Tusten is lockdown-ready

By LINDA DROLLINGER
Posted 12/16/20

NARROWSBURG, NY — Tusten is prepared for a second pandemic lockdown if one is imposed. As a local surge in COVID-19 cases forced all-remote instruction for the Sullivan West elementary school …

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Tusten is lockdown-ready

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NARROWSBURG, NY — Tusten is prepared for a second pandemic lockdown if one is imposed. As a local surge in COVID-19 cases forced all-remote instruction for the Sullivan West elementary school and quarantine of the entire Cochecton highway department staff, Tusten put into place at its December 8 town board meeting safeguards for the health of its officials and the general public. The meeting itself was the first since October to be held via Zoom only, the rule for the foreseeable future.

Supervisor Ben Johnson announced several safe options for payment of 2021 taxes. In addition to time-honored payment by mail, residents can now, for a small processing fee, pay online or by phone with a credit or debit card. They can also place a check in the drop-box located under the flagpole at the town hall. And, if they are inclined to pay in person, they can do so at the soon-to-be-installed ticket window of the town hall’s new front door.

Although several glass companies inspected that door prior to submitting an installation bid for the ticket window, only one company actually submitted one. Keller Glass Specialty Inc. of Jeffersonville, NY placed a bid of $3,800 for installation of the window in the left side of the new door. Remarking that it seemed like a lot of money, Johnson said because it was a pandemic-related expense, it might be eligible for grant funding. When completed, the window will also allow for safe in-person submissions of construction permit paperwork and fees.

Deputy supervisor Jane Luchsinger noted that the pandemic has slowed progress on the Main Street culvert project. For the project to continue, five property owners must grant permission for temporary access to their land. Incoming town attorney Kenneth Klein and outgoing town attorney Danielle Jose Decker weighed in on fair compensation to landowners for that inconvenience. New York State recommends standard compensation of $500; the town determined to offer landowners up to $500 each.

The New York State Association of Towns (www.nytowns.org) holds an annual training conference in New York City. This year, because of the pandemic, it will be a virtual event offered at a fraction of the usual cost. The 2021 conference, which runs from February 14 to 17, offers training to planning board members, town board members, town attorneys and magistrates, tax assessors and tax collectors, among others. The board voted unanimously to approve the $100 per person participation fee for any town official interested in attending.

Johnson reported that Tusten magistrate Klu Padu has been named president of the Sullivan County Magistrate’s Association.

In other business, Luchsinger reported that people continue to park in Veterans Memorial Park despite the “No Parking” signs and the chain gate. She is investigating a sturdier, more durable and more attractive gate from Home Depot, which has offered the town store credit in lieu of a grant. If a suitable gate is not available free of charge, the board has authorized her to purchase one.

The board authorized issuance of an Amazon credit card for town clerk Crystal Weston.

The board’s 2020 year-end meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 29 at 6:30 p.m. and the 2021 organizational meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 6 at 6:30 p.m. Zoom meeting ID numbers have already been assigned for both meetings and can be found at www.bit.ly/tustenmeetings51.

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