The Pawling Village Board convened for its first two sessions of 2018 on January 3 and 16 at Village Hall. The Board discussed numerous topics that will impact development and growth in the community for the new year and beyond. Agenda items included resolutions regarding the Village sewerage systems, the sewer treatment plant, and a discussion regarding the addition of electric vehicle charging stations. In addition, officials began the process of updating the Village’s Comprehensive Plan.
On January 3 the Village Board passed several resolutions concerning the Village sewer system. Following a public hearing, the Board approved the rate schedule in connection with the operation and maintenance costs of the sewer system at a rate of $704,572. A resolution to approve the apportionment of debt retirement costs for the sewerage system for District 1 was also approved in the amount of $127,300. Officials then adopted a bond resolution authorizing the construction of improvements to reservoirs in and for the Village of Pawling at a maximum estimated cost of $3,000,000. The issuance of the bonds is subject to a permissive referendum, and will allow the Village to pay the cost of these improvements.
As the Village sewage treatment reconstruction project continues, the Board authorized the issuance of an additional $2,630,000 in bonds to pay the increased cost of construction additions. A joint effort between the Pawling Joint Sewer Commission and the Village of Pawling will also be supporting an application for financial assistance for the Dutchess County Partnership in Manageable Growth Program.
Officials continued discussions regarding the addition of an electric vehicle charging station within the Village. The Dutchess County Department of Public Works will oversee the installation and maintenance, meaning that the station will come at no additional expense to taxpayers. Currently the plan is for the installation of a single charging station for electric vehicles, which will occupy two parking spaces. Spots will accommodate straight-in parking, and will be designated with green paint. Village officials recognize the limited number of parking spaces available within the Village, and are reviewing several areas as the potential charging station location, including Broad Street, and the area between the gazebo and the Chamber of Commerce building. County officials aim to have the station installed by Memorial Day.
At the January 16 meeting, the Board began the process of updating the Village of Pawling’s Comprehensive Plan. The Comprehensive Plan is defined as “a general guide expressing a community’s values and intentions for its future. Land use regulations, particularly zoning, site plan, and subdivision ordinances, are the legal tools that a municipality uses to implement the commonly held vision expressed in the comprehensive plan.” The document allows the Village Board, in conjunction with the Planning Board to help in shaping the community in the years to come.
The Board heard a presentation from Curt Johnson, an architect with Zarecky and Associates LLC of Pawling. Johnson’s presentation outlined the need for zoning lines to be better defined, especially as officials consider rezoning certain areas from residential to commercial. This idea will be prevalent as officials consider rezoning of parcels of land on the east side of route 22 to attract new business and promote economic growth in the area.
Members of the Village Board, as well as Johnson and the members of the Planning Board in attendance stated that the Comprehensive Plan has stood the test of time well, but will need to be updated to meet the concerns of a changing world. The document, last updated in 1994, will address several issues to promote Village growth while still keeping true to the vision for the community. Officials will discuss and consider new provisions for technology, including the electric-vehicle charging stations, as well as the impact of new transportation options such as Uber. To promote tourism and commerce, officials will consider changes to promote more lodging in the area, as well as explore the best way to capitalize on the upcoming Beacon Rail Trail bike path project. The updates to the document will also give considerations to beautification in the Village and improving architectural standards for new and existing buildings.
The update to the Comprehensive Plan will be an ongoing process, and the Village Board encourages community feedback and participation. Going forward, the Board’s second monthly meeting will also serve as a workshop session where residents can voice their ideas and concerns regarding updates to the document. The next Village Board meeting will be held on February 5, at 7:00 p.m. at Village Hall, 9 Memorial Ave. The next Comprehensive Plan Workshop Session will be held on Tuesday, February 20, at 7:00 p.m.