Philmont Library donors quickly pick up bricks

PHILMONT–Fifty dollars for one 4-by-8-inch brick?

But it’s not just any old brick. It will go in the walkway leading to the Philmont Public Library’s new cultural center, incised with wording of the donor’s choice.

The Buy-a-Brick fundraiser is already under way, librarian Karen Garafalo told village trustees at their monthly meeting Monday, July 12, with enough bricks bought for local mason Tim Smith to begin the work.

Ms. Garafalo also said the library landed a $2,200 grant from the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation to buy furniture for the cultural center, where photos by local photographers are currently on display.

For information about either program call the library, 672-5010, or visit the website,

Also at the meeting, resident Brian Wheeler blamed two recent accidents on poor sight lines for vehicles entering Main Street from Church Street, and suggested making Church one-way (presumably northbound).

Mr. Wheeler also asked what is being done about the dilapidated condition of the Department of Public Works garage.

“It’s not in the taxpayers’ best interest to put any money into that building,” said Trustee Brian Johnson. “It’s been falling apart for years–we’ve outgrown it.” He said the board is reviewing options for a new building for the DPW.

Resident Sally Baker inquired about proper procedures for residents to express “a complaint or concern about a building or property” in writing before bringing it up at a Village Board meeting, and was told there is no such procedure.

She also asked, “What are the village policies and guidelines with reference to a resident consistently using the Village Board meeting… as an individual soapbox or bully pulpit?” And she questioned Village Clerk Eilene Morris’s including such comments in the meeting minutes.

“The board can’t prohibit people from speaking in a public meeting,” Village Attorney Robert Fitzsimmons told her.

Also at the meeting, trustees appointed Matthew Oakley to the village Planning Board. A request from Planning Board chairwoman Mary Prazma to appoint Mr. Wheeler an alternate member failed for want of a motion.

The meeting adjourned in memory of Howard Montague and Brad Race.

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