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Special village meeting addresses Thorne Building, rezoning and mayor’s departure

MILLBROOK — In a special meeting called by Mayor Rodney Brown on Wednesday, July 22, the Village Board gathered to vote on zoning that would affect the Thorne Building on Franklin Avenue and the zoning map itself. Present were Brown, Trustees Joe Rochfort, Mike Herzog and Deputy Mayor Tim Collopy. Trustee Kevin McGrane was absent but gave his proxy to the mayor for the purpose of voting on two of the three items named.

The first vote taken was on the following: A number of years ago the Thorne Building was given a donation specifically for making its restrooms handicapped accessible. The money was never used for that purpose, but instead is in a village bank account. Some of it was used for roof and window repairs at the building. The Village Board voted to turn the money from the Tribute Garden-Thorne Building Fund over to the 501(C)3 nonprofit that is handling the renovation of the Thorne Building, which is going to be converted into a community center. The bank will give the exact amount to the Thorne Building Community Center nonprofit. The board voted unanimously in favor of the move.

The second matter voted on was the agreement that, pending two minor corrections, the new zoning map be approved. One correction is for a paper road that doesn’t actually exist to be made official. The road was actually an area road used for bringing in pipes and other materials to the village water tower. The other correction is for the name of the Thorne Building Overlay Zone that should actually be the Thorne Building Overlay District. The corrections have to be approved by the Dutchess County Planning Board.

When the zoning map is approved, the Thorne Building will finally be able to be turned over from the village to the 501(C)3, Thorne Building Community Center, but the mayor said it is still a long process. He suggested all questions or remarks about the handover be submitted to Zoning Enforcement Officer Kenneth McLaughlin. The board agreed. 

Lastly, the four trustees present at the meeting voted in favor of going forward with the Highway Department’s request for a new dump truck and body, through Highway Department Superintendent Bob Collacola. The truck is a 2020 model and will cost $108,500. The board voted to take out a bond in the amount of $94,000 to cover the cost, which will be paid over a five year period. The difference between the bond and the actual cost will be covered by a truck reserve built into the village budget. The four trustees present voted in favor of purchasing the bond.

The last item covered at the meeting was Mayor Brown handing in his official letter of resignation, effective July 31, which he announced at a meeting about six weeks ago. The trustees thanked Brown for his service and Collopy presented him with a pocket watch engraved with a thank you for his seven years of service to the village, as village treasurer, a village trustee and as the mayor. No word yet on who will serve as Brown’s replacement until the November elections are held.

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