Town Board Hears Buildings and Grounds Update, Honors William Blessey

The Pawling Town Board convened on Wednesday, March 14, for a meeting at Town Hall. The previous meeting scheduled for March 7 was cancelled due to inclement weather. On the evening’s agenda were an approval for a public hearing regarding the date set for Town Grievance Day, the formal promotion of a new Working Supervisor within the Highway Department, several updates from the Buildings and Grounds Department, and updates on Town Water Districts and Whaley Lake Dam reconstruction project. Finally, the meeting would be dedicated to the memory of William Blessey, former Chairman of the Pawling Zoning Board of Appeals, who recently passed away.

The Town Board scheduled a Public Hearing regarding the established date for Grievance Day for Assessments. Grievance Day, on which residents can appeal their property taxes, is currently scheduled to be held on the Wednesday following the fourth Tuesday in May 2018. Any resident wishing to voice a concern regarding this date may do so on April 4 at 7:00 p.m. at Town Hall.

Board members formally approved the promotion of Daniel Miller to the position of Working Supervisor for the Highway Department. The position was vacated on January 1 when Jay Dickinson assumed the role of Highway Superintendent. Board members expressed their satisfaction with Mr. Miller’s performance thus far, and lauded his status as a dedicated, long-tenured employee of the department.

Next, officials would hear several updates from Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds Wendel Weber. The Supervisor came before the Board seeking approval for the purchase of a new lawn mower for use at Lakeside Park. This purchase would allow an existing mower to be used for grounds maintenance at Dutcher Golf Course, which is owned by the Town of Pawling. Town Board members authorized the purchase of equipment from budgeted funds in the amount of $14,766. Weber also spoke about electric power usage at Town Hall. Currently, the building’s 200 amp electric service is running at roughly 120% capacity. This is due to increased power demand from the heated concrete in the newly renovated front entrance as well as an additional air conditioning unit in the building’s computer server room. To address this problem, the Buildings and Grounds Department is proposing to increase electric service to 400 amps. Officials authorized Weber to entertain bids for a service upgrade not to exceed $9,550.

Regarding Water District #1, the Town Board is currently in the process of turning the district over to the supervision of Village of Pawling officials. To facilitate this change, Town officials are beginning the process of installing new water meters equipped with back flow valves. These valves prevent water from draining from homes back into the water district system. Officials are considering options to purchase the new valves wholesale to help reduce costs.

In other business, Board members received an update on the ongoing reconstruction project at the Whaley Lake Dam. Wynn Construction has been working at the site as permitted by weather, and drilling is complete and under budget. However, project engineers have determined that soil beneath the spillway site requires permeability testing. To accomplish this, engineers conducted a “slug test,” which involved the insertion of a 2” PVC pipe filled with sand and connected to an electronic meter. The results of this test will determine the stability of the foundation of the spillway, and learn if any design alterations will be required. Prior geological surveys of the area determined that the rock foundation was solid with good permeability; construction officials do not anticipate any changes to the project. The results of the “slug test” are expected by March 16.

The Town Board closed the meeting in memory of William Blessey, former Chairman of the Pawling Zoning Board of Appeals. “Bill served on the ZBA from 1993 to 2015,” said Councilman Dave Kelly. “He was appointed Chairman in 2000, ending with his departure in 2015. I had the pleasure of knowing Bill for many years, and he was proud to serve this community. Bill had a hard job to do, but he was one to get down in the trenches and make sure the process was done thoroughly and correctly. Our hearts and prayers go out to his wife, Sue, who continues to call Holmes, home.” Councilman Phil DeRosa joined in the sentiment, adding, “He was a fine example of what a chairman should be, and for new people coming in. He was well respected in the Holmes area and in Pawling.”

The next Town Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 4, at 7:00 p.m. at Town Hall, 160 Charles Colman Blvd.