By Mark Reynolds
Just before the holiday season, the Lloyd Economic Development Committee [EDC] provided the Town Board with their year end report. EDC President Charles Glasner noted that like many other organizations, they were, “severely impacted by the restrictions related to the Covid-19 virus.”
Starting in April 2020 all of the EDC meetings were held remotely, except no meetings were held in May, August and September.
“We felt it prudent not to schedule any public gatherings, as we have done in the past,” Glasner said. “We did not distribute many ‘what to do’ in Highland or the Parks and Recreation brochures, in part because the Walkway Over the Hudson has not accepted printed materials for display.”
Besides Charles Glasner serving as President, the volunteers on the committee are Mikki Meyer, Gary Pregno, Alan Van De Bogart, Peter Brooks, Nicki Anzivina and Dolly Decker.
The EDC has kept abreast of new businesses in town that have opened and others that have closed, “with a focus on entities that are public facing such as retail shops and restaurants, but also keeping track of other, larger impactful business entities.”
Several times in 2020 the EDC compiled lists of commercial properties that were available in town, from new property listings and those that sold.
Seeing that the Welcome to Highland sign at the intersection of Route 299 and New Paltz Road needed to be replaced, the EDC interviewed sign painters to make and install a new sign. A new sign is expected this year.
The EDC reached out to a design consultant to create 5 inch diameter window clings to celebrate Lloyd’s 175th anniversary. This symbol is suitable for use in car windows as well as in business and residential windows. The Town of Lloyd’s actual anniversary was in 2020 but due to the pandemic the EDC will begin to make these available this year.
In October the EDC prepared comments on the proposed Hamlet Pedestrian Improvements Project that President Glasner presented to Ted Kolankowski, of the engineering and planning firm Barton & Loguidice. The project will install new sidewalks in the hamlet area and improve crosswalks and way finding signage. The committee favors the color green for these signs.
The EDC does not approve of, “any of the proposed street-painting patterns, including way finding Pavement Art and Street Space Pavement Art.” “They will not last long, may distract drivers and pedestrians and the money could be better used for other project costs,” their report stated.
The EDC pointed out that the Highbridge apartment developer Keith Libolt is expected to fund a sidewalk on the Commercial Ave extension, from the rail trail to Commercial Ave. Barton & Loguidice has already estimated the cost for this 260 foot segment at approximately $26,000. To date the Town Board has not firmly secured these funds from the developer.
The EDC also came out against approving any non-parking uses for street space, such as seating, dining and street painting, noting that the hamlet, “needs every possible parking space. [The] use of sidewalk areas and ‘bump outs’ for seating and dining purposes should be encouraged.”
The EDC wants to keep the ‘bump out’ in front of the Ossie building.
“It does act as a traffic calming device and eliminating it will doubtless cause more crashes, especially involving pedestrians and bicyclists at the intersection of Vineyard, Main and the entrance to the parking lot area behind the Methodist Church. Changing its shape seems like an unnecessary expense.”
The EDC said the planting of thornless honey locust trees to replace the ones that were removed in the hamlet would be fine, “assuming there is some science behind the choice.”