Hunter rolls out plan for Clove

Trash disposed of around Kaaterskill Clove. Hunter town officials Tuesday announced a plan to combat the littering problem. Contributed by Shane Valcich/File

HUNTER — After dozens of residents made complaints and offered solutions to the overuse of Kaaterskill Clove at a public meeting last week, the town board announced its mitigation plan Tuesday.

The town will invest in electronic ticketing software that will enable parking violations to be linked to a violator’s registration, Town Councilman Sean Mahoney said. An impound lot will be set up at town hall.

The impound lot will start the weekend of Aug. 8, Mahoney said.

“We will have a Town of Hunter police officer there releasing vehicles once they pay the fees associated with it,” he said.

The fee will be agreed upon between the multiple towing operators, Mahoney said.

“If a vehicle is still there at time it closes, the towing company will then bring the vehicle to their lot, which will then incur more fees,” Mahoney said, adding that the time for the lot closure is still be ironed out.

“Hopefully, everyone comes and picks up their vehicles,” he said. “We are doing this in the interest of health and safety. We had a number of first responders that spoke up at our public hearing and said they are highly concerned about their ability on high-use days of getting rescue vehicles through the Clove. Traffic is at a standstill when emergency vehicles need to be able to get through.”

Several residents at the hearing called for stronger consequences for parking violations such as towing and booting, saying violators were tearing up tickets.

In June, more than 500 parking tickets were issued by local police departments, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

The town’s current system uses hand-written tickets, Mahoney said.

“It’s not integrated into the DMV system,” he said. “We’re looking at integrating with DMV and machine-printed tickets that would automatically look up registration and associate the ticket to that registration. We haven’t had that system in the past. This would mean machine printing with each officer. This is something we’re investing in.”

Mahoney did not immediately know what the investment would cost the town, he said.

“The town is very focused on this,” he said. “When the vehicle is up for registration again, these things would have to be taken care of before re-registering the vehicle.”

Town officials met with the state Department of Environmental Conservation on Wednesday, Mahoney said.

“We are continuing to collaborate and coordinate with DEC,” he said. “DEC has told us they are currently increasing trash clean ups. They are also looking at testing the water but no definite action is going to be taken on that yet.”

DEC Forest Rangers have increased patrols and are actively educating visitors about sustainable use and Leave No Trace principles, according to the DEC.

The state Department of Transportation is looking at signage in the Clove, Mahoney said, including the potential for signs that would refer people to North/South Lake.

No Parking signs were recently placed below climber’s lot and the roadway east of the Jersey barrier pull-off, with more signage expected, according to DEC.

“Our law enforcement partners, state police, the sheriff’s office and the town of Hunter police, all have increased their presence in the Clove and are doing best they can to monitor and to make sure the vehicle situation and pedestrian safety is taken care of to best of our ability,” Mahoney said.

The town will continue to work with its partners to find a resolution.

“This is the highest priority to the town right now, to deal with these issues,” he said. “The public meeting we had was extremely informative. It was an incredible amount of turnout we had, it’s clear our town demands that action is taken.”

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

(4) comments

Bouvfan

Kudos to The Town of Hunter and NYSDEC for protecting both human life and this extraordinary and rare natural resource.

Would Love to see NYSDOT, Townn of Hunter and Town of Catskill collaborate to make 23A a no parking zone with the exception of explicit designated parking lots.

Wondering if this would allow us to post a single giant No Parking sign at the top and bottom of the Clove and eliminate the dozens of traffic signs that challenge the view way year round.

Could someone confirm? I think 214 on the other side of Hunter uses the single sign method.

Turtle0809

There is a parking lot with no fee. Encouraging people to go is fine however if you haven't travelled to see why this is an issue please do so. The blatant disrespect for the natural beauty is astounding. They come from far away, leave trash including broken bottles, dirty diapers, etc. And have parked up and down the mountain road illegally a lot of the time. As well as ignoring traffic in both directions. Check for yourself. Its time for people to be held accountable and stop being pigs.

hudsonman1

How about you build a parking lot and and make a walking path and charge $20 for parking. People want to escape the heat and spend time outside. Why are we discouraging this?

JBone

We are not discouraging People from coming up, it’s the garbage they leave behind as well as making it near impossible to drive up or down 23A. They don’t don’t seem to care about the beauty of the clove they just care about getting wasted and destroying that beauty. I wonder how’d they feel if we dumped all their trash in their front yard.

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