Rhinebeck Village Informational Notice Issued Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Message from Rhinebeck Mayor Gary Bassett

Rhinebeck Village Newsletter for July

Hoping you are all enjoying this beautiful Rhinebeck summer. In June, I was happy to welcome Sam Fallon and Chris Decker as our first ever Summer Pilot Program employees, a first for the Village. If successful, we will look for ways to fund this program in the future. Sam and Chris are already hard at work painting hydrants and general maintenance work in the Village.

And, this week, Anthony Valent will be joining our great team at the Water Plant. Anthony will be water plant trainee, and his arrival completes our staffing at that facility.

Meanwhile, Trustee Brant Neuneker continues to lead the Water Vulnerability Discussion with Village Engineers. A study of the likely effects of sea level rise on the river has been reviewed. The three areas that are most vulnerable are the access road, the low lift pump stations, and the lagoon. Crawford Engineering is conducting a review of proposals for each, and looking at the availability of grants to pay for improvements. Those estimated costs are:

– Road access $365,000
– Low lift pump stations: $65,000
– Replacing the Lagoon: $1,000,000

The most critical component are the low lift pump stations. They are the supply pumps connecting the river water to the water plant. A 50% Climate Smart Grant will be submitted for approval for this project.

The Village board approved resolutions for a $250,000 capital outlay for Water Improvement projects on Montgomery, Livingston, Chestnut and Platt, pending bond and grant approvals.

We now have the results of the ongoing County Wide Shared Services Initiatives being conducted by County Executive Marc Molinaro and all Dutchess County Mayors and Supervisors. The needs identified by all of us were ranked in order of interest. This could be a great opportunity for the Village to save money by participating in cost saving initiatives on County shared purchasing and procurement. We are continuing to work with Dutchess County to evaluate their proposals and the potential for Village cost savings.

One great way to save both time and money is to modernize our Village document filing system. Village Clerk Pat Coon is leading that effort. Right now we don’t have enough hard copy storage space in Village Hall, so finding paperwork is very time consuming for everyone. Not only are we are digitizing records, we are adding storage to organize and consolidate records. We need to do this to be in compliance with NYS Guidelines and Retention policies. Pat is doing a great job.

As you know, we are very fortunate to have a great police department that serves the Village and Town with integrity. Our new contract with Police Department employees has been negotiated and is now out for a vote. Negotiations on salaries and new hire incentives were primary topics. We also unanimously approved the purchasing of a new police car to replace the oldest car in the fleet.

We are in the process of replacing a Highway Department truck that can no longer be used for plowing. Motions were approved to purchase a new truck with a plow to improve our snow removal. It should be in place and ready to roll by winter.

The sidewalk construction on West Market St. was re-bid and awarded. DOT and neighboring engineers are finalizing drawings and a project start date.

The Shared Highway Services study is currently being reviewed by the County. I expect we will soon be able to move on this project with the Town of Rhinebeck.

Under the guidance of Trustee Ric Lewit, paving of Astor and Montgomery is progressing well. Contracts were awarded for curb construction at the intersection of Astor and Montgomery. An IMA ( Inter Municipal Agreement) with the Town was approved, based on the best bid for doing the paving.

And Verizon is coming to the Village Cell Tower. We have signed a licensing agreement which will not only bring added income to the Village but cell phone service will be improved. We are going to get new storage facilities in the parking lot to replace existing space which will be used by the cell tower’s electrical equipment.

As always, I appreciate your participation and your feedback.

Please stay in touch, and enjoy the rest of your summer.

Feel free to contact me anytime at MayorBassett@villageofrhinebeckny.gov or come to see me during open hours from 1pm to 2pm daily.

Gary Bassett
Mayor, Village of Rhinebeck