North East Board lauds Habitat’s plan for affordable home; town garage move set

Old highway garage on South Center Street.

John Coston

North East Board lauds Habitat’s plan for affordable home; town garage move set

MILLERTON — Habitat for Humanity of Dutchess County (HHDC) gave the Town of North East board a progress report on plans to complete construction of a new affordable home in the town by year end.

Maureen Lashlee, chief executive officer of HHDC, began a report by thanking the board for conveying a property in the town so that the organization can build a three-bedroom, two-bath home with a mortgage that will be set at 30% of gross income. (See story, Page A1)

Jennifer Radicone, chief operating officer, also answered board questions about the project, which is expected to close with a sale by year’s end.

Lashlee said that the pace of construction is possible due to modular construction by Manorwood Homes of Emlenton, Pennsylvania. She answered questions from the board about how the program works, how much is expected from new homeowners as their volunteer non-monetary contribution and how many potential applicants have expressed interest.

Board member Meg Winkler, who gave a Housing Committee report, applauded HHDC for its work. “It’s wonderful that the price is set based on what they can afford at the time,”
she said.

Highway garage move

The Board heard from Highway Supt. Robert Stevens that the new highway garage with offices for staff that is being built on Route 22 is nearly finished, with a possible move from the old highway garage into the new space during the first week of June.

Supervisor Christopher Kennan reported that bids for remodeling and reconstruction of the former Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses on Route 22 will be opened on May 16. The building, at 5603 Route 22, will replace the current Town Hall.

Kennan also reported that preliminary engineering is nearly complete for a joint wastewater district with the Village of Millerton. He said funding remains the issue. The Town and the Village will apply for grants. Kennan noted that a grant in the amount of $900,000 was received by the Village with help from U.S. Rep. Pat Ryan (D-18). Efforts will be made to reach out to New York Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) and Chuck Schumer (D), for additional funding.

In his report, Kennan also praised Chris Virtuoso for his tireless work to scan all the analog Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeal files that currently fill the basement of the building.Edie Greenwood, chair of the Zoning Review Committee, reported that the group, which is updating the zoning code for the Town’s commercial districts, plans to present a final version of its draft regulations to the Board by the June meeting.

New facility on Route 22 is nearly finished. Plans call for moving into the new building in the first week of June. John Coston

The Board heard a presentation from Joel Friedman of NYCLASS, a short-term investment fund for municipalities in New York State that prioritizes safety, liquidity and yield.

“It’s a money-market fund for municipalities in New York State,” Friedman said. More than 300 municipalities, including Rhinebeck and Amenia, have opted to use NYCLASS, which stands for New York Cooperative Liquid Assets Securities System. The fund is Triple-A rated by Standard & Poors.

Kennan said the Board would evaluate the fund and consider using it as a short-term investment fund. He asked Town Attorney Warren Replansky to review a possible resolution to be considered at a future Board meeting.

In other action, the Board voted Rich Stalzer and Kathy Chow to two-year terms on the Conservation Advisory Council, effective May 1.

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