in the central area associated with a large slump.  Initial field observations indicate a topsoil layer and grass mat slide along the interface of the barrier protection layer.  It does not appear that the clay cap was compromised.   The Town Board, along with Highway Superintendent Jimmy Fugel, has met with the engineer on several occasions and will do an in-house repair of a small area of  6 ft. wide by 2.5 ft. deep, and 202 ft. in length.   The barrier protection soil required analysis with the  lab results being received on July 30th determining it an acceptable product.  Erosion control turf reinforcement fabric cover along with topsoil and a barrier protection layer will be installed by Highway personnel at the direction of the engineer and the DEC representative.  It has been determined that we will proceed with one of the smaller projects in hopes that it will be the solution to our problem. This work should commence, weather permitting, in late August. We hope for dry weather as we will be renting smaller equipment to work on the delicate landfill cover surface.

There are other concerns that will be addressed and there could be issues that public participants may want to bring up.  We welcome your attendance at board meetings.




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