G’town sees tight parking as sign of progress

GERMANTOWN—The Town Board agreed Monday to start tackling what former Supervisor Roy Brown called a “good problem”: a shortage of parking in the hamlet.

Mr. Brown, who now chairs the town’s Economic Development Committee, said that committee has discussed a two-hour parking limit on Main Street, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Saturday. The business group would like the town board to work with the town attorney to draft a law for a public hearing, he said.

Business owners call Town Hall looking for help, said Mr. Brown, especially in summer, but “we have nothing that says, ‘No parking’ or ‘two-hour parking.’” Residents on the street could get a parking pass, he suggested.

The goal is to prevent cars being parked “for three days running” in the town’s main business district, he said. “We had some photos last year of a car covered with leaves dropping from trees,” said Supervisor Joel Craig.

Noting that the hamlet’s restaurant, at the corner of Main Street and Church Avenue, will reopen with new owners, Mr. Brown suggested timed parking from the post office past the restaurant and on Church Avenue also, Monday through Saturday.

Councilman Michael Mortenson asked about deliveries to Otto’s Market and Lawlor’s Package Store, both on Main Street. That, and parking for apartment residents on Main Street, would have to be addressed, said Mr. Brown. The town has a municipal lot near the post office. On Church Avenue, three churches have parking lots that might be used weekdays.

The town couldn’t enforce a parking law, said Mr. Mortenson, and even considering adoption of an ordinance was a “waste of time.”

“It’s more of a deterrent,” said Mr. Craig.

“There’s no harm in our looking at it,” said Councilwoman Andrea Dunn.

“I have some ideas,” said police officer-in-charge Brian DuBois from the audience.

The board adopted a motion to research a new law unanimously.

In other business:

Mr. Brown noted that the Economic Development Committee meets next on Wednesday, August 13 on the porch at Central House on Main Street. New signs indicating the hamlet business district went up in time for the Fourth of July celebration, he said, and additional “historic hamlet” signs will go up in September

Reporting for Community Arts & Tourism, Corinne Curry said that the town’s ArtSpace, 71 Palatine Park Road, has been “tremendously successful” this year. The next show is “Syria: Then and Now,” 52 photographs by Peter Aaron taken in 2009, plus photos by others taken since then. The show opens Saturday, August 16 and runs weekends through September 7. Volunteer gallery sitters are needed. Ms. Curry thanked, among others, her co-chair, Billy Kimmel, for design work and Adrienne Westmore for coordinating the gallery’s opening receptions. germantownartspace.com

The board approved in concept moving an information kiosk at the post office into the hamlet center at a location to be determined. This kiosk would feature town events

Mr. Kimmel presented a draft map of the town with icons representing specific business, town services, community centers and area attractions. The completed map will be hung in the “town map coming soon” side of an information kiosk already in the hamlet

Councilman Matthew Phelan thanked the 50 to 75 volunteers who helped with parking, vendors and more at the town’s Fourth of July celebration. He had hoped for 4,000 people, he said, but the count was more like 3,000, perhaps because the event was postponed for a day because of rain. Nevertheless, it netted $1,200 for the town. “I was blown away by the number of people who drove a distance” to attend, said Mr. Phelan.

“In my many years, that was one of the best displays of fireworks I’ve ever seen,” said Councilman Donald Westmore.

Planning has begun for next year’s celebration, said Mr. Phelan

The board appointed George Atwell to another term, ending September 30, 2019, on the town’s Board of Assessment Review

Police commissioner Roger Rekow reported that officer Joshua DuBois had been selected to attend the NYS Police Academy. Applications for Kyle Jennings and Eric Erickson III are in process

Mr. Craig announced that the Columbia County Office of the Aging would hold a Medicare 101 session August 7 at 2 p.m. in Town Hall

Teachers from the Germantown Central School District and local volunteers are starting a program to stockpile school supplies for children who may not have enough money to buy supplies. Drop-off points are Town Hall and Ralph’s Country Realty, during business hours. Teachers will draw up a list of supplies, but in the meantime, binders, pencils, erasers and glue sticks are always needed, along with backpacks in good condition

Germantown Hose Company #1 was congratulated for taking second place in the annual county firefighters’ parade, held this year in Kinderhook. The parade is scheduled for Germantown in 2018, and there will be no street parking that day, quipped Mr. Brown

Mr. Brown announced that the third annual apple festival is scheduled for Saturday, September 20. The day begins at 9 a.m. and ends with fireworks at about 7 p.m. hudsonvalleyapplefestival.com

The board discussed with resident Frank Mammone the ongoing problem of cleaning up a neighbor’s property. The property owner and his attorney were scheduled to meet with the code enforcement officer the week of August 4. At the request of Mr. Craig, town attorney Tal Rappleyea agreed to attend.

The Town Board meets next on Monday, August 25 at 7 p.m.



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