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Millbrook board discusses Village Hall renovations, cancellations

MILLBROOK — The Tuesday, April 28, remote meeting of the Village Board opened quickly.

Mayor Rodney Brown spoke about the low response rate from Millbrook residents in the 2020 Census, of about 50%. The Census can be done online, through the mail or by telephone; it is important that each citizen be counted so that programs are correctly funded and there is fairness and equity in federal aid and resources, said Brown.

The board, after many discussions and a meeting devoted to the 2020 budget, adopted the budget. This was a combined effort, with trustees devoting themselves to different aspects of the budget, either alone or in pairs to respect social distancing in the age of COVID-19, and Village Clerk Sarah Witt taking part. (For more on the 2020-21 Millbrook budget, go to www.tricornernews.com.)

Trustee Tim Collopy announced that the proposed Eastern Dutchess Road Runners Marathon, which was scheduled for June, has been canceled due to the pandemic; possibly it will be rescheduled for 2021. 

The health crisis is also affecting the Millbrook Farmers Market, which will open next week. This year there will be no craft stalls or entertainment due to COVID-19. The amount of people who will be allowed to shop at one time may also be limited. 

The mayor said that a wall division system that is being put in place in Village Hall’s meeting room will be assembled over the next two weekends. There is still discussion about enlarging the office of Policeman Jared Witt; the town of Washington has rented space at Guertin Gym and elsewhere over the years, but due to current social distancing requirements and other concerns, it is unclear if shifting office space is a possibility right now.

The ongoing benefit LOSAP program was approved. A Length of Service Awards Program (LOSAP) is similar to a pension program, but is intended to assist emergency service organizations and its members, like those of the fire department. 

The village tennis courts have been an issue for more than a year; they are in disrepair, but repaving is very expensive. However, residents are keen to use them. Mindy Hill and other concerned citizens have offered to pay for the labor and repairs with the village paying for the materials. The board agreed to the arrangement, but not at this time.

Trustee Joe Rochford is working with the village clerk on cleaning out a records room in the basement of Village Hall, a project badly needed, he said. They have started on the clean-up, which entails reviewing which documents to keep and which to dispose of, so it’s a tedious job and must be carefully done. The records and documents will be moved to a space on the second floor of the building. Trustee Mike Herzog mentioned that the Boy Scouts might be able to build shelves for the records room as an Eagle Scout project. 

Trustee Kevin McGrane spoke about several projects that are being done in Millbrook, including Serving Millbrook, which distributes roughly 130 meals each day from the Millbrook Diner, through donations, volunteers, the diner staff and its owners, along with help from Marona’s Market, Locust Hill Farms and a GoFundMe page. Donations are tax exempt if they are made through Grace Church.

McGrane, also president of the Millbrook Business Association (MBA), gave a rundown of village businesses during the pandemic. Brown added village meetings can be seen on Channel 22, as can “Kevin at 11,” with Brown and McGrane giving village updates and news.

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