Past, present and future on Lumberland’s agenda

Except for the food pantry, things are good

By GREGORY HATTON
Posted 10/28/20

GLEN SPEY, NY — Announcing a two-cent tax rate increase per $1,000 of assessed value, that restitution money from plants stolen from the Sullivan Renaissance site had been received, and that …

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Past, present and future on Lumberland’s agenda

Except for the food pantry, things are good

Posted

GLEN SPEY, NY — Announcing a two-cent tax rate increase per $1,000 of assessed value, that restitution money from plants stolen from the Sullivan Renaissance site had been received, and that Circle Park will reopen was happy news at the Lumberland Town Board meeting on October 14. 

The really happy news, celebrated with a standing ovation from those at the meeting, was that NYS state police trooper Ryan Stutz and registered nurse Lisa Stutz, both town residents, received an award recognizing their life-saving efforts during an incident that occurred at their home this summer. They took turns administering CPR to a worker who had collapsed while filing the Stutz’s pool.

On the other side of happy, when asked about the food pantry’s status, tax collector and town clerk Laurie Terry said that funding was exhausted but that its future operation would depend on others contributing their time and effort to the venture; tax season would be prohibiting her participation.

From there, it moved onto routine business.

The board heard monthly reports from the supervisor, the highway superintendent, the town clerk, building department, the constable and the fire department. They also heard that the DEC will be re-enforcing the plastic bag ban beginning on October 19; that town’s portion of the Sullivan County Workman’s Comp contribution would be $38,932; and that the town’s cemetery committee had been given permission to open Section 3.  The contract for snow and ice removal on county roads has been approved for the period from June 2020 to July 2021 at the existing rate. 

In speaking about the budget, supervisor Jenny Mellan said that taxpayers are currently paying $7.42 per $1,000 of assessed value for the general fund and highway fund; that will go to $7.44. For a home valued at $200,000, taxes will go up about five or six dollars. She also announced that the town’s environmental stress indicators were moving downward. “We received notification from the state comptroller of our fiscal and environmental stress designations. For the last three years, we had no score for fiscal stress.” (The lower the score, the better you are doing.) “Our environment stress indicator has gone from being susceptible in 2017 to no longer being susceptible. Also, some of you may have read that the NYS tax cap was 1.56 percent; Lumberland’s is actually 1.056 percent.”

In planning for the future, the board discussed the Mandatory Pandemic Operations Plan required by the state. Board members seemed in agreement that, even though there was no formal plan in place, the town was able to manage decisions about opening and closures, and remote functioning of day-to day-operations because enough people had the technology needed. The board will await further resources and guidance from the state.

In the opening of Circle Park, a matter left to the town’s discretion, signage, hygiene and liability were the focal points of a general discussion. The park will not be policed and restroom facilities will remain closed until next season. Highway superintendent Donald Hunt is the point man for maintaining a daily cleaning regime and procuring signs from the county. The park will open when the signs—that users must enter at their own risk, practice physical distancing and follow CDC guidelines—have been posted. 

The board set a public hearing for the 2021 Preliminary Budget on Wednesday, November 4 at 7 p.m. and a public hearing about Local Law 2 (Town of Lumberland Solar Energy Law) for Thursday, November 12 at 7 p.m. Both hearings are at the town hall.

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