Town Board to Review Zoning Policy for Special Events, Announces March 21 Office Hours in Pawling fo

The Pawling Town Board convened on Wednesday, February 14, at Town Hall. This served as the only meeting for the month, as the February 7 meeting was postponed because of inclement weather. The evening agenda included updates on the well at the Holmes Whaley Lake Civic Association Building, the Whaley Lake Dam project, and the Transfer Station. In addition, the Board would set dates for two public hearings and consider zoning changes for special events.

To open the meeting, the Board heard a presentation from Buildings and Grounds Supervisor Wendel Weber who informed officials that the well at the Holmes Whaley Lake Civic Association Building has been pumping water at an insufficient rate of one half gallon per minute. Located at 239, Route 292 in Holmes, the Association Building houses a thrift shop, hosts community events, and can be rented for special occasions. Currently, the facility’s well is set at a depth of 200 feet and is unable to provide adequate water supply for the kitchen and bathrooms. Supervisor Weber suggested that the Town pursue options to drill the well to a depth of at least 400 feet. After consideration, the Board authorized drilling the well to a new depth of 600 feet, with a cost not to exceed $6,000.

Next, the Board received an update on the Whaley Lake Dam project from owner’s representative Vinny DiMarco, who serves as a liaison to the Board and provides updates on the day-to-day operations of the project. Since work resumed at the site earlier this month, construction crews have exposed a rock ledge on the east side of the dam that is above the grade for the spillway and abutments and was not part of the original plans and drawings for the project. Going forward, project engineers will need to drill holes and perform soil tests to determine the best course of action. The Board approved a measure to bring in a drill rig to the project site at a cost of $16,000.

In other business, the Board addressed a resolution regarding access to the town Transfer Station on days following federal holiday closures. Opening the station after a holiday, on a day when the station would not normally be open, would require that employees be paid overtime hours; it might also require that Highway Department employees be relocated from other jobs to staff the facility. The Board thus decided that it would be more cost effective to let the Transfer Station remain closed on such days.

The Town Board also announced that it is in the process of reviewing possible zoning changes for special events. In conjunction with the Planning Board and Implementation Committee, Board members are reviewing the applications necessary for holding gatherings and events within Town limits. This process includes inquiries into the application processes of surrounding municipalities. The Board will also consult with the Town Building Inspector and Town Attorney before making any revisions to the application process. A public hearing on the matter will likely be announced next month.

Officials also approved a request for the use of Murrow Park by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The DEC will be conducting a local population study of the Eastern Whitetail Rabbit. While the species is not currently endangered, DEC officials seek to monitor the population for environmental statistical purposes.

Finally, the Board announced several upcoming important dates. A public hearing regarding a local law change to reschedule the Grievance Day for Assessments will be held on Wednesday, March 7, at Town Hall at 7:00 p.m. A public hearing for the Comcast Cable franchise agreement was also announced and is scheduled Wednesday, April 4, at 7:00 p.m. at Town Hall. Congressman John Faso, Representative for New York's 19th Congressional District, will hold mobile office hours at Pawling Town Hall on Wednesday, March 21, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., to meet with residents and address concerns.

The next Town Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 7 at 7:00 p.m. at Town Hall, 160 Charles Colman Blvd.