Washington Town Board schedules Comprehensive Plan review for Sept. 1
WASHINGTON — The Town of Washington (TOW) Town Board met on Thursday, July 14, at Town Hall and its first order of business was dealing with a request for a Transfer Station Permit for $50 from Michael Sedgwick. A resolution from the board quickly approved the request.
Budget amendments were made by Bookkeeper Lois Petrone, who also noted she closed the town’s account with Aflac due to disinterest.
Town Highway Superintendent Joe Spagnola reported on summertime repairs done by his crew, adding the Highway Department needs a new trailer. The existing trailer is three years old and a Class A license is needed from the state to drive it, said Spagnola, which makes things difficult. He said if he could find a smaller trailer for less than $14,000 that would be ideal, adding he had been searching.
Town Clerk Mary Alex said she’s received reports from the assessor, the bookkeeper, the building inspector and the town justice, which were awaiting signatures from the judges. Alex said she also submitted her own tax report. The town had also completed its tax filings with Dutchess County, she told the board.
Additionally, the Town Clerk’s office began issuing Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Hunting Licenses in August, she said, an annual service it provides for residents.
The town also placed the required legal notices for publication to advertise for bids for a new generator. The bids were due back by Aug. 10 at noon.
Alex also noted that Video Ventures has begun recording and downloading the Town Board’s meetings to its municipal website, www.washingtonny.org.
Lisa Evangelista presented the Assessor’s Report. She said grievances and stipulations were few this year, with only 23 combined.
The TOW’s assessed value decreased by $838,000 and its ag exemptions increased a total of $2.4 million, said Evangelista. The 2022 tax roll increased more than $4 million from the previous year, totaling $1,697,992,082. The town’s taxable value also increased by $23.5 million, according to Evangelista.
Councilman Michael Murphy reported on the Recreation Department. He recommended the appointment of Ted Ialongo as park caretaker effective Aug. 8, at the rate of $20 per hour. The board voted to hire Ialongo, who began his new position a week later.
Murphy also spoke about the assessment of the park, pool and grounds. He said many public parks are aging, as a lot were built in the 1940s and 50s. He suggested the TOW park be assessed and measures put in place to allow for any improvements necessary in the future.
The councilman also talked about ongoing research being done in the county concerning short-term rentals, and the need for the TOW to develop short term rental regulations for its Zoning Code. It’s a subject close to the heart and the pocketbook of many, and certainly one piece of the hospitality issue tied to the current review of the town’s Comprehensive Plan.
Councilman Joe Rochfort and Councilwoman Leslie Heaney spoke of the work that’s been done during the past year to review and update the 2015 Comprehensive Plan. The main focus of the review has been on whether hospitality uses should be included. With developers knocking at the door with projects like transforming Migdale Estate into a luxury spa hotel, the discussion is very timely.
A meeting was proposed and has since been planned to discuss the Comprehensive Plan Review Recommendation Report for Thursday, Sept. 1, at 5:30 p.m. at Town Hall, located at 10 Reservoir Drive. The public is invited to learn about where the review process stands and next steps.
The meeting was then Zoom-bombed and the Zoom portion was discontinued. For more on that, go to www.tricornernews.com.
Heaney also mentioned the ongoing Pace training the Town Board has received, and possibly getting grants to cover costs associated with reviewing the Comprehensive Plan and drafting the amendments that will likely come as a result of that review.