MARGARETVILLE _ An operating and program budget totaling $56.7 million for 2008 was approved by the Catskill Watershed Corp. Board of Directors at its monthly meeting Nov. 27.

The spending plan, according to a media release includes administrative expenses for the nonprofit local development corporation, as well as the cost of running 12 environmental protection, economic development and education programs.

The CWC was created in 1997 to help protect water quality and assist communities in the New York City Watershed west of the Hudson River. Its 16-person staff runs various programs, including the Catskill Fund for the Future, which provides low-interest loans to businesses in watershed towns.

At the meeting, the board also approved a $37.2 million contract with New York City to continue to expand the Community Wastewater Management Program during the next five years.

This program, which began in 2002, has provided wastewater-treatment solutions for the hamlets of Bovina Center and DeLancey, with projects under way in Hamden, among other places, the release said.

The contract will assure completion of projects in South Kortright and Trout Creek, among other municipalities, should the hamlets choose to participate.

Another CWC program _ Local Consultation for Land Acquisition _ provides funds for municipalities incurring expenses in reviewing and commenting on New York City land acquisition proposals within their jurisdictions.

A resolution adopted last week by the board approved adding $300,000 to the fund pursuant to a mandate in the 2007 Filtration Avoidance Determination; the amount available to each municipality would be increased from $20,000 to $30,000.

In other business, the board approved a loan to a Roxbury excavating company to erect a new shop and office.

Cowan Excavating will receive a low-interest loan to erect a 6,800-square-foot shop and office on land it owns in Halcottsville. The facility will replace a small building on Depot Street in Roxbury.

The next meeting of the CWC board is scheduled for Jan. 22.

For more information, visit www.cwconline.org, or call (845) 586-1400.

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