free hit counter code Ulster town officials seek info on septic issues at Kingston Inn –

Ulster town officials seek info on septic issues at Kingston Inn

TOWN OF ULSTER, N.Y. – Owners of the Kingston Inn, formerly the Rodeway Inn, have made some safety improvements at the shelter for homeless families but are not fully keeping town officials informed of septic compliance issues, the town supervisor said.

Supervisor James Quigley said on Tuesday that there has been no information from either Ulster County or the state Department of Environmental Conservation on the status of repairs to the onsite septic system at Forest Hill Drive.

The septic fields were found to be in violation by the DEC, Quigley said. “There was an agreement made between the owner and the DEC, and the DEC allowed them to reopen with the promise they were going to present an engineering solution,” he said.

“I don’t know whether that’s been done or not,” Quigley said. “It’s a deal that the County Executive or the county Health Department negotiated with the DEC because of the overriding need of the community for homeless shelters and housing.”

Problems with the septic system were identified in March 2023, when a town inspection found that the treatment plant was malfunctioning for the second time in 18 months. That inspection was made based on an odor complaint, but a subsequent state review found a series of problems that needed to be addressed.

Violations included not having a required water supply to the treatment plant; having a punctured screen that allowed objects to get into an aeration tank; and having a non-compliant screen on the system. State inspectors also found a thick mat of grease and rags on a secondary clarifier, green biological growth on a clarifier, a scum arm in poor condition, and grease in a sand filter while another sand filter had filed.

State officials also found that the chlorine feeder was in a hole and covered with plywood and the final effluent was going through a channel where slime had formed with the discharge being turbid and odorous.

Quigley said on Tuesday that he was concerned because there have been no communications with the town about issues with a retention pond and how it can be prevented from overflowing onto Forest Hill Drive.

“That means that the septic…is still running down the hill,” he said.

Site operator Mukesh Patel on Tuesday told the Freeman that the system itself is working but there are still plans being developed for more significant improvements.

“It is my understanding…all work (is) done but the major work we have more time to do,” he said. “Right now everything is good.”

County officials stopped placing people at the site between April and October 2023 due to the problems, which were resolved enough for the state to clear the site. However, neither state or Ulster County officials on Tuesday were able to provide a status on the repairs to the problems or address the town’s concerns.

Quigley did note that town concerns about interactions among people at the shelter have apparently been addressed because there have been fewer calls for police to come to the site.

“It indicates that some of the oversight that county had promised by placing someone in the facility to maintain an orderly habitation has taken place,” he said.

Town of Ulster police report that for 2024, there had been 50 calls to the facility through May 16, a decrease of 12 calls from the same period in 2023.

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