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Village Board cancels Community Day for second consecutive year

MILLBROOK — In a special meeting of the Village Board held on Tuesday, Aug. 31, the board decided after much discussion to support Millbrook Business Association (MBA) President Kevin McGrane’s recommendation to cancel the annual Millbrook Community Day for the second year in a row. Again the reason was due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Millbrook Mayor Tim Collopy said the following day that “based on the discussion at last night’s special meeting of the Village Board of Trustees, the board supported the MBA’s decision to cancel this year’s Community Day for the following reasons: 1) the recent increase in COVID positivity; 2) a survey by the MBA found that most local businesses were neutral about having Community Day; 3) many non-business organizations had said either they wouldn’t participate, were undecided or had scaled back their Community Day plans; 4) those responsible for organizing the event were not in favor of it and had just started the planning process; 5) the MBA’s options were reduced to either cancelling or having a much-reduced event.”

The MBA has not officially sponsored Community Day in several years. However, the event, which was last held in 2019, is often managed, successfully so, by McGrane and others at the MBA who take part in the celebration.

After discussing the situation with a number of community members and conducting a survey among the MBA, McGrane came to a decision and posted his announcement on social media. He also e-mailed his contacts, noting that he was sorry that the pandemic has led to another year’s cancellation.

“While many feel that an outdoor event is safe to attend, it is still possible to spread COVID,” he wrote. “We could not justify going forward when people’s health might be jeopardized.” 

McGrane added some of the factors he considered included COVID test data provided by the New York State health department as of Aug. 30. According to the Department of Health, positive results statewide were at 4.6%; and the seven-day rolling average was 4.5% as of that date. 

Test results from the same time period a year earlier in 2020 had positive results at 1% and the seven-day rolling average at 0.8%. 

Currently, according to the data McGrane referenced, Dutchess County has only 57% of its population fully vaccinated.

He also noted that the Millbrook Central School District is slated to open after Labor Day, and he was concerned that could lead to a spike in coronavirus cases.

“We look forward to seeing everyone next year for an even bigger and better Community Day,” McGrane stated, finishing with, “Stay safe, stay healthy.”

A regular Village Board meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 6 p.m. at the Millbrook firehouse, where social distancing is easier to accommodate than at Village Hall. Note the date change this month due to a scheduling conflict.

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