Thursday, June 18, 2015

We need your help!

Received the following from The Delaware River Railroad Excursions, Phillipsburg, NJ.

Help save the Ol' Susquehanna Mine at 
The Delaware River Railroad Excursions

Seven years ago  we built the Ol'Susquehanna mine on the Snyder Farm in  Pohatcong, NJ.
If you are not familiar with this, a nice video of the operation can be viewed here:
This attraction makes our weekly trips sustainable.
As nothing on the mine  site has a foundation, and is movable, we did not obtain permits as we believed we  had the blessing of the town. They knew we were there, and never interfered because they knew what we were doing was good for the farm, the town and the county. 
About 6 months ago, we received a  notice of zoning violation.  At one point they even threatened me with arrest.
It seems that two family's  that live almost a 1/4 of a mile away, have a long standing feud with the Snyder Family.
It is basically because of this they complained about the mine operation.
After meeting with the Mayor and land use board  the town told us they were very supportive of the railroad and the Snyder Farm. They promised to work with us to keep the mine site open.
Every time they moved in a direction to put this issue to rest, they went back on their word. 
Finally it was agreed that we should have the mine considered as  agricultural tourism. The state just passed several laws to protect farms and their ability to be self sustainable through agricultural tourism.
This would work perfectly, as the Mayor promised a letter of support, after all, it was their idea.
Rather than sending a letter of support, the Mayor sent a letter to the County Agricultural Development Board ( who presides over the right to farm decisions as well as agricultural tourism) stating that the Snyder Farm and the railroad should have nothing to do with each other.
This is the third time the Mayor showed poor character and went against his word.
On June 18th at 7:30 PM there will be a meeting of the County Agricultural Development Board.
They will be deciding if the Ol' Susquehanna mine can be considered a legitimate method of attracting customers to the Snyder  farm.
If they decide that it is, we will fall under State protection and the town can not close down the mine.
Our train passengers are responsible for the consumption of 10 acres of corn ( corn maze) and 4,000 pumpkins each year.
Without the train, the Snyder farm would not be self sustainable.
Because of a few vengeful people, and a very young and inexperienced mayor, our operation and the self sustainability of the Snyder Farm is at risk.
PLEASE come to the meeting on the 18th and  stand in support of the Snyder farm and the New York Susquehanna & Western Technical & Historical Society Inc.  The mayor will be sending representatives to the meeting with the intent of slandering our operation and the Snyder farm.
We need our friends and supporters to make it clear that they believe the Snyder farm has the right to make itself self sustainable by its unique relationship  with our tourist railroad.
The Meeting will be held at:
Department of Land Preservation
500 Mt. Pisgah Ave.
PO Box 179
Oxford, NJ 07863
7:30 PM

Chris Cotty
The Delaware River Railroad Excursions
The New York Susquehanna & Western Technical & Historical Society Inc.
99 Elizabeth Street
Phillipsburg, New Jersey 08865