G’town seeks speed studies on busy routes

GERMANTOWN—Route 9G was a subject at the April 10 Town Board meeting. “We were asked by someone on the Planning Board to consider reducing the speed limit on Route 9G south from the site of the new diner to Mountain View Road,” said Supervisor Robert Beaury.

Currently the speed limit goes from 55 down to 45 miles per hour; the request was to reduce the limit to 35 miles per hour.

Board member Brittany DuFresne said Route 9G should stay at 45—“enforce what’s there now,” she said—and that speed should be reduced on Main Street (County Route 8) in the hamlet instead.

Current hamlet speed limits are 20 miles per hour near the Germantown Central School and 30 miles per hour otherwise. Trucks use county Route 8 to cross between Routes 9 and 9G, and were accused of “flying.”

Councilman Ron Moore II noted that Route 9G might have more commercial properties in the future, with the possible addition of a Dollar General store, suggesting that a lower speed limit might be wise with additional shopping traffic.

The board approved unanimously asking state Department of Transportation to study traffic speed on Route 9G, a state road, and the county Highway Department to study traffic speed on County Route 8.

During the public comment time at the end of the meeting Pamela Wallace brought up Route 9G again, specifically: the proposed Dollar General retail store; its developer, Primax Properties, which wrote the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the project instead of the Planning Board; and confusion over the status of the escrow account that paid Theodore Fink, planning consultant.

Ms. Wallace and, from the audience, Karen Targov, agreed with Mr. Beaury that Primax’s writing the FEIS was legal, but questioned whether it was in the best interest of the town.

As for the escrow account, “the escrow issue is not an issue,” Mr. Beaury said. Asked Tuesday to clarify that, he said that $5,000 is in the escrow account. Asked if Mr. Fink was paid for all of the work that he did, Mr. Beaury said, “I don’t know. If he is engaged, he submits an invoice, and there is no invoice with the Town Board. If an invoice remains, it is still with the Planning Board,” which approves Mr. Fink’s invoices before forwarding them to the Town Board for approval.

In other business the board:

Approved unanimously for the second time the proposed sewer map and order as a resolution subject to a permissive referendum. The board’s second vote was necessary because the public notice did not run in time in The Columbia Paper

Set a Public Hearing for Tuesday, May 8 at 6:45 p.m. on the updated Comprehensive Plan. The Columbia County Planning Board returned the plan without suggesting any changes, so the Town Board can now conclude its approval process, with a Public Hearing and a vote

Accepted the resignation of Rao Gaddipati from the Planning Board and appointed board alternate Emil Ericson Jr. to complete Mr. Gaddipati’s term, through December 31, 2021

Appointed Councilmen Moore and Austin Sullivan as an ad hoc interview committee to interview candidates for Planning Board alternate and recommend one to the full Town Board; a Zoning Board of Appeals member will be asked to assist with this effort

Accepted the resignation of James Trapp as code enforcement officer and building inspector and appointed Sam Harkins to the dual post, effective April 10. The $10,000 annual salary will be prorated for a mid-April start date

Heard a presentation from the Waterfront Advisory Committee; they finished their study and submitted it to the state Department of State on April 9. A full copy of their report is available in Town Hall and at the Germantown Library; each board member received an executive summary. “We consider this a working document; it does not have regulatory impact,” said committee chair Jennifer Crawford.

Now the WAC is busy organizing a response to Amtrak’s proposal to fence off an access path along the Hudson River. A rally is planned for Sunday, April 22 from noon to 2 p.m., at Lasher Park. A shuttle bus will run between Town Hall and Lasher Park beginning at 11:15 a.m. For more information, visit gatesgate.org. To volunteer for the rally, email Martin Overington at .

Heard a report from Amy Davison of the Economic Development and Advisory Committee. They are a small but enthusiastic group, she said. Their first project is to update a list of businesses. Their first event will be a community potluck at the activities center, the first weekend in June. Their next meeting is Monday, April 30 at 5:30 p.m. in Town Hall

Heard a Supervisor’s Report that was full of town activity: the annual River Sweep (shore cleanup) is Saturday, May 5 from 9 a.m. to noon; the town-wide yard sale is Saturday, May 19, and the Germantown Garden Club Plant Sale is the same date, starting at 8 a.m. In an effort to find volunteers for its many boards and committees, the town now has a new Help Wanted link on its website, germantownny.org.

The next Town Board meeting is Tuesday, May 8 at 7 p.m., following the 6:45 p.m. Public Hearing on the Comprehensive Plan update.

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