Tusten Board debates varied agenda items

NARROWSBURG, NY — Some topics have been discussed at several meetings over long periods of time, and others seemed to have come as a surprise to some of the members. But all elicited lively debate at the monthly Tusten Board meeting on February 13.

Brandi Merolla reported on the Energy Committee progress. She said that the town continues its discussions with New York Power Authority (NYPA) as it pursues the changeover of the town’s lights to LED. NYPA representatives have stated that the governor’s initiative to change over 500,000 street lights throughout the state to LED lighting by 2025 will ultimately benefit the town as NYPA continues to pursue economies of scale through bundling.

Council member Jill Padua reported that a member of the Sullivan County Department of Solid Waste & Recycling visited a styrofoam recycling center in Scranton with her, and is assessing the feasibility of establishing such a center locally.

Further advancing the recycling agenda, Merolla received approval to spend up to $900 for the purchase of reusable tote bags to be given to each town resident. After they are produced, the bags will be available for pick-up in the town clerk’s office. A resident inquired as to why the bags were being called “free” when they were being paid for by taxpayers, and stated that a fundraising event might have been a more appropriate funding means.

Jane Luchsinger reported that the town is the recipient of a $25,000 matching grant from Sullivan Renaissance. The matching requirement has already been satisfied by the dismantling of a house on Crawford Road. To oversee the use of these funds, a new committee was established comprising two members from the Narrowsburg Beautification Group, two from the Tusten Youth Board and three from the town.

Council member Tony Ritter expressed frustration with the delay in authorizing the mailing of a survey to assess residents’ interest in establishing an on-road constabulary that would operate on weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Because additional information was not complete regarding the availability of hiring sheriff’s deputies to perform these additional patrols, the majority of the board thought it best to table the authorization until the next meeting.

Supervisor Carol Wingert noted with appreciation the monumental efforts of all who volunteer for the various committees and task forces. All of the board members concurred.

A motion was made to grant medical insurance to Wingert. After much discussion, the motion was tabled. Ritter stated that the issue should have been a part of the budget discussions in October so that the public would have had an opportunity to comment. He said that this is establishing a new line item in the budget. Merolla said that with the over $500,000 of grant money that Wingert’s efforts had brought to the town, the benefit should be granted.


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