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Merchants group gives update on fire, plans for the holidays

MILLERTON — Between the devastating house fire on Saturday, Nov. 6, and the upcoming holiday season, the Millerton Business Alliance (MBA) had plenty of local news to catch up on at its Zoom meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 10, at 5:30 p.m.

Helping fire victims

With the two-alarm fire at the forefront of the community’s mind, MBA members asked what was being done to support those affected by the Route 22 Millerton fire and how they could help.

Local efforts have been made to support Golden Wok owner Amy Yang and her family, who lost not only their home but two loved ones in the deadly blaze.

Efforts are also being made to help the other neighboring families that were displaced by the fire. The MBA discussed the Go Fund Me pages and the MealTrain page that were created online to assist the fire victims and help them get back on their feet, with clothing, food and supply drives, as well as a search for housing.

MBA member Dick Hermans said Millerton Wine & Spirits owner Christopher Jeans also offered to host a wine tasting to benefit the Yang family.

Black Friday in Millerton

Assessing plans for Black Friday, Nov. 26, the day after Thanksgiving, MBA members learned The Moviehouse will be screening the movie, “Elf,” at 11 a.m., free for the community.

With the Millerton Fire Company’s annual Parade of Lights scheduled for 5:30 p.m. that day, MBA members brainstormed other holiday festivities to be held in the village.

Considering children might not be vaccinated yet for COVID-19, MBA member Jeanne Vanecko, also from Townscape, said the village shouldn’t hold events where children can’t be kept safe.

If the village decides to do an event, she said it should be held outside, though even that could be tough. The best thing, Vanecko said, would be for all the village businesses to do something festive during the afternoon, “because when the movie gets out in the afternoon before the parade, there’s a huge time lapse.”

Park update

The Millerton Community Park project (formerly known as Eddie Collins Park, located on Route 22 just north of the traffic light), Vanecko said work is going really well and that they’ve been blessed with good weather.

Sod was put down on the soccer field a week earlier and has been watered since then, which means the park’s irrigation system is up and running.

Vanecko mentioned a huge trench was also dug in the park to align with plans for installing electric vehicle chargers.

The goal is to have the park open by the Fourth of July 2022, though Vanecko said they won’t be able to confirm that date until the spring.

MBA member Jennifer Dowley, also on the Millerton Community Park project team, said the project’s chair, Stephen Waite, will send a letter to everyone who made a donation to the park project to let them know what’s going on in more detail and that the project is going forward because of their generosity.

Dowley mentioned the team is on the brink of planning for Phase Two of the project — which includes installing a septic system, the swimming pool, the bath house, the tennis and pickleball courts — fundraising has already begun for it.

Largely due to the Municipal Innovation Grant the village received from the county this past August, Vanekco said there was leftover money from Phase One that allowed the village to push some of the projects from Phase Two into Phase One.

“These funds have really changed our scope of what we can get done and made it more possible to have a finished project at the end of Phase One,” said Dowley. She added that the village is planning to have the park open next summer to hold recreational activities including the annual summer camp program.

Sewer update

In other village news, Vanecko said village and town of North East’s committee designated to address creating a primary service area for a sewer system in Millerton is preparing to get to work.

The district will include the businesses on Main Street and properties on South Center Street.

Vanecko announced that, within the next week or so, the committee will begin to go around to households within the perimeter of the service area to gauge if they’re interested in being a part of the service area.

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