Hebron grapples with beaver problem

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Flooding and indications of beaver activity (note the pointed stumps) north of Cross Road, between County Routes 30 and 31 outside of West Hebron.

At its December meeting the Hebron Town Board discussed how best to deal with the ongoing beaver problem resulting in the continuous flooding of Cross Road that connects County Routes 30 and 31 outside of West Hebron.

Board member George Flint, who was not at the meeting, provided a written report on his efforts to contact landowners with land along the two streams being dammed by beavers.

Town supervisor Brian Campbell read from his report: “I contacted 15 landowners with land along the two streams and 12 were glad to have help from anyone to stop the flooding.”

Flint was not able to contact three other property owners and added “it was drizzling on both days that I was knocking on doors and the water was across Cross Road.”

Flint’s report ended with a strong suggestion that the town board discuss moving quickly on reducing the beaver population by paying a bounty per beaver to hunters and trappers:

“It is extremely important that all landowners allow these men to reduce the beaver population to prevent flooding of . . . property after rains or spring runoff.”

Campbell said he had reached out to the county’s DPW chief for advice and “she said they have someone they pay $75 per beaver and he hasn’t missed eradicating any of them anywhere he’s been.”

The view north of Cross Road and County Route 30 outside of West Hebron. Because of beaver activity fields in the area remain flooded.

Campbell said, “We may need to do that,” because “I told her that there are 100 or more beavers, and she said ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’”

Campbell continued, “If that’s what we need to do, we should get it done.”

The town would follow all DEC rules and regulations to eradicate the beavers.

Additional business conducted at the meeting included authorizing highway superintendent Floyd Pratt to hire a temporary truck driver for up to a year.

Regarding Hebron’s proposed new town barn, newly elected town board member Paul Sokol suggested that having preliminary site work accomplished now would likely be helpful in keeping construction costs down.

“Once construction starts we’re on prevailing wage. But we could have $200,000 to $300,000 of site work done now and save on prevailing wage later.”

Discussion of the specifics of the town barn will be ongoing.

Resident Michelle Louy discussed progress on Hebron’s grant from the Hudson River Valley Greenway that was approved on Dec. 8. The $10,000 grant is to be matched by the town and will be used to develop a Community Vision and Strategy for Hebron. Next steps include appointing an advisory committee of 8-10 people. Louy said the committee would want to start its work no later than March.

Work on Hebron’s Climate Smart Community commitment is ongoing with board member Jill Nadolski submitting documentation on the town’s installation of LED streetlights in 2020. “We’ve ticked our first box already,” Nadolski said, in reference to accomplishing actions that would make Hebron eligible for grants.

At the meeting’s end, Campbell asked: “Has everyone indicated interest in SLIC internet?” He updated the board on broadband internet progress in Hebron. “By the end of the year they want to start hooking people up. We’re ahead of Jackson and Salem, but power needs to be on the box before they can hook it up.”

He encouraged Hebron town residents to go to slic.com and indicate interest now “so they can just go and hook up a whole road instead of having to come back and do it later.”

He said, “Click the box that says I hear service is about to be ready, and I want to be hooked up.”