PHOENICIA, N.Y. — A small New York town is threatening to fine the Catskill Mountain Railroad for keeping equipment on its own property, the Daily Freeman reports.
In January, the tourist railroad moved its equipment off a county-owned rail line and on to track built alongside the route on its own property in the small town of Phoenicia, part of the town of Shandaken, a location that has been used as a rail yard for more than a century.
The railroad moved the equipment off the county-owned rail line because of an ongoing dispute with Ulster County. Earlier this year, volunteers began to clear brush and build new track to hold the equipment. On Jan. 22, the county-owned rail was swung over to move the equipment and then restored. Some on the Shandaken Town Board believed the railroad needed permission to build track and store equipment on its own property, but in January, Supervisor Rob Stanley was quoted in the local paper saying, “What’s the violation?”
He added that the town zoning code does not address rolling stock.
But earlier this week, town officials issued a notice of violation to the railroad and ordered them to move the equipment within 30 days or be fined. Railroad president Ernie Hunt tells the newspaper that he is not concerned about the notice because it’s their own property. While some have raised concerns about whether or not the equipment’s location violates local flood codes, Hunt says the railroad has technical data to prove it is safe and will be giving that over the town officials soon.