CHESTER AND PURE WATER. 1908 . Its Efforts to Enforce Rules at Walton Lake. - - - - LITIGATiON OVER SAME. - - - - Judge Tompkins Reserves Decision on Action in Special Term at Newburgh.
A large part of the time of Judge Tompkins was taken up in special term at Newburgh, Saturday, by hearings in actions which involve the village of Chester's right to use Walton Lake as a water supply. The village Water Board has instituted proceedings for condemnation so as to acquire title to certain lands on the shores of this lake, said lands belonging to Sampson W. George, as trustee for Philip R. George, deceased; Philip R. George, Bessie George, Evaline Bull and others. The defendants, through their attorneys, Watts & Cox, of Middletown, objected to the proceedings as being defective, and Judge Tompkins reserved his decision. Trial was then begun, and lasted nearly all day, in the action of Stephen B. Heaton and Sampon W. George vs. the village of Chester, the plaintiffs suing for an injunction that will prevent the defendant from interfering with the rights of the owners of land on the shores of Walton Lake to bathe therein, fish and boat, until the village shall have paid them compensation for their rights, Under a ruling of the State Board of Health, the village authorities arrested a camper on Mr. George's land for bathing in the lake and the village contends that it has a right to enforce the rules of the board, whether landowners have been paid or not. When the matter of George M. Roe and the Water Board of Chester came up to acquire title to the George real estate, Hon. M. N. Kane, of Warwick, for the village, said that Walton Lake supplied the village with water, and all the property rights around it had been secured, except those involving the George place, which is held in trust. For fifteen years the village has been using and flooding the land and no especial damage has been done, but now the petitioners bring suit to prevent the village from so doing. The village now asked to have the flow right of the land condemned, and whatever the owners were entitled to would not be affected by these proceedings. Rasslyn M. Cox objected to condemnation proceedings. He stated that the village had no right to thus go and take property and award no compensation to its owners in order to carry out rules of the Board of Health. There were numerous camping parties an the shores of the lake and the village had drafted rules to prevent a pollution of Walton Lake's waters by bathing, etc., even arresting a bather. The action had been brought, he said, as one of a series, to prevent or enjoin the enforcement of these health rules, until the matter of payment had been adjusted. He further objected to the condemnation proceedings on the ground that the descriptions of property involved and rights in question were, not specific; that it did not state the residence of the petitioners, as required by the code; that it did not show that the proceedings were begun in good faith to complete the work of improvement for which the property was to be condemned, and that it did not show that the requisite preliminary steps to condemnation had been taken. Mr. Kane said that possibly the other side might be entitled to a specific description of the property wanted. Judge Tomkins took the papers. In the action brought to enjoin Chester from enforcing the rules of the State Board of Health in relation to boating, bathing and fishing, A. F. Servin, of this city, speaking for the plaintiffs, said that in 1892, when the village acquired Walton Lake for water works purposes, Messrs. Heaton and George reserved the rights of bathing, fishing and boating and were never interfered with till 1906, when the village applied to the state authorities for rules, and that the latter formulated such regulations and posted them at the lake. They forbade the drainage of deleterious matter into the water and prohibited bathing, boating and fishing, but no attempt had been made to enforce any of the regulations, save that against bathing. He explained that, for many years Walton Lake had been a favorite camping ground for city people, but in 1906 a camper was arrested for bathing in the lake, and since then Mr. George has made no rentals to campers, though he therefore obtained an appreciable sum from such rentals. The right to bathe in the lake is a property right and should be compensated for. Mr. Kane said it had been mutually agreed to try the action on the idea that the f1owage right is not to be considered. Several witnesses were examinee, Mr. George being one of them, and testifying that his income amounted to from $125 to $150 per season from camp rentals. Portable cottages were erected and sometimes he had as many as twenty five residents at the lake. Since the enforcement of the bathing rules his source of income had been destroyed. The defence claimed that Mr. George, in 1902, gave the village the right to his land without question of reimbursement. This, Mr. George said, was true, but he had never agreed to part with the full use of the waters either by verbal agreement or otherwise. The principal defence rests on the claim of the village to enforce the rules of the State Board of Health without respect or compensation.
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MRS. ALLEN GOES TO SON. - Help Extended Enables Anxious Mother to Take Trip to Fall River-Boy Better.
Mrs. Mary Allen started to-day for Fall River, Mass., to see her son, Leonard, and to bring him hame with her, as soon as he is able to travel. As noted in the Times-Press a number of charitably disposed people, whose sympathies went out to Mrs. Allen in her affliction, took steps to furnish the funds necessary for her needs and expenses, and, as stated above, the poor woman was enabled to hasten to the aid of her child. At last reports, the boy was improving, and it is hoped he will recover from the terrible experiences he has passed through, while the gypsies, who are responsible for the outrage, it is hoped can be properly punished. The ladies who interested themselves in the raising of necessary funds for Mrs. Allen wish to thank all who contributed to the amount, and also to the Furman, Orange and Myasatis branches, I. S. S. for their assistance. Mrs. Allen left an train 4, over the O. & W. R. R., for New York, where she will take the Fall River boat, at 5 a clock, for her destination.
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A Bradley Bill Reported. The committee on military affairs of the House of Representatives has reported a bill of Hon. Thomas W. Bradley, of this district, to authorize the secretary of war to donate to Albert Sidney Johnston Camp, No. 1, Confederate Veterans, of San Antonio, Tex., not to exceed, fifty obsolete Springfield rifles, bayonets and bayonet scabbards. The bill, with amendments is referred to the committee of the whole on the state of the union.
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G. P. Bates Will be Present, Orange Encampment, I. O. O. F., will hold its regular meeting to-night, at which officers for the ensuing term will be nominated and elected. Grand Patriarch Fred S. Bates, of Troy, will be a visitor at the meeting and a large attendance of the members, and a pleasant time is expected.
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