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.

April 7th Town Board Audit & Workshop Meeting

Monday, April 7th, 7:00 pm the Town Board will hold their monthly audit and workshop meeting.  In addition to reviewing the bills for the month of March the Board will hear a presentation at 7:30 pm from representatives from Viridian regarding purchase of electric.   The Town spent approximately $45,000.00 in electric in 2013.  We’re looking at ways to reduce costs and have been installing LED bulbs where possible.  Though the cost of the bulbs are high, their reduced electric usage should prove cost effective.   Another area where we may be able to reduce electric costs is in our street lights.  Central Hudson has provided me with a map of street lights along with a list of the poles that we in Olive are responsible for paying the lighting costs.   Our street lighting contract originated in 1973.  Monday night the Town Board will be provided with copies of this map and will be asked to review the placement of these fixtures throughout Town.  We may or may not have Central Hudson reduce the number of fixtures throughout Town, but, at least we, as your Town Board, will review this forty year old agreement.  We will need input from you in this process.  In conversation with Central Hudson I’ve learned that LED bulbs and receptacles for light poles are a few years away.  Also, grants for LED bulbs are not available to municipalities unless you own the poles.  Central Hudson owns and maintains the majority of these light poles.

The Town Board will be considering two resolutions regarding the Route 28 Scenic Byway–which is still many months away from being approved by the NYS Department of Transportation.  The first resolution simply will name the Central Catskills Chamber of Commerce as the interim administrator of the By-Way Plan during the continuing process toward approval by NYS.  The second resolution recognizes the NYS Route 28 Municipal Leaders Group as the Board of Directors for the proposed Catskill Mountain Scenic By-Way.  The Board of Directors shall be comprised of the current Supervisor or Mayor of each municipality along the proposed By-Way which are the Supervisors from Andes, Middletown, Olive, and Shandaken and the Mayors from Fleischmanns and Margaretville.   Besides establishing bylaws and basic rules for the Board of Directors most importantly it addresses the right of Home Rule.  Quoting directly from the resolution:  ”If direct funding is requested/suggested from each municipality OR from a specific municipality for a specific project, the municipality retains their right to approve or deny funding under Home Rule Statutes of New York State and each member must receive approval for any funding through formal resolution of their respective municipal governing (Town/Village) Board.”  and “If any municipality denies the direct funding request, direct funding shall not be committed or required from that municipality.”   You can view these proposed resolutions under the Town Business section.

Other issues will also be addressed at this workshop meeting as the Town Board sets the agenda for the Tuesday night meeting and discusses various committee and department reports.  We welcome your attendance and input at Town meetings.

Sylvia

 

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