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MARGARETVILLE, NY, April 10, 2017 – The Catskill Watershed Corporation (CWC) Board of Directors has two new members.
James Sofranko of Olive and Anthony (Tony) VanGlad of Gilboa will represent their respective counties (Ulster and Schoharie) on the CWC Board for the next four years.
They took their seats at the Corporation’s Annual Meeting of member towns April 4, replacing Berndt Leifeld, retired Olive Town Supervisor who served on the CWC Board for 12 years, and Donald “Mike” Brandow, former Supervisor of the Town of Conesville and a CWC Director since 2009.
CWC Board members are elected by the Supervisors of the Watershed Towns in their counties.
Jim Sofranko was elected to the Olive Town Board in 2013 and currently serves as Deputy Supervisor. He has lived in West Shokan for over 30 years where he owns an electrical contracting business.
Tony VanGlad has been Gilboa’s supervisor since 2004. He is Vice Chairman of the Schoharie County Board of Supervisors. The VanGlads operate a produce farm and make maple syrup. Tony is president of the New York State Maple Producers Association.
The CWC’s Annual Meeting was an occasion to note the 20th anniversary of the New York City Watershed Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), whose signing in 1997 created an unprecedented partnership between the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, Watershed communities, and many organizations and governmental entities.
The MOA launched the CWC, a non-profit local development corporation responsible for several environmental protection, economic development and education programs aimed at protecting water quality and preserving communities in the 1600-square-mile New York City Watershed West of the Hudson River.
Over the past two decades, the CWC has paid to repair more than 5,000 residential and business septic systems, and pumped and maintained another 1,725 systems. An additional 600 septic systems have been decommissioned or maintained through the Community Wastewater Management Program which has developed wastewater solutions in nine hamlets to date.
The CWC has also funded some 200 projects to control stormwater at existing problem sites and where new construction has added impervious surfaces near water courses. Forty storage buildings for road de-icing materials were built for towns, villages, counties and one institution.
Several stream corridor protection projects were accomplished in the mid-2000s., and after Irene in 2011, a flood debris removal program funded 85 stream clearing projects.
The Catskill Fund for the Future, the CWC’s economic development fund, was initially capitalized by the city at $59.7 million and has grown through investment. More than $66 million has been distributed in low interest loans to 250 businesses which leveraged another $89 million and created or retained 4,900 jobs over the past 20 years.
The fund has also been used to assist hospitals, libraries, and other community institutions. Following serious floods in 2006 and 2011, special recovery efforts provided no-interest loans and grants to 180 damaged businesses.
A Watershed Education Grant Program has distributed $2.7 million to schools and non-profit organizations for projects conveying information about the New York City water system and Watershed protection to more than 132,000 students and teachers.
A new video, “The Catskill Watershed Corporation: 20 Years of Caring for the Catskills,” was screened at the Annual Meeting. To view the 16-minute video, produced by Vecc Videography, visit the CWC’s newly redesigned website, www.cwconline.org.