Quality of life

By LIAM MAYO
Posted 6/21/22

NARROWSBURG, NY —The issue of toilets (or the lack thereof) on Tusten’s Main Street has been discussed at length.

The conversation got closed out at a June 14 meeting of the town …

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Quality of life

Posted

NARROWSBURG, NY —The issue of toilets (or the lack thereof) on Tusten’s Main Street has been discussed at length.

The conversation got closed out at a June 14 meeting of the town board, as the board voted to rent a port-a-potty to place by the former Wayne Bank building at 93 Main St.

The board chose to rent one ADA-compliant unit from Friday, July 1 to Sunday, September 25. It will be cleaned once a week, with additional cleanings for a fee. The Honeybee Festival contributed $200 to keep the toilet there for the month of September, and the board planned to ask the Narrowsburg Chamber of Commerce for additional financial support.

Local resident Star Hesse thanked the board for taking action during the meeting’s public comment period. “Even—God forbid—a smelly toilet is better than not having anything when you have a three-year-old child crying because they can’t find a bathroom for her to use, or for him to use.”

The board moved forward as well on several other quality-of-life improvement measures.

The board authorized the supervisor to sign a contract with Certified Appraisal Services for the appraisal of the former Wayne Bank building. Having that building appraised moves the town one step closer to renting it out, as the board determined to do at its May meeting.

The board discussed having concrete workers repair the wall behind the municipal parking lot on Bridge Street, adjoining the Art Peck memorial garden. It authorized the supervisor to work with the highway superintendent to organize that repair.

During the public comment period, local resident and Tusten Energy Committee chair Brandi Merolla expressed concern that the town was not considering the preservation of the memorial garden in its plans. “I’d love you guys to kind of consider how do we preserve that, keep protect it, and maybe just plow toward the railroad rather than into garden.”

The board set a public hearing for July 5 at 6:30 p.m. for the consideration of a revised Tusten zoning law. The zoning law had been edited following a previous public hearing and comments from the Upper Delaware Council.

The board additionally voted to authorize consultant Peter Manning to draft a local law creating a Conservation Advisory Council (CAC).

Tusten had a CAC between 2008 and 2011, and the CAC created a natural resources and open space inventory that looked at the town’s natural resources. The most recent comprehensive plan called for the reconvening of the CAC to create an open space plan for the protection of those resources.

Manning said that he was almost done with the draft local law. Given the flexibility of the statutes underpinning the CAC, he looked forward to having a dialogue about the draft once it was written.

Brendan Weiden, at podium, advocates for a parking study before the Tusten town board.
Brendan Weiden, at podium, advocates for a parking study before the Tusten town board.

Parking palavers

The majority of public comment centered on an action it did not take.

The board considered the question of whether to conduct a parking study for the hamlet of Narrowsburg. Neither the board nor the majority of the town’s parking committee evidenced support for the idea.

There was low-hanging fruit the town could grasp as it reached to improve parking, according to supervisor Ben Johnson. The parking committee first proposed better signage for the town’s municipal lots; that signage had been ordered from the county. The next step could be the expansion of the town’s pre-existing municipal lot by 93 Main St.; with painted lines indicating parking spaces, the lot could fit an estimated 60 cars.

Board members referenced a study done in the hamlet of Callicoon to support not doing a study in Narrowsburg. The Callicoon study indicated that the hamlet didn’t have a shortage of parking, but had instead a parking-utilization problem. That was the board’s consensus for the parking problem in Narrowsburg, and the board did not see a need for a study to confirm that consensus.

The parking committee and the town board considered a parking study largely on the insistence of Brendan Weiden, Narrowsburg Union owner and member of the parking committee. He advocated for the study and for resolution of the town’s parking issues in a heated exchange with Johnson. He had a problem with other people using his parking, he said; the town’s zoning law said that each business needed to provide its own parking, and that should be enforced.

A majority of the public present disagreed with him that parking was an issue, saying that people could always find parking even during the town’s busiest times.

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