Our Town Board is holding a special meeting on November 2nd starting at 7:30pm.
**appeared in the Southern Dutchess News October 19th's edition**
Last week our Board started it's budget discussions. While we only covered a small portion of the budget, it would be fair to say that with minor adjustments, I am confident that the Town's budget will be well rounded. During the budget season, I not only factored in the requests of our department heads, I took into consideration the requests of our residents. For more than a year I have had the opportunity to listen to many different perspectives and have a better understanding of the needs of our tax payers. Parks and recreation are top of the list for many. Residents located in communities with pocket parks would appreciate a little more of a focus on them. Community events was another topic people mentioned. Our recreation department works hard trying to craft events that will draw residents to congregate and enjoy themselves. My goal is to try to create means of communication so that many households have the opportunity to know what is up and coming. Infrastructure is another topic among our tax payers. Water and sewer is an overdue conversation. Unfortunately it seems that we are chasing issues in our existing infrastructure, much due to its age and need for repairs. When our time is spent addressing hot spots, the focus gets diverted from the future of expansion and progression. Plans for expansion have already been identified, but before that can be done, we need to look at increasing the capacity of our water supply and try to create connections into other sewer systems. With all the pieces being looked at the budget needs to be able to consider infrastructure needs and be able to handle debt service so that the projects can be funded. Roadways were another issue that residents had discussed. It is understandable that roads need to be focused on. This has been on the top of Superintendent Bettina's list. His crew has just completed nearly 5 miles of road. The roads he had identified were roads that had been untouched for nearly two decades. Additionally, he has started his plan for next year. Needs and wants are all taken into consideration, that is why our budget process takes a long time and is extensive.
The Town Board has just held a public hearing for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) inconjunction with the Village of Wappingers Falls to support the proposal of a fully universal family park. In collaboration with the County Executive to #Think Differently, the Town saw the need for a park that was not only ADA accessible but one that took other abilities and disabilities into consideration. The preliminary vision is a park where parents and /or children with all types of disabilities can enjoy time together and grow together. This 3 phase park will take into consideration physical, mental and sensory disabilities., A place that embraces education and recreation all in one. The master vision for this park includes ADA playground equipment, a walking trail that will be ADA compliant so that wheel chairs can utilize it., A sport court that will host games for people with all abilities, a picnic area for families, a small educational exhibit center for those who are interested in learning about fossils, astronomy, etc..., and lastly, on the wish list, is a splash pad area for summer fun for all children. The Town's goal is to have this paid for thru grants, fundraising and local business support. I cannot think of a better proposal to help support all of our residents than one that puts ALL children first!
A face lift for Town Hall has been underway. There is nothing more disheartening than driving up to a public building and it not having an inviting touch. Thanks to George Gumble for his donation of 10 beach grass plants, and to our Buildings and Grounds department, I think you will be pleasantly surprised. My goal is to create a warm place that doesn't cost us money. This is tangible thru kind donations and some elbow grease. I am blessed to have wonderful volunteers and a great crew who will help make this come to fruition. Little by little, we will look around the Town and try to dress it up and welcome those families who are looking for a new place to call home.
Organic eating seems to be the focus for many people these days. I have found it to be for various reasons. From dietary restrictions to just eating healthy. Many of our residents lead tremendously busy lives while balancing work, family and health. However many people want healthy foods that are easily attained. Many communities have embraced farmers markets and community gardens. The Town of Wappinger is happy to be the home to Ober Creek Farm, where they promote crop sharing and community gardens. This trend is something we need more awareness about so that we know that there are tangible healthy options available for families. I would like to focus more on healthy options for our family and to promote farmers markets and create partnerships with local schools so that the importance of farming and agriculture are taught. Farming is critical to our future and I hope to highlight some of our local farms in the Town in the very near future. This is an important part of fostering healthy communities.
Upcoming Drug Forum
On October 26th at 7pm The Town in conjunction with Taconic Region of PTAs will be hosting “The Many Faces of Heroin.” This forum will be designed to help educate the community by offering a panel of key people who have been directly affected by the heroin epidemic. The Many Faces of Heroin is being supported by Senator Serino, Mayor Alexander, the Town of Wappinger, Change your Thinking- Changer your Life Foundation, Lexington Recovery, among others. This night will be enlightening and will reveal many unanswered questions. Spectators will be able to ask questions and get the answers they are looking for. For more information, please feel free to contact my office at (845) 297 – 2744.
Know your water It's been a documented dry summer and fall with rainfall far below normal. We have received calls from homeowners with private wells concerned with low water tables. Fortunately United Wappinger water district our largest water district has been able to cope with these conditions. This is a result of the district spending capital fund over the years to develop there well fields, install filters on all the wells, install new distribution piping and a new storage tank. My goal is continue this process of looking for new well fields and maximize our existing ones. This will allow us to enlarge the district to help homeowners and businesses that wells either have poor quality water or no water. Water is a critical resource that requires long range planning to insure an ample supply.
Dial A Ride: A friendly reminder to all of our seniors (60 years and older), veterans and people with disabilities, the Town offers Dial A Ride as a service to help ensure transportation to doctors, senior centers and appointments you may have. They offer door to door service as well as scheduled service. It is best that you call them for details on schedules and making reservations at: (845) 453-7433 or visit the link on our webpage or at:http://www.co.dutchess.ny.us/countygov/departments/masstransit/pldialaride.htm
Notary Pool: I have a pool of residents who are willing to travel to a resident's home if they meet one of the following requirements: Senior Citizen, disabled, or a disabled Veteran. If you are in need of someone to notarize something for you and you meet one of the requirements, kindly call my office at 297-2744. If you are a resident who is willing to be in a pool so that you can help out a resident, please call my office and let us know. Thank you in advance!