Letters to the Editor - April 25, 2024


Amenia sets open house at its decades-old Highway Garage

While there is no doubt the Town of Amenia needs a new Highway Garage, most residents don’t know how bad things are. To see for yourself, please come to our open house on Saturday, May 4 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the current Highway Garage (8 Borden Lane, Wassaic). We will also have renderings of the Proposed New Facility.

Our Highway Department is responsible for maintaining all town-designated roads, ensuring they are accessible for vehicular traffic every day, in all kinds of weather. This includes grading, paving, and sealing roadways; clearing, cleaning, and grading ditches; tree and brush trimming in the town rights of way; mowing roadsides; and plowing, salting, and sanding during the winter months. Amenia has 58 town roads, consisting of 30.83 centerline miles (61.66 lane miles) of road, seven bridges, numerous catch basins, and countless culverts.

The existing garage facility is outdated, past its useful life and literally crumbling. It consists of (i) a 80’ x 50’ concrete block garage building erected before 1955, (ii) a temporary 20’ x 40’ salt shed built in 2006, and (iii) a pole barn structure for equipment storage. The existing site is located on approximately 2.5 acres of usable land; is partially in a federal wetland and flood plain; and portions are built on an abandoned landfill. It has limited fuel storage, no backup generator, or fire suppression. There are potential safety issues and is unsalvageable.

For more than 15 years the Town Board has discussed the need to replace the existing facility. In 2019, after a lengthy negotiation with NYS, then Supervisor Victoria Perotti successfully secured a 5-acre lot on Route 22 south of the Tenmile train station and next to NYS DOT for a new facility. The Town Board in 2021 discussed hiring an engineer to develop a feasibility study. In 2022 the Town Board authorized a feasibility study request for proposal (RFP); six engineering firms responded to the RFP; and the project was awarded to LaBella Associates. The feasibility study was started in 2022 and finished earlier this year. You can review it here: www.ameniany.gov/highway-public-works

The preliminary design of the Proposed New Facility consists of a 13,000 square foot garage; 2,300 square foot covered storage; 6 double loaded drive thru bays; 80’ deep building allows for 2 trucks per bay; 50’ x 70’ salt shed; staff break and locker rooms, toilets, and office; on-site well and septic; increased fuel storage; backup generator and fire suppression system. The estimated project cost is $6.3M which will be financed through bonding, ARPA funds, and various grants. Delaying necessary capital projects only increases the ultimately cost and more importantly puts the health and safety of our community at risk.

Megan Chamberlin
Leo Blackman

Highway Superintendent Supervisor

Town of Amenia

Wonderful tale of trip to Totality

Thank you Maud Doyle for the wonderful tale of your trip to totality in Vermont in The Millerton News of April 18, 2024. It was a gift to all of us whether we found our own path to totality, had our observations obscured by clouds or were able to watch the sun partially eclipsed. You captured the delicate frailty of all of us in the presence of something truly awesome...something very old, very big, very far away and very much out of the control of everyone but the galaxy and the worlds beyond. You reminded us that wonder is alive — quietly as we stand beside strangers watching the heavens.

Beautiful. I’m so grateful.

Jennifer Dowley


Enforce the rule on LED lights

Not long ago the issue of LED lights in Millerton was an issue. The Zoning Committee, and the Town Board researched the issue, debated and voted. It was decided to not allow them.

We are a small community in the scenic Hudson Valley. LEDs give a commercial a vibe. They are distracting.

Fast forward to this week. Driving by Webutuck High School I was startled by their LED sign. It was distracting and created a potential traffic hazard. This is in violation of the Town’s law.

Our officials work long hours, dedicate themselves to serving our community. It is a slap in the face when members of our community flaunt the rules agreed to. Furthermore, the Board of Education is sending a message to our students that laws need not be obeyed.

I look to our Town Officials to enforce the rule against LEDs.

Mary Howard


Pancake breakfast appreciation

On Sunday, April 21 the Amenia Fire Company sponsored our final monthly Pancake Breakfast of the season. We were pleased to have a nice crowd of 131 people in attendance for our monthly meal. We rely on the breakfasts to raise needed money for general operations and we always appreciate the support of the community. We thank everyone who attended our meals this season and we will return again in the fall.

Andy Murphy

On behalf of the Breakfast Committee

Amenia Fire Co. and Auxiliary


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