Town Board Sets Public Hearing for Sewer District Project

On Wednesday, July 11, the Town Board met for its summer monthly meeting at Town Hall. The session provided updates on the establishment of a new sewer district, as well as the Whaley Lake Dam project. In addition, officials announced a partnership with an independent accounting firm for the preparation of future Town budgets.

The meeting began with a presentation from attorney Richard O’Rourke of Keane & Beane P.C. and engineer Jerry Schwalbe of Divney Tung Schwalbe, who were in attendance representing Castagna Realty Co. O’Rourke and Schwalbe were present to follow up on a public hearing held in February of 2016 regarding the establishment of a special water district for properties on Route 22. The resolution was initially approved but required revisions from the Pawling Joint Sewer Commission.

Castagna has owned property in Pawling for more than fifty years, including the 200-acre development site on Route 22 that comprises Castagna Senior Park. The location includes eighty-one units of senior housing and is serviced by a sewer line and pump station with a maximum capacity of 8,800 gallons per day. The plan for the next phase of development is to extend a mile up Route 22, with a planned addition of ninety-nine units of housing. The project will require the establishment of a special sewer district, pursuant to Town Law. The Town Board set a Public Hearing regarding the establishment of Pawling Sewer District #3 for Wednesday, August 8, at 7:00 p.m. at Town Hall.

The Board then heard an update on the Whaley Lake Dam project from Owner’s Representative Vinny DiMarco, who reported that there have been several successful concrete pours at the site in recent weeks and excellent progress on the dam’s drawdown chamber, arch spillway, and the northern section of the entrance slab. According to DiMarco, walls are being erected and backfilled, and the dam’s apron has also seen significant progress. DiMarco said that he is confident that the Whaley Lake Dam will be ready for public viewing within the next few weeks. The Town Board approved an Open House event to be held at the dam on Saturday, August 3, and Sunday, August 4. Residents can visit the Town website at online in the coming weeks for more details about the Whaley Lake Dam Open House.

In final business, Supervisor James Schmitt gave an update on the future of budget preparations in Pawling. In lieu of accepting the salary appropriated for his position as Budget Officer, Schmitt has opted instead to use that money to hire an independent accounting firm to assist in the preparation of the next Town Budget. “We’re going to bring in a CPA firm who works with municipalities,” he explained, “and they’re going to really pull this thing apart. They’re going to look at it every way possible and come back with a budget that the people of this community can be proud of.” The Board selected RBT CPAs, LLP, of Newburgh, NY. According to the Supervisor, the firm will work closely with Schmitt and Town Bookkeeper Andrew Forman to ensure an efficient and transparent process as next year’s budget begins to take shape.

The next Town Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 8, at 7:00 p.m., at Town Hall.