Village Board Announces Approval of $200,000 Shared Services Grant, Considers OLC Partnership, Appro

The Pawling Village Board convened on Monday, February 5, at Village Hall for their first meeting of the month. On the agenda for the evening was a presentation by members of the Oblong Land Conservancy, as well as a resolution that would approve a grant application for the Village’s Master Plan Update.

The meeting began was the announcement that Village Historian Drew Nicholson has officially resigned his position, citing personal reasons. In a letter to Mayor Robert Liffland, Nicholson said, “It is with sadness and much regret that I tender my resignation. I will never lose my interest in the history of our wonderful village, and I will continue to assist however I can.” The Village Board is currently seeking a candidate to fill the position.

Next, the Board heard a presentation by Lou Trombetta and Phillip van Buren of the Oblong Land Conservancy about the possibility of partnering for the purchase of a plot of land in the Village. The proposed property has frontage on West Main Street, and abuts Walnut Street and West Street. The land also contains the origin of the north flow of the Swamp River, which eventually flows into the Housatonic River. The current property owners intend to sell, and the Oblong Land Conservancy wishes to take ownership to assure proper environmental stewardship. The representatives claim that purchasing the property will make strides to ensuring the sanctity of water quality in the Hudson Valley. The Oblong Land Conservancy seeks to purchase the land in a partnership with the Village in order to use Village resources and monitor the property to prevent improper refuse dumping.

Moving forward, the Oblong Land Conservancy wishes to conduct an Environmental Impact Study on the land, splitting the $5,000 cost with the Village. Village officials were reluctant to consider the partnership, citing increased cost to the taxpayers, loss of tax revenue, and snow removal and maintenance for the property. Ultimately, the formal vote on the matter was postponed until Village officials can consult legal counsel and address liability issues regarding the property.

Next, the Board addressed a resolution for the application for a grant for the Master Plan Update Project. The application will be submitted to the Hudson Valley Greenway Grant Program, which will, it is hoped, result in an initial award of $10,000 to use toward the update of the Master Plan. In addition, if the application is approved, the Village will be eligible to apply for additional funds through the program.

In other business, the Board approved a public assembly events permit for the Pawling Little League Opening Day Parade. The event will be held on Saturday, April 14 on the Village Green.

The meeting concluded with town officials announcing the approval of a grant through a county shared services initiative with the Town of Pawling. In the amount of $200,000, the grant will finance a sidewalk project that will span from West Main Street to Murrow Park. Surveyors will be brought in to begin the next phase of the project this spring.