Shawangunk preparing for reopening

By RACHEL COLEMAN
Posted 5/27/20

“At some point, we’ve got to open the building,” said Shawangunk Town Supervisor John Valk at a virtual meeting of the town board on Thursday.

As of that meeting, the area had …

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Shawangunk preparing for reopening

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“At some point, we’ve got to open the building,” said Shawangunk Town Supervisor John Valk at a virtual meeting of the town board on Thursday.

As of that meeting, the area had not yet qualified to reopen, however the town board recognized that they need to have measures in place for when that happens.

Plexiglass was scheduled for installation at various town locations on Friday and board members discussed measures such as restricting the number of entrances in use and making extra masks and hand sanitizer available for visitors. They also plan to encourage the use of town pavilions over the use of meeting rooms in the town hall.

“We can’t do business as we used to,” said Valk.

The town board is hoping however, to hold their next meeting in the town hall.

“We can’t really talk over the internet,” said Valk. “It’s hard to ask questions.”

Specifically, questions about reducing the decommissioning bond for NY Solar 1000. The issue was discussed at their last meeting—through many technical difficulties. It has been tabled to their next meeting on June 4, with the hope that they can at least gather the board members into one room and space themselves out.

In the meantime, the town is still addressing issues around the town.

Councilman Robert Miller told the board that the new well at the sewer plant is not performing at the level needed and the storage tank isn’t large enough.

“Obviously the well can’t keep up with the 30-40 gallons a minute that they want to use, so they had a 500 gallon storage tank and they were draining that down by noon,” said Councilman Miller.

The plan is to install another 500 gallon tank and possibly send water from the original well over to the new well.

Miller said they have a couple other options if that still doesn’t solve the problem, including sending “final finish water coming out of the system” back through the system. He pointed out that this is possible because it is non-potable water.

Councilman Miller also advised the board that equipment they ordered last spring for the sewer plant was not going into production until the following week and they probably would not receive it until the first week of July.

“So hopefully we can get that in operation,” said Councilman Miller, adding that the company had not followed through on their promises. “By the time we get our emergency repair done, it’ll probably be about 11 months.”

At the same time, the town clock for the hamlet of Wallkill has been completed and the company wants to ship it. Unfortunately, the town has had to ask them to store it for six weeks as the contractors that will be doing the installation and wiring are “isolating because of the virus.”

“But that will happen once things start opening up,” said Valk.

Meanwhile, resource recovery in Shawangunk hasn’t slowed down. In fact, Supervisor Valk said it has been “the busiest department in the whole town.”

“People are cleaning out attics, garages, you name it,” said Valk.

Many people are also volunteering and helping their neighbors. Under Ulster County’s Resilience program, many residents were able to have food delivered to their homes. The town supervisor noted that Councilman Robert Miller’s wife and her friend delivered meals for nine weeks, three times a week, with an ever-growing route. The Lions Club of Wallkill also delivered many meals for about seven weeks.

Valk expressed “deep gratitude” for all that served the community in their time of need.

As the school year ends with the community still socially distant, residents are coming up with ideas to recognize the graduating classes of 2020.

Charlie Garrison, of Walker Valley, has asked to unite the senior class of Pine Bush with volunteer work in the town park and mowing a “2020” in a large field. He was advised however, that he can’t have more than 10 individuals present at a time.

“It’s a great idea, but you can’t just call a big volunteer meeting,” said Councilman Adrian Dewitt.

Dewitt noted that they may just arrange to have the “2020” mowed into the town field in honor of the graduating class.

The board also approved a separate request to paint two doors of the town hall, as a tribute to the graduating class of 2020.

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