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.

Final Local Flood Analysis

Boiceville has eighteen (18) properties within the 100 yr. flood plain. Eleven (11) of those parcels have a history of flooding which resulted in substantial damage to structures. In December 2014 the Town of Olive hired Woidt Engineering and Consulting thus initiating Local Flood Analysis (LFA) for the hamlets of Boiceville and West Shokan.  Boiceville has experienced inundation hazards and West Shokan erosion hazards. Recognizing the need for flood mitigation efforts and the need for funding to implement strategies the Town of Olive Town Board will be presented at its August 8th meeting with Resolution #12 of 2017 to accept the LFA report.

The LFA assessed all options vetted by the consultants, Flood Advisory Committee and the community. Some alternatives did not provide significant flood elevation reductions and some were deemed impractical and not prioritized. The following potential options received the most attention: do nothing, protect with a levee, buyouts and relocations, and elevation and flood proofing. The building of a levee received a low BCR rating and could be quite cost prohibitive for the Olive taxpayers to fund.  Plan #9 and #9A  address the Flood Levee System; Plan #12 Planning and Relocation; and Plan #13 Structural Interventions.

Two critical facilities, the Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Boiceville Fire House, are recognized in the LFA area. The Wastewater Treatment Plant is so close to the floodway it is not possible to put a levee riverward of the building so this building cannot be protected. At the Boiceville Fire House the 500 yr. flood elevation is 16.5 ft higher than the 100 yr. flood elevation; therefore, it is unrealistic to protect this critical infrastructure and it should be relocated to an area not prone to flooding. Meetings have been and are currently being held with City of New York reps for identifying parcels in Boiceville for relocation of the Fire House.  It is most likely a FHMIP grant application will be filed with the CWC for financial assistance in relocating the Boiceville Fire House.

The LFA recognizes Boiceville’s anchor businesses as the supermarket, medical facility, and pharmacy. There is commercially zoned vacant property in the hamlet of Boiceville that is outside the flood zone. Some of these parcels are within the sewer district and some are not. With funding from a CWC grant the Town of Olive can engage the services of a professional consultant to help identify new locations for homes and businesses being purchased through the voluntary NYC Funded Flood Buy-out (NYCFFBO) and can plan for extension of the sewer district for both commercial and residential use thus providing a permanent solution to the flooding issues in Boiceville.

Final Local Flood Analysis and two appendices can be viewed through the following links:

Olive Local Flood Analysis Final Report 8.8.17

Olive LFA Appendix A

Olive LFA Appendix B



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