Town Board Continues Building Inspector Search, Discusses Traffic Flow at Lakeside Park

The Pawling Town Board met on Wednesday, June 5, for a workshop meeting at Town Hall. The evening’s agenda included the ongoing search for a Building Inspector, as well as considerations for a new entrance to Lakeside Park.

In opening business, the Board provided an update on the continuing search for a new Building Inspector. The position has been vacant since the retirement of Carl Ellis in April; officials are continuing the screening and interview process, including communicating with Dutchess and Putnam County governments to acquire a list of potential candidates.

“We’ve interviewed several people, and we haven’t found a candidate that we’ve felt very strongly about,” explained Supervisor James Schmitt. “And a few candidates that we did like came back with very aggressive salary requests. It’s been much more of a challenge than I thought it would be to fill this position.”

Officials explained that the difficulty filling the position stems in part from the limited certifications of some of the perspective candidates. “We had five applicants that we reviewed, and of those, two were certified from Dutchess County, but they weren’t New York State certified,” said Councilman Phil DeRosa. Candidates without New York State certifications are still eligible to be in the Civil Service list, but would need to obtain the proper state certifications within 18 months of being hired. “The problem that we have, is that we had a main Building Inspector who wore a lot of hats, and to walk someone into that job without experience would be overwhelming,” he continued. “We wouldn’t be serving our citizens properly, because they are responsible for the health, safety, and welfare of our citizens.”

Going forward, officials will continue to consider candidates from the Putnam County Civil Service list. An additional option would also be to hire a Zoning Administrator/Planner, or possibly a part time Building Inspector until a permanent full-time candidate can be selected.

The Board then held a discussion about the entrance to Lakeside Park. With increased activity in the park because of camps, community events, and general recreation, Board members examined solutions to traffic flow problems at the intersection of Corbin Road, Lakeside Drive, and West Dover Road. “Now that Lakeside is being utilized more than it has in recent years, that intersection is extremely dangerous,” said Councilman Bill Johnson.

The Board has considered the construction off an access road into the park off of Dodge Road, but noted that the project would take too long to complete and not be feasible for the upcoming summer season. Another option considered is the possibility of making the entrance to the park one-way. Visitors would enter at the current location, but would exit Lakeside Park across from Grandview Avenue. Having separate entrances and exits would theoretically improve the traffic flow not only within the park, but also on the surrounding roads.

Board members are also considering a plan that would allow for a separate entrance to the park off of West Dover Road. Officials emphasized the need to address these issues quickly, in order to effect any changes before camps are completely in session for the summer. “This could be done right away,” remarked Councilman Johnson of the plan to create an entrance on West Dover Road.

The next Town Board meeting will be held on Wednesday, July 10, at 7:00 p.m. at Town Hall, 160 Charles Colman Blvd.