DELHI _ Delaware County Route 7, also known as state Route 206 or Cat Hollow Road, will reopen at 5 p.m. Friday after being closed to traffic for five months after the June 19 flooding in Colchester.
Margaretville Supervisor Len Utter, chairman of the Delaware County Public Works committee, made the announcement at the Board of Supervisors meeting Wednesday.
"Sorry, we fell a little behind schedule," Utter said, noting several factors caused the delay, including equipment breakdowns.
"There will be a lot of happy people in Walton," Supervisor John Meredith said.
Colchester Supervisor Bob Homovich said that county Route 7, which runs between Downsville and Roscoe, is "one of the high-traffic gateways into the county.
"No one is happier to see it open than me," Homovich continued. "During the last few weeks, people got a little cantankerous because of the inconvenience."
Board Chairman James Eisel said he toured the rebuilt road with Public Works Commissioner Wayne Reynolds and Homovich.
"It's a super highway _ really nice," Eisel said of the 11-mile stretch of road.
Homovich said he had been trying to determine the cost of repairing the roads and bridges in Colchester damaged by floods during the last three years.
"It has got to be close to $50 million," Homovich said.
He added that this is the season to be thankful.
"Sometimes it's best to stop and give thanks for what we have got," Homovich said. "A lot of good things have come out of the tragedies that happened here. We should be thankful for all the help we have gotten from the government and from all the good people who came here to help us."
The board also got its first look at the tentative 2008 county budget. Meredith, the county budget director, said the proposed budget has an increase of less than 2 percent, and added that he expects the percentage to go down after expected changes.
Meredith said $7 million of the general fund surplus was used to keep the increase low.
Meredith asked the department heads and the supervisors to go over the budget and contact him about any mistakes or changes. He said a budget workshop would be scheduled next week if needed.
Eisel set the public hearing on the 2008 budget for 12:45 p.m. Nov. 28.
Tax-levy figures were not available.
Meredith devised a new format for the budget, which Meredith Supervisor Frank Bachler praised.
"John has changed the format, and it really is great," Bachler said. "It is much easier to read."
In other business, the board discussed asking the state Department of Environmental Conservation to enact antler-harvest regulations for area Wildlife Management Units. The regulations would protect spike horn bucks.
Bill Willis, county economic development specialist, said the number of hunters has sharply declined since the 1980s causing economic hardships on businesses that rely on seasonal income from hunters.
Willis said the implementation of antler restrictions could substantially increase the number of hunters because they could expect to harvest mature bucks with larger racks of antlers. It could also encourage hunters to stay in Delaware County, he said.
A survey of 604 Delaware County hunters, he said, found 91 percent would be in favor of antler restrictions.
"We have the genetics and the habitat," Willis said. "The only thing missing is the age of the deer."
Delhi Supervisor Peter Bracci said he supported the idea, adding he has talked to local hunters who used to hunt locally but now travel as far away as Ohio in search of bigger deer with larger antlers.
Willis said the changes could not be put in place before 2009.
Patricia Breakey can be reached at 746-2894 or at email@example.com.