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Pelham Woman Talks Highbrook Highline with Board

PELHAM, N.Y. – Susan Mutti asked the village's Board of Trustees on Tuesday to consider an application to the state that could make the Highbrook Highline eligible to become a historic site.

Mutti is a member of a committee charged by the board in April 2010 to do some due diligence about the Highbrook Highline. She is also a member of the Friends of the Highbrook Highline, a subset of that committee that has sought funding for the area for months.

The debate stems from the board's hesitance to submit an application to the New York State Historic Preservation Office. The board passed a resolution in March that allowed the committee to perform non-binding research and look for grants.

Mutti asked the board at Tuesday night's meeting to act because that resolution will expire on September 1.

"I am asking the board to again consider the application," Mutti said. "We are at the four and a half month mark. There is only one more board meeting before that deadline. We are asking the board to work within the confines of the resolution."

Mutti left the meeting after the board told her to raise her concerns at another time.

Mayor Ed Hotchkiss said at the last meeting that approval of an application would imply board support for the area as a historical site. He also said the board was concerned that eligibility would push the board to further steps in the process.

But proponents of the application, including Mutti, argue that they could receive grants simply if the Highbrook Highline is deemed eligible as a historic site.

"If eligibility is achieved, we could apply for grants," Mutti said. "Eligibility holds no restrictions."

Mutti said Wednesday that the committee could take other action if the board does not extend the resolution or approve the application, but the two sides should still work together.

"We could submit the application on our own as a third party, but that's not our preference," Mutti said. "We really want to do this in good faith. We want to keep operating as a partnership."

Where do you stand on the Highbrook Highline issue? Comment below, on Facebook or Twitter @DailyPelham .

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