ELDRED, NY — Anticipation of good things to come was in the air at the Highland Town Board meeting on May 11: the potential $50,000 Silver Feather Community Impact Grant from Sullivan Renaissance award announcement, up to $270,000 from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and the announcement of the hiring of a new building inspector clerk and code enforcement clerk.
Beyond that, business was orderly and routine.
A report from the highway department included alleviating water issues in the Highland Lake area, culvert replacement, cleaning out ditches and removal of downed trees. As part of his report, supervisor Jeff Haas announced that the town will be receiving anywhere between $247,000 and $270,000 from ARPA. These funds will reimburse the town for monies already spent due to COVID-related shortfalls, including money for the salt shed, highway CHIPS funds, money from FEMA for the generator, as well as a State and Municipal (SAM) facilities grant and an Aid and Incentives for Municipalities (AIM) grant. Members of the town board will be attending an upcoming U.S. Department of Treasury webinar on May 20 to learn about the interim ARPA requirements.
As part of the youth and park development report, council member Kaitlin Haas announced a potential collaboration with the Town of Lumberland Summer Vacation Program. Two additional days are proposed to be added to the schedule that Highland will sponsor.
The board also heard that the veteran memorial banners have been received and will be installed before Memorial Day, May 31, on light poles in Eldred. Former town clerk Doreen Hansen is coordinating with current town clerk Sue Hoffman to get the 44 banners installed. Highland Lake and Yulan fire departments will be pressed into service, with assistance from constable Marc Anthony and others.
The board heard from Highland Senior Citizens Inc. President Peter Carmeci about the Highland Senior Center’s aim to open in June, with attention to safety protocols and state guidelines. It also announced that the Highland Renaissance program will soon be looking for volunteers to help put hanging plants in place in the Yulan area. The board received a letter from the Highland’s Litter Sweep leader Andrew Boyar thanking the 48 volunteers who helped litter sweep six-and-a-half miles along Route 97, including river access points. Boyar reported that 87 bags of trash were collected, totaling 1.7 tons of trash. The Upper Delaware Council’s litter sweep was Boyar’s brainchild, and the board formally nominated him as Highland’s Litter Leader next year.
As part of the constables’ report, Anthony reported that domestic violence calls were up “a lot.”
Carmeci, with his hat on as commander of Veterans of Foreign Wars, announced that fallen heroes will be honored with a honor guard on Monday, May 31, and that the ceremonies will be short as the public has not been invited. All county ceremonies will be private. He also asked for prayers and good wishes for veteran George Weber Sr.
Hoffman announced that there will be a rabies clinic on Saturday, October 6 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Additionally, the Town of Highland Lions Club will hold a Litterpluck on Saturday, June 12 from the light in Eldred to the Eldred Preserve.
In new business, the board agreed to become a sponsor, along with the Highland Lions Club and Jeff Bank, of a public shredder. The sealed collection container will be located at the town hall complex.
In other business, the board appointed John T. Vogt from alternative position to sitting position on the zoning board of appeals, replacing Chris Dampman; approved Hoffman to take online classes from the NY Association of Local Government Records Officers; approved a Town Clean up Day for Saturday, October 2; paid the town’s bills; and discussed the sale of 16 Proctor Rd. for the purchase price of $210,000..
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