By Mark Reynolds
Last week, Lloyd Supervisor Dave Plavchak said the town has received a $500,000 award from Ulster County through the American Rescue Plan Act [ARPA]. The funds will be put toward the $2.5 million project to replace a water tank that is located by the reservoir.
“This will take some of the burden off of the town,” Plavchak said.
The county highlighted this funding on the Recovery and Resilience part of their website.
“The Municipal Sewer and Water Grant Program aims to provide funding to Ulster County municipalities to support local sewer and water infrastructure needs. This funding comes from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund, which was established by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) in 2021.
The total funding available for the Municipal Sewer & Water Grant Program is $5 million dollars. Applications may be made for a maximum of $500,000, which cannot exceed 33% of the total project cost. A maximum of one application that has passed the pre-application review will be accepted from each municipality.”
Volunteer for Senior Programs
In an effort to provide more activities for Highland seniors, the Town Board appointed Tammy Ryan as a volunteer Coordinator of Programs for the Aging.
Supervisor Plavchak said the town already holds several senior events such as breakfasts and luncheons, “but we thought it would be great if we can also do some events that are just senior-focused whether it be trips or whether it be just events that have seniors at the center of it. So we put out the word for volunteers and we’re glad to have Tammy Ryan volunteer.”
Ryan said, “My hope is that we would become a community where people can age gracefully and have fun.”
Ryan has an extensive background with seniors. She attended SUNY Binghamton and Springfield College and obtained a degree in Health Emotion and Wellness Management. She has worked in geriatric care, is a former project manager at Vineyard Commons and was a board member of the New York State Adult Day Services Association. She said this has helped her to understand the Office of Aging, “and the different perspective that we have over our communities and what the desirable outcomes are, so I would like to link those things together as we build programs where seniors feel they are the center of attention.”
Ryan said it is critical to recognize the needs of those who are disabled or suffer from chronic illnesses.
“It is important that we develop responses to those things because I believe we’re going to receive what I call the silver tsunami as people age and we want to be prepared as a community to be able to handle all of that. Running programs in the Hudson Valley has been a great experience for me to be able to network with a lot of other towns and support services, so I just look forward to being able to grow our community in that regard.”
Plavchak favors the idea, “of linking together the diverse ages we have in the town to really try to get that moving. I was thankful that we found somebody to step up and do that and in the next few months she will be acclimating herself to what we do and what we can do better and what new things we can interject. So thank you and we really appreciate volunteerism.”
Councilman Mazzetti echoed Plavchak’s sentiments, adding that he also believes we need to provide more programs for the elderly, such as trips and holding meet and greet events with seniors in neighboring towns.
New Dispatcher Appointed
The Town Board appointed Michael Miller as a part-time Dispatcher upon the recommendation of Police Chief James Janso. He started on November 17 and is being paid $18.65/hr.
Plavchak welcomed Miller to the team, wishing him good luck,” with Councilman Mazzetti adding, “We’re proud to have you and thank you for joining the Police department.”
Supervisor Plavchak said the town is moving forward to finish cleaning up 9 Commercial Avenue after owner, Venkatraman Mahadevan, failed to fully clean up his property after he was given multiple opportunities to do so by the town. Plavchak said the owner did a few days of cleanup, “but it wasn’t what we had asked for, so we put out bids and we got a person who is going to finish the cleanup the week of Thanksgiving.” He said the cost will be between $1,000 to $2,000 and will be billed to the property owner.
“If he doesn’t pay it, it will be put on his tax bill,” Plavchak said.
Mazzetti stressed that the board’s action should not be construed by the taxpayers as a way to have the town cleanup their property. He pointed out that the board had recently singled out four property owners in town, “that were brought to task and all three of them, besides this one person, complied with what they needed to do. So this is not something this board wanted to do, but we had to make sure that our community members were safe because this property was unsafe. We really tried to get this person to do the right thing, but unfortunately he didn’t.” Plavchak said the board’s action was a “last resort.”
Bids Out for Pavilion
In a resolution the board authorized the advertisement and bidding going out to contractors for the Lewis C. DiStasi Jr. Pavilion that is slated to be built on the town field in the hamlet according to plans drawn up by Sean Williams, of Williams ReCraft LLC.
Christmas in the Hamlet
The board approved closing Main Street from Church Street to the intersection of Woodside Place and Vineyard Avenue on Friday, December 9 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. to celebrate Christmas in the hamlet. There will be no parking on these streets starting at 4 p.m.