Amenia approves several key initiatives

Amenia’s Town Hall gym floor replacement was approved by the Town Board.

John Coston

Amenia approves several key initiatives

AMENIA — Resolutions approving progress on several initiatives including a new Town Hall gym floor, environmental assessments for a new town garage and engineering services for the water district all won unanimous approval by the Town Board at its regular meeting on Thursday, May 2.

The need to replace the 2,436 square feet of flooring in the Town Hall gym has been under consideration for months, leading to a decision by the Town Board to utilize the services of local architect Tracy Salladay whose work will be to invite proposals from contractors for the project. The resolution indicates that the contractors’ proposals will need to be submitted by Friday, May 31.

Underlying the layers of gym flooring is an original maple floor, but the overall condition is unknown. Part of the project will be to uncover and assess the condition with Town Supervisor Leo Blackman and the architect to determine whether restoration might be an option.

If the maple floor turns out to be in poor condition, then the alternative as explained in the resolution will be to install a rubber-base floor of Herculan.

Because plans to build a new town garage measuring 13,000 square feet with additional storage buildings would involve below-ground infrastructure including a well, buried fuel tank, buried propane tank and a septic system, a state environmental assessment review process is required.

Preliminary planning work had been completed by LaBella Associates, architects, leading the Town Board to vote unanimously to invite that firm to proceed with the environmental assessment step.

The local water district needs professional engineering services to assess the current well systems and propose future capital projects. By unanimous vote, the Town Board agreed to move ahead with seeking proposals for those services. The engineers would be charged with assessing the entire water district reviewing sources, storage and distribution systems, and to make recommendations for capital improvements along with potential funding sources.

The Town Board has also defined topics to be discussed at its next meeting on Thursday, May 16, assigning each topic to a councilmember.

In response to some residents’ comments that the town should impose term limits on elected positions, councilmember Paul Winters said that he would prefer to poll public opinion in preparation for his report to the board. He said that he would like residents’ feedback on two questions. The first is whether residents feel that elected officials should be limited to a certain number of consecutive terms totaling perhaps 12 or 16 years of service in a given position. The other question asks for feedback on the length of individual terms on the Town Board. At present each councilmember serves a four-year term, but the Town Supervisor serves a two-year term. Winters is seeking input on whether the Town Supervisor’s term should also be four years in length.

Residents may email Winters at to offer their thoughts on the questions. He plans to report results to the board on May 16.

Winters will also be submitting a preliminary draft of possible regulations that could support the town’s opting in to the state’s regulations governing cannabis distribution.

Review of the town’s procurement policy is assigned to councilwoman Rosanna Hamm for report at the next meeting.

Supervisor Blackman will be reporting on his effort to define the scope of the Comprehensive Plan Committee.

Also up for discussion at the next meeting will be the Wassaic Kilns and the prospect of the town assuming responsibility for the site. Under discussion will be proposed hours when the site will be open for visitors, security, and maintenance.

Appropriate zoning changes to allow multi-family housing will be another topic discussed on May 16. Once the Town Board reaches a consensus on a proposed change, the discussion would be passed on to the Plannng Board for their review in advance of Dutchess County review.

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