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Pine Plains wins three grants for major town projects

PINE PLAINS — Working on a number of projects designed to enhance quality of life and accessibility for residents and visitors alike, Pine Plains received financial support from the Municipal Investment Grant (MIG) Program of Dutchess County this month in the form of three very helpful grants.

The MIG Program awards funding on a competitive basis to entities with taxing authority, such as towns, villages and school, water, sewer and fire districts. The Dutchess County Government website, www.dutchessny.gov, explains priority is given to projects that “partner with other municipalities and authorities, develop shared services, align with the county’s priorities and needs and create savings for taxpayers.”

Pine Plains will now be able to develop a wastewater district; purchase all-terrain wheelchairs for town parks and trails; and build a wheelchair accessible playground at Stissing Lake’s beach park. Having written the grant applications herself, town Supervisor Darrah Cloud said she was delighted.

“I am grateful and excited,” she told her constituents in her Dear Pine Plains email newsletter on Sept. 10.

The town received $32,600 to help it form a long-awaited wastewater district. Aligning with its efforts to install a septic system, Cloud said she decided to break down each component of the septic system project into parts (such as the sewer feasibility study and the wastewater district formation). The town is trying to fund every part at no cost to taxpayers. 

Now that the final draft of the sewer feasibility study has been delivered, the town can focus on district formation, which Cloud said is “almost all legal fees,” like mapping costs, engineer costs and possibly the cost of a surveyor.

On Friday, Sept. 10, Cloud said in her newsletter the town is currently negotiating for a location for a possible central septic system underground. A public meeting on the topic is will be held in the coming months.

“Suffice it to say, the town needs a system,” Cloud wrote. “Right now, restaurants cannot open with enough capacity to be successful, and regular people can’t open a new business due to the huge expense of the septic requirements by the Department of Health.”

Pine Plains also received $7,530 to purchase two all-terrain wheelchairs to be used by children and adults at its town parks and trails and the public beach at Stissing Lake. 

Excited to learn residents who rely on wheelchairs can access local trails with these all-terrain wheelchairs, as well as the town beach and even go in the water, Cloud said, “That will open our gorgeous trails [especially Thompson Pond] to people who otherwise would not be able to walk it. Same thing with the beach, and we can roll somebody into the water in that, which would be a lot of fun.”

Lastly, the town received $70,000 to purchase and install a Bridging Pathways playground at the beach park at Stissing Lake. This playground, according to Cloud, is designed to be fully inclusive and wheelchair accessible and to provide “multiple and varied play components for all children to enjoy.”

Asked about the timeline for these three projects, Cloud explained Pine Plains got half of the funds for the playground and will have to raise the rest of the money. She said the MIG award was a big boost for the town’s fundraising campaign. 

With the playground totaling $140,000 overall, she said the town will be dependent on donations for the remaining funds until they can order it. After that point, the only expense will be determining the grounding the town wants to put underneath the playground. 

To help contribute to the playground, residents are being asked to consider donating. Those who would like to do so may send a check for any amount to Madelin Dafoe, Town Clerk, P.O. Box 955, Pine Plains, NY 12567. Address the check to Town of Pine Plains and write “Playground” in the memo line. Checks may also drop by dropped off at Pine Plains Town Hall, 3284 Route 199; please and leave the check with Dafoe or with Alice Hanback-Nuccio.

Cloud, meanwhile, said she’s about to order the all-terrain wheelchairs and that the wastewater district formation will probably take about another year to complete.

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