This past Wednesday, the Plattekill Town Board met to discuss monthly planning and future policy necessities, but notably debated a hopeful summer camp and a newly signed legislation from Gov. Cuomo.
Town Supervisor Joseph Croce opened the meeting with information regarding a recent accident involving a police vehicle. According to Croce, the officer swerved to avoid a deer, totaling their vehicle. The officer has since taken a defensive driving course which Croce said he urged the chief to make mandatory for all police officers.
This month, the town received $1,000 from the insurance company, but this amount does not cover the equipment that was damaged in the accident. Croce received a letter from Lima insurance stating that they will replace the basic vehicle, but they want the town to remove the equipment from the totaled vehicle and put it onto the new vehicle.
“[It] doesn’t make much sense to me, but I will work that out with the insurance company because if that’s going to be the case then I wonder if it makes sense for us to have replacement costs insurance,” Croce said. “We buy these cars with all of the equipment except for the radios, the computer and the computer stands, but they come with the lights, the siren, the cage, the back seat, everything.”
Afterwards, Croce discussed monthly reports from the town departments such as the billing department, the Town Assessor’s monthly report, dog control updates, and parks and recreation.
According to the billing department’s report, Croce says there were 183 inspections, six complaints with one complaint closed and 10 municipal searches.
Based on the Town Assessor’s report, there were no foreclosures this month and the average sale price of residential homes in December was $300,000. Dog Control did not impound any dogs, issue any appearance tickets and there are currently no dogs in the kennel.
Parks and Recreation Director Stephanie Doland expressed concerns to Croce prior to the meeting regarding the initial planning for the annual Plattekill summer camp. Croce explained that he had a hard time answering because the COVID-19 pandemic is not over, and conditions in July are unknown and unforeseeable. However, Croce mentioned that there is funding available as summer camp was included in the town budget.
Councilman Lawrence Farrelly felt that with the current vaccine roll out, people may not receive the vaccine until April or May, and it doesn’t make much sense to plan a summer camp.
“I think like we did in 2020 with numerous events, we’re going to have to take a wait and see attitude,” Croce said. “What makes it hard is that you can’t just decide a week before summer camp, that you’re going to have summer camp, but that just means that we have to make a decision based on what’s in front of us at that point in time.”
Councilman Michael Putnam defended the idea of planning, because it takes time to set up, schedule and collaborate with families and other town locations for the success of the camp.
“I think she’s trying to plan ahead as if this is going to happen and realizing that come May, we might have to say no,” Putnam said.
Croce is concerned that, if the current social distancing measures are in place, there may be restrictions on access to the normal summer camp activities.
“How do you accomplish [social distancing] with 80 children at the camp? … Will the school allow us to use the gym on Wednesdays, which we always have? And if it rains, they go to the gym down at the Plattekill School,” Croce said. “What’s the school’s policy going to be?”
Another major concern of the summer camp is if current social distancing mandates are still in place, there will need to be funding for four school buses instead of two, which are normally very expensive.
“There’s a lot of unknowns and I think we’ll run into the same thing with other town events … I really think it’s going to make life very difficult for the people that are responsible for organizing these events and it makes it very hard for us,” Croce said. “As we said last year when this whole thing broke out, you want to give something to the people, you want to offer them something so that they can have a little enjoyment in their life, but I don’t ever want to put myself in a position of somebody contracting the virus from a town event that we held. It’s going to be interesting. We’ll do the best we can. I thought we made some very good decisions this year, so we’ll do the same thing next year.”
The meeting concluded after an executive session discussing the town assessor’s personnel.
The next meeting will be on Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. at Plattekill Town Hall.