Tusten sets three projects in motion

By LINDA DROLLINGER
Posted 7/28/20

NARROWSBURG, NY — At the July 23 Tusten Town Board meeting held via Zoom (recessed from July 14), the first steps were taken in the implementation of three ambitious projects.

Repair of the …

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Tusten sets three projects in motion

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NARROWSBURG, NY — At the July 23 Tusten Town Board meeting held via Zoom (recessed from July 14), the first steps were taken in the implementation of three ambitious projects.

Repair of the town hall roof, on hold pending publication of a second bid notice, will begin on or before August 24 and should be completed within seven working days thereafter. The $86,000 low bid from Strait Line Roofing, owned by Blair Cooper, received the board’s unanimous approval. The only other bid received in the second round of submissions came from Coacci Construction at $89,950.

Cooper, present at the virtual meeting, assured the board that at no time during the roof repair will DeMauro Lane be closed or access to Lander’s Campground blocked; at least one lane will be open at all times. He also promised that there will be access to the town hall during the work period and that no nails will litter DeMauro Lane.

Proposed by supervisor Ben Johnson, the second project is the resurrection of the Tusten Conservation Advisory Council (CAC). Tusten’s original CAC was created during Johnson’s former term as Tusten supervisor and disbanded sometime after he left that office in 2009. The purpose of a CAC is to advise local governing boards, planning boards and zoning boards of appeals on environmental matters. Designed to provide a scientific perspective on land-use planning and decision-making in the municipality, CACs develop town-wide inventories of natural resources and open space, conduct research, review development proposals, conduct site visits, provide education programs, implement stewardship projects and gather and distribute information to other town agencies, land-use applicants and the general public. For more information on CACs, see www.bit.ly/moreCACinfo.

As none of the other four town board members had served during Johnson’s earlier tenure and all were unfamiliar with that CAC’s functions, they asked that documents pertaining to the earlier council be used as a starting point for the proposed new council. No further action will be taken pending review of those documents.

The third agenda item before the board was the appointment of an attorney to manage issuance of a municipal bond to fund approximately 40% of the $7.5 million cost of the water district improvement project. Johnson said Delaware Engineering, the firm used to complete a feasibility study for the project, recommended two attorneys who specialize in municipal bond oversight.

Joan Bliekamp of Walsh & Walsh LLP in Saratoga Springs has had extensive experience in the field, working particularly on municipal water projects. Her fee estimate for the project is $15,000 plus expenses. The board asked that she specify the types of expenses that will accrue above her estimated project fee.

Douglas Goodfriend of New York City, also well experienced in the municipal bond field, quoted an all-inclusive fee estimate of $25,000.

Johnson contacted Bliekamp the morning of July 24 and the board reconvened by ZOOM at 12:15 p.m. on that date. After Johnson’s report that Bliekamp’s $15,000 fee will cover everything except town disbursements, such as postage, photocopying, and fax charges, the board passed a resolution to retain the firm of Walsh & Walsh LLP as its municipal bond counsel.

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