An iconic fishing encampment which may be the last of its kind is days away from the wrecking ball... Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
The Furgary Boat Club is a landmark in the city of Hudson - a dozen or so shanties located along the Hudson River at what once was Hudson's North Bay -they've been there for a century or more - members of "the club" use the buildings, which have been "handed down" generation-to-generation for fishing and socializing. The North Dock Tin Boat Association lost its appeal of a 2011 decision dismissing its property ownership under adverse possession or “squatter’s rights” on a legal technicality.
Hudson Mayor William Hallenbeck (hollen-beck) says the City lawfully acquired the land from the state. Joe Gallo is CEO of North Dock Tinboat Association - he says The Furgary Boat Club has been offering free services to residents year-round - he suspects the city has "ulterior motives" - Mayor Hallenbeck has given the boat club until July 16th to gather their belongings and abandon the Furgary.
Hallenbeck points out that the squatters don't actually own the land or pay any taxes - he says the city is not in the position to lease the land to the furgarians - Tiffany Hamilton's family is among the original Furgarians: Hamilton accuses the municipality of "being selective" as to who is offered a lease. Hamilton says the club would obtain whatever liability coverage that might be required. The Mayor says he understand the Furgarian's frustrations - but they have to leave.
Although he downplays the Furgary's historical significance, Hallenbeck hasn't closed the door on a proposal the city preserve one or more of the shacks for posterity. But come July 16, Tiffany Hamilton says all bets are off. Hamilton hopes to see some sort of reprieve: Mayor Hallenbeck isn't expecting any will be granted.
Hallenbeck says any action to Occupy or otherise block the property from being closed off will be dealt with "at that time."
Hoping to win additional public support, Tiffany Hamilton is gathering signatures in an eleventh-hour petition drive to save the Furgary - and an invitation is extended to one and all to visit the site Saturday July 7th between 1 and 6pm