Board seeks ti­tle search to help re­solve drainage dis­pute

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - LOCAL NEWS - By Wil­liam J. Kem­ble news@free­manon­

The Esopus Town Board re­quested a ti­tle search to determine own­er­ship of a right-of-way be­tween two Main Street prop­er­ties in the ham­let of St. Remy, where a res­i­dent di­verted wa­ter away from a storm drain be­cause it was back­ing up on his prop­erty.

At a board meet­ing Wed­nes­day, St. Remy res­i­dent Doug Navarra said the town’s plan to re­solve the prob­lem by in­stalling a catch basin will not work dur­ing the win­ter.

“It’s not an exit for the wa­ter,” he said. “The wa­ter is still there. The ground is frozen solid at that time of the year . ... There is no pen­e­tra­tion of the wa­ter into the ground.”

Navarra said the prob­lem could worsen dur­ing win­ter thaws and the re­turn of cold weather.

“In the mid­dle of win­ter­time, catch basins ... are used to dump snow,” he said. “What hap­pens is the snow so­lid­i­fies and forms a big block of ice, in­hibit­ing wa­ter from drain­ing down into them.”

Navarra said there has been a slow re­sponse from of­fi­cials when asked to re­solve drainage prob­lems.

“Catch basins typ­i­cally in our neigh­bor­hood are not main­tained,” he said. “If a catch basin gets clogged up, a neigh­bor has to call the town and plead with the town to have it re­me­di­ated.”

Town High­way Su­per­in­ten­dent Michael Cafaldo said the town has had to re­pair the drainage area af­ter it al­tered by Navarra.

“There’s a 200-foot rightof-way that runs down be­tween the two prop­er­ties,” he said. “He filled it all in ... and cov­ered over the cul­vert pipe. When we went in to dig the cul­vert pipe out he came and stood (there) ... and we had to send the police there to re­move him.”

Cafaldo said im­prove­ments can­not be made un­til the town can show the rightof-way al­lows town em­ploy­ees to be on the prop­erty.

“Now all the wa­ter (where) he filled it in goes on the neigh­bor’s prop­erty and goes in her cel­lar win­dow,” he said.

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