New Leb wants slower drivers, faster internet

NEW LEBANON–The Town Board reviewed speed limit requests for Chair Factory and Canaan roads at the August 10 meeting. All unmarked roads, such as these, have a default speed of 55 mph set by the state Department of Transportation. In order to have a speed limit reduced the state would have to reevaluate the roads.

Board member Mark Baumli stressed the issue of speed enforcement, stating, “I really don’t think this is the way to go until we can get somebody from the town patrolling these roads and issuing speeding tickets.”

“They made a presence on them for a bit but I don’t know how long,” Supervisor Colleen Teal said, regarding the county sheriff’s deputies patrolling roads after receiving complaints from residents about excessive speeding.

Highway Superintendent Jeff Winestock added that part of the problem is routine speeding by motorists who are town residents. “You have a lot of money invested in signs and maintaining them, but on residential roads it’s not gonna change.”

Board member Kevin Smith agreed, saying, “If the speed limits aren’t enforced, if you’re going to spend the time putting up the signs, it’s a waste of the taxpayers’ money.”

Supervisor Teal concluded, “We don’t have the police force to enforce this; we’re relying on the county. I don’t know how much time they can designate for New Lebanon.”

The board agreed to postpone the decision to request speed limit reduction and signage from the state until they have a better idea of the enforcement available to the town in policing speed limits.

In response to Governor Cuomo’s visit to Hudson August 3, to announce plans to expand broadband internet coverage across New York within the next two years, Supervisor Teal, a member of the county Board of Supervisors’ Broadband Committee said, “Now they understand how limited service is in Columbia County and we’re number one on their list, but we’re not giving up until they’re actually here and done.”

The New Lebanon broadband committee is sending out a survey to local businesses to assess internet service and is in the process of creating a similar survey for residents, which will be used countywide.

In other news:

• The board accepted a bid to install fencing around the tennis court

• Town Hall has been newly outfitted with microphones for improved audibility during meetings

• The New Lebanon 200 Steering Committee is beginning to plan a season-long series of events to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Town of New Lebanon in 2018

• There will be zoning amendment town hearings regarding solar panels on September 9 at 10 a.m. and September 14 at 7 p.m. at the town hall.

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