Summer Wrap-Up – Elizabeth Spinzia Supervisor, Town of Rhinebeck

 

The Dutchess County Fair is in full swing so we know that summer is winding down. The Manta Ray’s Swim Team ended on August 4th, Summer Camp on August 10th, and with most of our lifeguard staff leaving for college, the pool is scheduled to close on August 27th  This year we had a lot of new faces, from our Camp Director and first time camp counselors to many of our lifeguards. We even had a new concession stand, Mary’s Snack Shack, which offered a great little variety of healthful and traditional snacks.

Each fall we review our summer recreation programs and procedures to learn more about what needs to be updated or changed to reflect current times. Our Summer Camp started years ago when there were very few State or County regulations. The Recreation Director and Recreation Committee Chair have solicited feedback from summer program staff and department heads and will be presenting the information to the Committee this month.  We have tasked the Committee with analyzing the information and making recommendations to the Town Board before the end of the year. 

In addition to a thorough financial analysis to look at fees and revenue against expenditures, we will be reviewing staffing levels, Summer Camp season length and hours, sports field usage policies, and we’re hoping to fund an RFP for a Master Plan of the pool facilities and TTSM playground. For more information or to submit a recommendation or suggestion, please email our Recreation Director, Elaine Fernandez at recreation@rhinebeckny.gov.

IMPORTANT UPDATES

Speak up for the wellbeing of our Hudson River and against the proposed storm barriers by September 20!  A reminder from our partner in the stewardship of our local drinking water and our favorite advocacy group for the Hudson River, Riverkeeper:

As Captain John Lipscomb of Riverkeeper advises us, “the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has extended the deadline for public comments on the options it is considering for coastal storm protection in our region. Some of these options have dire implications for the Hudson and New York Harbor. Specifically, storm surge barriers – giant ocean gates – would choke off tidal flow and the migration of fish, damaging the life of the Hudson River Estuary forever. 

This is a critical time to speak out and prevent a short-sighted decision. Our new information page has everything you need to know.

Send a comment by September 20 and tell the Army Corps of Engineers:

•Massive, in-water storm surge barriers would permanently damage the Hudson River Estuary and its life.

•Numerous, in-depth studies are needed on the impacts on endangered species, fish migration, water quality, tidal flow and other conditions before any plan is advanced.

•These studies must examine all affected water bodies including the Hudson River and its tributaries, New York Harbor, Hackensack River, Passaic River, Raritan River, Meadowlands, Jamaica Bay and Long Island Sound.

•Any coastal protection plan to be considered must protect against flooding from BOTH storms and sea level rise. The in-water barriers do nothing whatsoever to protect against sea level rise.

•The public needs more information and more public meetings on the scope of this review.”

Please visit Riverkeeper’s site to learn more and to help protect our most precious natural resources.

https://www.riverkeeper.org/campaigns/river-ecology/storm-surge-barriers/

Amtrak Fences in Rhinecliff

Lastly, on August 21st, I met with Bill Hollister, Amtrak’s Senior Manager of Government Affairs, on site to listen to and see the State Department of Transportation and Amtrak plans for installing gates at two locations: one between the entrance to the Village Water Treatment Plant and access road to the railroad track, and the other a little south of that on Slate Dock Road (and another access road to the tracks). Joining us were members of Amtrak’s Real Estate Division, Police Department, and Engineering Project Department, representatives from Congressman Faso and Senator Serino’s offices, New York Department of Transportation representatives, Heather Gierloff from the DEC, Jeff Anzevino of Scenic Hudson, Highway Superintendent, Barry Sherrod, Village Mayor, Gary Bassett, and several others.

We listened to Amtrak and their concerns for safety along the tracks. We expressed concern for the loss of access to the river by our residents. 

We anticipate at least one more meeting or conversation with Amtrak before plans are formalized the New York Department of Transportation holds public information sessions to reveal them. At this time, the NYDOS has committed to two such meetings – one farther north to include the communities of Stuyvesant, Stockport, and Germantown and a second to include Rhinebeck and Hyde Park. We have asked for an individual meeting here in Rhinebeck. It is our aim to hold a public meeting to inform residents of the plans for fences in Rhinecliff, here in the Rhinebeck Town Hall even if NYSDOT and Amtrak cannot attend. Stay tuned for more information.

Enjoy these last few days of summer. I know I will.

Please come by and visit me at the office. I am in Town Hall weekdays.  I promptly answer my emails at supervisor@rhinebeckny.gov, and I’m eager to help you in any way I can. 

With Warm Regards,

Elizabeth Spinzia

Supervisor, Town of Rhinebeck