Rhinebeck Village: A Message from Mayor Gary Bassett:

It’s been 30 days since I was sworn in as the Mayor of Rhinebeck and I never get tired of people asking me, “How’s it going?” because I get to say, “This job is as hard as I thought it was going to be, but it’s also more rewarding than I could have ever imagined.” I’m excited every day to do what I can to bring the best to our village. That is only possible with the suggestions and support that have come from so many residents. I cannot thank you all enough.

I have spent time reaching out to organizations who provide services and contribute to the quality of life here in the village. I’ve met with the Executive Director of Astor Home, the Mayor of Red Hook, the Superintendent of Rhinebeck Schools, the Director of Hudson Valley Mental Health, the President and CEO of the Dutchess County Fair and the Governor’s representative for the Hudson Valley. Each of these conversations focused on how we could work together and communicate on planning, village issues, and sharing ideas. I will be meeting with all of them on a regular basis.

I have also been meeting with Rhinebeck Town Supervisor Elizabeth Spinzia to develop ways to coordinate services and save taxpayers money. An example is that we are planning to get Astor and Montgomery Streets paved this year.

I attended my first “Mayor’s and Supervisor’s” meeting. I learned a lot and think this organization will be a great resource for us.

Some of Village staff members and I visited RNN and Radio Woodstock for interviews. Chronogram Conversations did a panel discussion on our Village, appropriately titled “Magic of Main Street.”

“Village of Rhinebeck” now has a Facebook page ! This could be a great way to share information, and I would love to hear from everyone about what kind of information might be most useful to you.

The 2017-2018 Village Budget has been adopted, where we again are under the tax cap of 1.0115% by $628.00 with an increase of the tax rate from $4.15 to $4.17 per $1000 assessed value and a Health insurance increased by 7%. The estimated fund balance for 16/17 is $517,006.

There was a great response to the request for members of the Ethics Committee, which three members will be selected after the interview process to serve on this committee for the next three years.

A Joint Environmental Committee is under discussion for adoption by the Village and Town. This committee will work with outside organizations (RiverKeepers, Scenic Hudson, NYSERDA, etc) on issues that affect the Village or the Town and bring them to the boards’ attention.

The formation of a Short Term Vacation Rental Committee will be discussed at the next board meeting. This committee will focus on providing recommendations to the Village Board on the issue of Short Term Vacation Rentals. It will consist of seven members with one Village Trustee, two from planning, one from zoning, and three community members who will represent the business district as well as advocates on both sides of the issue. They will appoint their own chair, and will report back to the Board after 60 days.

Our Highway Dept., (Ric Lewit) is working on an equipment plan along with a Shared Service’s IMA between the Village and Town.

The Water Dept., (Gary) is working on the Montgomery, Livingston, Chestnut, Platt water system improvement project and getting DOT approval.

The Waste Water Dept., (Howie Traudt) is reviewing a contract that was put in place in 2015 to look at capacity and equipment plans.

The Rhinebeck Fire Dept. (Scott Cruikshank) updated their Scott Air Packs to the new NFPA standard with buddy breathing and RIT protection to improve firefighter safety.

I also want to highlight some of our Village employees who have recently received awards or certifications:
– Peter Rathjen – Chief Waste Water Plant Operator received the “2017 Operator of the Year Award”
– Tony Fata – Received his Grade D Distribution Operators Certificate
– Bryan Alix – Received his Grade D Distribution Operators Certificate
Congratulations to all of them!

If you want to reach me, you can find me at: MayorBassett@Villageofrhinebeckny.gov or 845-876-7015. My door is always open and I look forward to hearing from you.

Gary Bassett
Mayor, Village of Rhinebeck