HIGHLAND — Representatives for Camp Fun Is More Fun Outside (FIMFO), a proposed $44.9 million campsite project in Barryville spearheaded by Northgate Resorts, presented an update before the …
HIGHLAND — Representatives for Camp Fun Is More Fun Outside (FIMFO), a proposed $44.9 million campsite project in Barryville spearheaded by Northgate Resorts, presented an update before the Highland Planning Board on March 22.
As it sits, a report expected soon from the National Park Service (NPS) is required for the next step in the process.
The Planning Board’s meeting was well attended at Highland Town Hall filling rows of chairs as some attendees were held at the entrance due to the building’s capacity. Chairman Norm Sutherland, stated that the meeting was not being held in the Eldred Central High School because of scheduling conflicts.
Camp FIMFO Presenters, Daniel Rubin, Esq. of Brown & Weinraub, and Caren LoBrutto of LaBella Associates, answered concerns and comments from members of the board as it pertained to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) Part Two Form that was read aloud.
A number of various environmental modules on the SEQRA Form were checked “yes” to have some “small impacts.” Some of which include “small impacts” on the segments regarding land, surface and groundwater, flooding, plants and animals, aesthetic resources, and transportation.
The form also notes that there may be additional small impacts on energy, noise, odor, and light, and human health.
The SEQRA report in its entirety can be found on the Town of Highland’s website at townofhighlandny.com/meeting-minutes.
Sutherland noted his desire for transparency from the board regarding the project and the decisions made around it. It was determined that the project would not be voted on until an expected report from the National Park Service is completed and presented before the board.
Camp FIMFO representatives told the board that the report will be submitted as soon as possible. The deadline for the report submission is April 12, as the next planning board meeting is to be held on April 26.
Catch up on Camp FIMFO
Formerly Kittatinny Canoes in Barryville, the campsite was bought by Northgate Resorts of Grand Rapids, MI in 2021. Since then, proponents and representatives of the project have been pushing for the full approval of the application before the Town of Highland Planning Board.
Previously, members of the public and residents of the town have been critical of the project — citing concerns over possible environmental impacts, dangers to human health and safety, and the worry over the well-being of local wildlife.
As the Democrat previously reported in September of last year, it was noted that the project would create roughly 89 full-time jobs, with nine of those being manager positions. It is expected to total around $2.5 million in wages.
Camp FIMFO already has two sister locations developed in Waco and New Braunfels, Texas.
The Highland planning board approved a number of short-term rentals to be registered within the town.
Some residents brought up concerns regarding short- term rentals, which include questions of garbage removal systems, maintaining reasonable noise levels, and guaranteed safety of visitors on the many lakes and bodies of water that exist around the town. The nature of the taxes also were a concern.
Each short-term rental application that was approved had an additional amendment in which fire safety inspections were completed by Town Code Enforcement Officer BJ Gettel, as well as designated quiet hours from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Sullivan County also already collects taxes on short-term rentals via their Bed Tax.
The Town of Highland expressed their apologies for the malfunction of their Zoom component during the meeting and are looking into further security and tighter access to future meetings via RSVP requirements and virtual invitations to prevent similar unwanted or unexpected incidents from occurring again.
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