Rhinebeck- Mayor’s Message for August 2018 

The streets and sidewalks of Rhinebeck are busy with people outside enjoying our beautiful summer weather. We are very proud of being a “walkable village”, and whether its walking, bicycling, or sitting on a bench and watching people stroll by, it’s a great season for outdoor activities. I encourage everyone to obey the speed limit, stop at stop signs, watch for pedestrians at crosswalks, and be courteous to bicyclers on the roads. Our police force is always out diligently patrolling the neighborhoods, but it takes your help to keep the village a safe place to enjoy. 
The Village Board, and village employees are also working on projects to improve the safety of the village. Our latest additions include new “School Zone” signs, better signage at Parsonage and South Streets, and a new stop sign on Will Tremper. A year ago we started a campaign to improve the sidewalks in the village. I want to thank those who have made the improvements. They make a big difference. As of now, more than half of the sidewalks identified as “trip hazards” by our insurance have been repaired. We want to continue to work with our homeowners on this very important issue.

More improvements are coming to the Crystal Lake Park, including a handicap accessible dock, additional handicap parking spots, as well as walking paths. Trustee Traudt is overseeing this project. The design plans are done, and the bids are in. At our next board meeting, we will approve a contractor and by the end of the year, the project should be completed. This project is covered by a Community Development Block Grant from the County.

We are continuing to develop a more assertive approach when competing for state and federal grants. Grants are not simple and thus require input and coordination with engineering firms and other professional consultants. Our newly formed Grant Committee is working with these professionals on our applications for grants. In addition, we are submitting grants through multiple offerings in order to generate greater total funding for the larger and more costly projects. Here is a quick update of recent filings (all with July deadlines).
July 12th: Submitted to NYS DEC “Tree Inventory Grant” seeking $32K.
July 23rd: Submitted to NYS CFA “Water Main Upgrade Grant” seeking $399K.
July 25th: Submitted to NYS CFA “Pedestrian/Bike Pathway Grant” seeking $391K
July 26th: Submitted to NYS CFA “Legion Park Phase 2 Grant” seeking $103K.

The Anderson Center for Autism provides consultation, support and training to individuals, families, school districts, and community agencies affected by autism spectrum disorders or other related developmental disabilities. The Rhinebeck Village Board has approved a grant request which will make Rhinebeck an “Autism Awareness Community”, becoming the first Village in the state with that distinction.

The Short term Vacation Rental Workshop held on July 9th, led to an excellent discussion with the community and the village board. There is still several issues to be decided as we develop a potential policy towards short term rentals.

The Joint Environmental Sub- Committee on Food Waste is also asking everyone in the community to weigh in on the idea of developing a joint food waste recycling and composting program. What do you think? The Towns of Rhinebeck and Red Hook, as well as the Villages of Rhinebeck, Red Hook and Tivoli have an online survey underway. Please if you don’t mind, take the time to complete it. Thanks so much in advance for your participation. 
Kudos to our Village Clerk Patricia Coon who is now a certified Municipal Clerk. Pat has completed her training and received her Certificate of Graduation from The New York Municipal Clerks Institute. The Municipal Clerks Institute enhances the skills, professional growth, and performance of municipal clerks in New York State to improve local governance and better serve citizens. NYMCI is a three-year training program offering the 120 credit hours required to become a Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC) from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks.

And welcome to Deborah Highley who has joined the village staff as Part Time Records clerk for the summer. Deborah is working closely with the Village Clerk to organize records for storage and digitizing.

As always, please reach out to me with any questions or comments! You can find me at Village Hall or via email at 845-876-7015 ext. 2 or MayorBassett@VillageofRhinebeckny.gov or come to see me during open hours from 1pm to 2pmdaily.

Gary Bassett 
Mayor Village of Rhinebeck
(845) 876-7015 

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