Village of Rhinebeck Mayor’s message for July 2022

In the past month, the Village of Rhinebeck has been transformed as we have begun the careful process of re-opening to business while continuing to flatten the curve of COVID-19. We worked closely with the New York State Department of Transportation to reconfigure our traffic patterns, sidewalks and parking lots to create a safe environment for people to come to the Village to shop and dine. Now, our streetscape is lined with tables and tents as shops and restaurants serve customers under careful health guidelines. Having successfully navigated the first steps of the carefully planned phased re-opening, we are about to enter Phase 4.

Even as we move forward, we must remain vigilant in continuing to flatten the curve and prevent a resurgence of the COVID 19. In facing this pandemic, communication with residents is key, and we must never lose sight of the serious threat the virus continues to pose to our community. We are all in this together, and together we will keep each other safe. Assistant Dutchess County Executive Ron Hicks reports re-opening has triggered numerous complaints about people going maskless.

The science is very clear that the use of a face mask is proven to be an effective means of minimizing the spread of the virus. Throughout the village we have placed signs requesting that people wear a face mask when social distancing cannot be maintained. It’s up to local governments to enforce the rule and to remind people they should be wearing masks. The Rhinebeck Police are monitoring and reminding when appropriate. There is no fine or civil penalty for violating the mask order and Sgt. Pete Dunn says “We are in a tough situation because it is difficult to enforce something when there is no penalty.” Therefore we must count on everyone to take common sense precautions and speak up to each other when they see a maskless person in a crowded situation. Anyone can also file a complaint with the State Department of Health:
https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/new-york-state-pause

New York State released the following information about Phase 4:
Industries permitted to resume in Phase 4 include higher education, low-risk arts & entertainment and media production.
Gathering capacity will increase to 50 people, up from the current 25 person maximum.
Houses of worship will be able to increase capacity to 33%, up from the current 25% maximum.
Malls, gyms and amusements will not be permitted as part of Phase 4. No opening date has been set by the state.
To stay informed you can refer to the NY state website NY Forward | New York Forward for the latest information and statistics on the virus by region.

There is still a statewide Travel Advisory ordered by Governor Cuomo which requires anyone traveling here from states with significant community spread of COVID-19 to quarantine for 14 days from the time of last contact within the identified state. The quarantine applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or a state with a 10% or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average. Learn more HERE.

The Village of Rhinebeck is continuing to make major strides in our Climate Action Plan to transition to a low carbon, environmentally resilient community. Rhinebeck resident Vanessa Bertozzi has accepted a new volunteer position as Environmental specialist for the Village of Rhinebeck. She will be implementing our transition plan, working closely with Village Departments, the Village Board and the Mayor’s Office on sustainability projects and programs. Those include street lighting, energy upgrades and other projects. In addition Vanessa will serve as a resource for the Board for all aspects of the Village operations and policy that impact the environment, climate change mitigation, and resilience efforts.
Interface with Trustees and Departments to determine environmental and sustainability goals for projects.
Work with the village engineers to support informed environmental and climate planning.
Connect projects to volunteers and/or hook into the CSC Task Force or other Committees
Serve as point person for our sustainability and resilience relationships and projects, like the Marist College’s Landsman Kill Flooding project.
Vanessa will also act as the point person in providing the Joint Village/Town Environmental Committee with recommendations based on a review of both the Village of Rhinebeck’s Master Plan (1993), and the Town of Rhinebeck Comprehensive Plan (2009). The review will examine which recommendations have been put in place, and which have not. The reviews will also highlight climate and environmental issues that have emerged in the years since the plans were written. David Chernak, a student intern from Bard’s Center for Environmental Policy (CEP) is working on the study as well. The Center places students in research projects leading up to their return to classes next January. https://www.bard.edu/cep/about/internship

If you are interested in learning more about the Master Plan for Village go to the Village of Rhinebeck site, click on “Village Code” in the action center and click on “Comprehensive Plans”. You can also click on the following:
https://ecode360.com/documents/pub/RH1002/Comprehensive_Plans/ .

Congratulations to the following Village Employees on their employment anniversaries. Officer Brian Reavy-19 years, Anthony Fata-19 years, Thomas Johnson-19 years, Karen McLaughlin-5 years, and John Fenton- 5 years.

Wear masks when in public spaces and continue to use social distancing!

As always, please reach out to me with any questions or comments. You can reach me by phone 845-876-7015 ext 2 at Village Hall or via email to MayorBassett@VillageofRhinebeckny.gov

Gary Bassett
Mayor Village of Rhinebeck
76 East Market St.
Rhinebeck, NY 12572
845-876-7015

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