Tusten projects near completion

By LINDA DROLLINGER
Posted 3/18/21

NARROWSBURG, NY — Purchase of the Wayne Bank building at 93 Main Street is moving forward. The Tusten Town Board completed a requisite State Environmental Quality Review during its March 9 …

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Tusten projects near completion

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NARROWSBURG, NY — Purchase of the Wayne Bank building at 93 Main Street is moving forward. The Tusten Town Board completed a requisite State Environmental Quality Review during its March 9 meeting, stating then that the town plans to repurpose the existing building, with minor aesthetic changes only to its façade. The building’s footprint will be unchanged.

The extent of interior renovation will depend on the purpose to which the building is put. Supervisor Ben Johnson noted that real property owned or purchased by the town can be used only by not-for-profit municipal entities serving the public interest. “It can’t be used as a sushi bar,” said Johnson. But it could house the youth commission, the Tusten Historical Society, or an extension of, or replacement for, the current town hall. Johnson proposed engaging a consultant to explore adaptation of the building for a variety of possible uses.

The town’s streetlamp replacement project entered its final phase on February 10, as replacement of existing streetlamps with state-of-the-art LED bulbs and some strategically placed historic armatures began. Tusten Energy Committee chair Brandi Merolla said the new system offers computer control of light intensity, making it possible to customize the entire system and individual lights as well. When some homeowners complained that the new lights near their homes were too bright, bulbs were turned down to 50 percent capacity. Merolla noted that the entire system will normally operate at between 85 and 90 percent capacity, extending the life of the bulbs for about five years.

The Tusten HORSE food waste digester has been installed, its volunteer operators have been trained and seven food merchants have so far signed on to be its first users. Pete’s Market, The Heron, 2 Queens, The Botanist, The Blue Fox, The Laundrette and The Forestburgh Playhouse will each contribute food waste for HORSE consumption. Although the pandemic caused long delays in delivery and installation of the digester, the Tusten Energy Committee now plans to have it commence operation on or close to Earth Day on Thursday, April 22.

The Tusten Comprehensive Plan revision is currently undergoing public review, with the first of two public hearings scheduled for Monday, March 22 at 6:30 p.m. via Zoom. Visit www.townoftusten.org/calendar.html for information on how to participate. The purpose of the hearings is to receive feedback from members of the public who have reviewed the draft comprehensive plan and to field questions from the public about specific provisions contained within the draft plan. Councilmember Jill Behling Padua noted that comments received to date have been especially useful to the committee that drafted the new plan; she urged everyone with questions, ideas or comments to present them at the upcoming public hearings, the second of which will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, April 6. A copy of the plan can be found at www.bit.ly/2PXLpJ2.

Camille O’Brien, director of legislative affairs for NY Sen. Mike Martucci, attended the meeting, marking the first time one of his representatives has attended a Tusten Town Board meeting. Announcing that Martucci is opening an office in Liberty, NY, O’Brien urged the public to bring their concerns to him, either through his Liberty office or directly to her via email at obrienc@
nysenate.gov. For more information about the newly-elected state senator, his offices and his staff,  visit www.bit.ly/3cC7N2r.

The board went into executive session to discuss purchase of real property, then recessed to March 18, at which time it will consider bond counsel and other items that may crop up in advance of the next regular board meeting on Wednesday, April 14.

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