Chatham gets ‘Smart’ but loses trustee

CHATHAM – Trustee Adrienne Morrell has resigned from the Village Board. The board accepted her resignation at its meeting last week and is now accepting letters from residents interested in filling the seat until village elections in March, when her term is up. The board will review letters of interest and appoint the new member of the board.

Ms. Morrell was not at the Thursday, September 10 meeting but wrote a letter saying that her new job means she is out of the village several nights a week and could not attend meetings.

The board is also looking for a new deputy clerk. Gretchen Brown, who was deputy clerk, has also sent a letter to the board resigning her position. The board has been accepting resumes and may be able to make an appointment to fill the deputy clerk position later this month.

Also at the meeting, the board passed a resolution to become a Climate Smart Community. The Climate Smart Communities program of the state Department of Environmental Conservation aims to create “a network of New York communities engaged in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving climate resilience.” Among its goals is to help municipalities research and adopt green technologies and policies. The Town of Chatham joined the program earlier this year.

Robyn Reynolds, a representative from the program who attended the September 10 meeting, said that the village was the 168th community to join the program. She pointed out that the village is only one of three Climate Smart Communities in the county. “You are definitely leaders in the area,” she told the board.

Another resolution adopted by the board last week temporarily suspends the village open container law as it applies to the municipal parking lot near the Tracy Memorial Village Hall during an Oktoberfest event Saturday, October 3 at Chatham Brewing. The board also passed a resolution allowing the brewing company to use the parking lot as a seating area, with food trucks and performances there during the event. But Chatham Brewing must still obtain the approval of the Town Board for the temporary changes to take effect, because the town jointly owns the parking lot with the village.

As for the open container laws, Chatham Brewing co-owner Tom Crowell, said, “The state has no issue with this.” Instead, it’s a matter of local law and law enforcement, he said, adding that he has talked to the village police about the event. The temporary suspension of the open container law for just one section of the village will allow Chatham Brewing to hold this event, but Mr. Crowell and the board also discussed reviewing local laws so that there can be other events in village that would involve having alcohol outside.

Last week’s meeting began with a public hearing on the proposed renewal of Charter Communications’ franchise for cable TV service in the village. One village resident asked the board to request that Charter offer Internet connections in the village along cable as part of the contract renewal terms.

“If we want to grow our creative community, we are Internet bound,” Mayor Tom Curran said of having better service in the village.

In a related matter, Joe Plotkin from ASA Networks attended the meeting to discuss his company’s efforts to provide Internet connection services to communities in the county that currently do not have access to higher speed Internet connections.

Also at the meeting:

  • The board discussed concerns that some residents have “rusty” water supplied by the village. Mayor Curran said that the water tower is being repaired and repainted so it needed to be drained. He said the work should be completed soon and the tank will be refilled
  • The Chatham Police Department plans to hold a prescription drug disposal program with the Sheriff’s Office. Village residents will be able to drop off old prescriptions with police at the Tracy Memorial and the drugs will be handed over the state for proper disposal. The police will let the board know when the date for the disposal program is set.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .

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