The July 15th Plattekill Town Board meeting opened on a high note with Supervisor Joe Croce reading a thank you card from the Fuller family that was addressed to Chief Joseph Ryan, Lt. William Smith and the Police Department and in particular Officer Arkeem Gorham.
“A couple of weeks ago officer Gorham stopped to talk to my kids while they were selling popcorn and snow cones at the end of our driveway. You’re kindness and interest in them made a huge difference in their lives. With everything going on they wanted to show their gratitude for all that you did. This is the money that they made, enjoy.”
Croce said the family collected numerous gift cards from local businesses and dropped them off at the Police Station.
“I just thought it was really great in light of everything that’s going on in our country and our world today that these people thought enough to send them the proceeds of what the kids sold,” he said.
Chief Ryan wrote that in June there were 177 documented calls for service, an increase of 9 calls from the previous month and a decrease of 20 calls compared to June 2019.
There were 34 traffic tickets issued, an increase of 30 tickets from May and a decrease of 64 tickets compared to June 2019. Overall there were 53 traffic stops in June and 7 motor vehicle accidents with injuries to two people.
Croce said he does not read the police blotter aloud at meetings but it is available for inspection at the Town Clerk’s office.
Croce said detectives in the department worked on an array of cases: fraud, seized matter on a criminal mischief, assistance to EMS, shots fired, warrant recall, found property, lost medication, harassment, welfare checks, serving papers, personal injury auto accident and suspicious activity.
After investigations the department closed four cases that included fraud, seized marijuana, criminal mischief and lost medication.
Ryan noted that Officer Teitelbaum has completed Phase II of the Police Academy.
Croce noted that the department has replaced a radar unit in one vehicle and a modem in another. A new gun cabinet for an AR-15 is on back order, a new shredder will be ordered, and have ordered new night sites on the first set of glock guns that the department purchased.
The board approved testing the water at the pavilion but does not expect results until early August. On ensuring social distancing, Croce said they could make anyone renting the pavilion aware of the proper guidelines that have been put in place by the state.
Croce reminded the board that they have turned down renting the pavilion at the time they closed the town park but there has been renewed interest in renting the facility.
Depending on the results of the water testing, the board may begin renting out the pavilion on or about August 8.
Supervisor Croce introduced Thomas Miller, a board member of the Southern Ulster Football Club, “which is the organization that uses and maintains the main field at the town park as part of a lease agreement with the town.”
Croce said he has never had a problem with the club, saying they are, “very courteous and they’ve been very compliant with anything we have asked of them.”
Miller told the board that as of July 6 they will legally be allowed to start up their practices and will follow NYS and U.S. Soccer guidelines.
Miller said the players will have no contact and observe social distancing. There will be 1 coach for 9 players on the field with this proviso lasting from 3 to 6 weeks.
“At the end of that time we enter another phase with still no contact [but] we’re allowed the whole team on the field with 1 coach,” he said.
Miller said actual contact with scrimmages and games will not be permitted until Phase IV that is expected at the end of August. He acknowledged that this is all subject to change due to the state of the covid-19 pandemic.
“We are a guest at your park, we know that. If the board is not comfortable, if the board has reservations, we shut down,” he said. “I am speaking for the whole [soccer] board, the only and main reason I’m here is for all of you to be comfortable that we’re moving forward. I don’t want your phones to be ringing, I don’t want people calling you, I want to assure you that our children’s safety is first and foremost.”
Miller described the mask procedure for the players.
“From the time they step out of their cars they have to be dressed ready to go to practice wearing a face mask. As soon as they enter the field, the coach who always wears a mask, puts them 10 feet apart from each other and they have to maintain that social distancing,” he said. “Until practice starts, the mask can come off and once practice ends, the masks go on and at water breaks the masks go on.” He said when it is over the kids individually go back to their cars.
Miller made the point that they will not have parents or spectators at the practices. He said they stagger the start times for practices and only two teams practice at a time. He said they also take attendance every time they come together in order to have a record if it is needed for tracing purposes.
Croce said it is important to keep in mind that the goal is to stop the spread of the virus.
The board received a letter from Sis Morris, dated July 6, 2020, stating that she will be volunteering her time to serve on the Zoning Board of Appeals going forward instead of accepting a stipend.
Croce thanked Morris, saying that although the pay is not very much, every little bit helps.
“I think we’re going to have a tough financial situation not only this year but next year. The Town Board has been working very well trying to limit expenditures and we’re going to be cut of our revenues in sales tax and everything else,” he said. “Thank you very much Sis, I appreciate your generosity.”
The board approved paying the voucher detail report dated July 15, 2020, which includes the General Fund amount of $18,823.40 and the Highway Fund amount of $6,245.85, the Clintondale Light District amount of $675.97, the Modena Light District at $1,253.71, the Trust in Agency in the amount of $615 for a grand total of $27,613.93.
Before adjourning Councilman Darryl Matthews took a moment to thank every department in the town.
“The last couple of months everybody has had to readjust but everybody who works in this town, I don’t care what department it is, has made that process to me as easy as possible. As a resident I applaud them for it because they didn’t have to do that, so I thank all the employees, not just one or two, but all of them...Every department has adjusted to meet the public’s demands whether it’s been by phone, email or actually meeting them in the parking lot.”
Croce agreed, adding that this has been a challenging time, “but I’ve received nothing but cooperation from all departments and it’s nice when the chips are down, so to speak, that people come together and they look to help rather than hinder...I think it’s important that we keep in mind that we supposed to serve the people.”