Heating-Oil Spill Under Control At Homowack Hotel (Skver)


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dec1.jpgThe Times Herald Record reports:  

Spring Glenn, NY – NYS environmental and health officials say they are satisfied Thursday’s oil spill at the former Homowack Lodge resort, now known as Machne Bnos Square, has been contained.

Joe Naclerio, who was supervising cleanup on Friday for CSC Conklin, the company that had been contracted by Mosdos Skver that owns the hotel, said it was lucky that a culvert under a portion of Phillipsport Road was blocked, or the spill could have traveled across the road and into an open field and dilapidated golf course.

Members of Congregation Bais Trana, the group from New City in Rockland County, who bought the former Catskill resort along with 400 acres of land in 2006, would not speak to reporters.

The spill, of less than 50 gallons, is said to have occurred shortly before 8 a.m. Thursday when the group attempted to transfer heating oil from one tank to another.

In the process they allowed the oil to escape into drains that ended up in a nearby stream. A neighbor reported the spill around 3:30 p.m.

The Department of Environmental Conservation has cited the owners with three violations for failing to report the spill, failing to report a large oil storage tank and producing an “unwholesome” material near a public road.

Wawarsing Councilman Teddy Brebbia said there have been ongoing issues with emergency access and fire safety at the site. Supervisor Bob Fiore was not available on Friday.

Anita Altman, who has property next to Machne Bnos Square, said the place has gotten steadily worse. She filed a complaint with the town in April 2008, and she says there are several deteriorating and empty bungalows that she believes are fire hazards.

Brebbia said the town is aware of the complaints, and they are going through the process of addressing them as quickly as possible.


  1. I had occasion to be at the old Homowack on Sunday morning. I went looking for a minyan.

    The place is a disaster, to put it mildly. When we drove up, it looked deserted. We went in the main entrance. There are ceiling tiles all over the floor, and water damage in many places. We wanted to get to the shul and went down the stairs that took one to it. The way was impassable.

    We drove around to an entrance that took us into what was the shul. Now it is a Beis Medrash. However, there were only a few tables in it. I can only wonder how many boys are learning in this Beis Medrash.

    I wanted to use the bathroom and was told that there is no water in this part of the building. When I pointed out the water damage and general disrepair of the place to someone, he replied, “This was a mistake.”

    Indeed, it seems that it was not just a mistake, but a disaster.

    How sad for me, who went to the Homowack fairly often during its last few years, to see the place in such condition.

    I thought that Skvere was going to keep the hotel open for its people, but this is clearly not the case. There are probably some bochrim who learn in the Beis Medrash staying in the rooms near it. However, this is it.

    I can only wonder what has happened here. I thought that Skvere was going to build a community in Spring Glen on the land that surrounded the hotel. See http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=9498

    How can it be that all of the hype has led to this?
    Dr. Y. Levine