Orange County Town News, Sept. 15
The Cornell Cooperative Extension at 4-H Park in the Town of Mount Hope has requested to change the terms of its lease with the town so the property is not considered park land. The issue arose at a Mount Hope meeting because the Extension wants to serve alcohol at their Bountiful Harvest Celebration on Sept. 26, which would not be allowed if it was park land. The town granted an exception to the law for the event and plans to revisit the issue at a later date.
There will be a public hearing at the next Mount Hope Town meeting to discuss raising the fees for dog violations. Thomas Yonskie, the dog control officer for the town, said the fees are some of the lowest in the area and they are not high enough to deter people from becoming repeat offenders.
The Town of Mount Hope is looking for a new home for its 1926 Chevrolet Fire truck that currently resides behind the Town of Mount Hope complex, and the Mount Hope Historical Society has asked to become its new owners. The society already has the first hand pumper that was used in Otisville in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s and they say this “would be an important addition to our collection.”
The Common Council heard a report at the Sept. 14 meeting that the Port Jervis Middle School will be getting a new substance addiction prevention program this year. Bon Secours Community Hospital donated the curriculum and workbooks for the “Too Good for Drugs” program, which is an evidence-based universal prevention program that pairs police officers with prevention specialists to work with kids. This year only the 8th grade will go through the program, but next year they hope to expand it to 7th grade. The program is available for grades K-12.
On September 14, the Goshen village board held a public hearing during the regular board meeting on a proposed plan to restore the historic central district. The Downtown Streetscape Improvement Plan of August 2015, prepared by Turner Miller Group, will depend on county and state funds for its full implementation. Several members of the community made suggestions or expressed their gratitude that the board would embark on the restoration project. The first year of the plan will set up thermos plastic pavers on the sidewalk, trees with wells, street lights, benches, and trash bins that fit in with the historic setting.
Because of greater cost, changing Market Street to a pedestrian walkway is expected to begin next year. The proposal states: “The purpose of this plan is to improve the streetscape of downtown Goshen, focused mainly around West Main Street and to determine how best to create a safe, connected, interesting and vibrant public realm through placemaking to broaden the customer base for local businesses and encourage additional economic development.”
At the common council meeting on September 15, WWII veteran Ed Collins was honored by the city for his service to his country. Collins fought in Europe and on Omaha Beach. This was a special year for Collins. He celebrated his sixty seventh wedding anniversary, turned 80, and was marshal of the Memorial Day parade.
Collins recently participated in the Honor Flight for WWII veterans. The Honor Flight Network is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for their sacrifices. Collins flew from Stewart to Washington, D.C. to visit and reflect at the WWII Memorial. Top priority for the flight is given to the senior veterans, especially veterans of World War II.
Mayor Joe DeStefano presented to the common council a positively-received plan for revitalizing the downtown of Middletown. The cornerstone of the project is the Heritage Trail, which will draw visitors to the city and pump dollars into downtown businesses.
The mayor presented several major projects for economic development. He said the state has money for cities through CFA grants from the MidHudson Regional Economic Development Council and he wanted the city to submit as many proposals as possible to take advantage of those grants. DeStefano said the city has a good working relationship with the Orange County Partnership. Middletown was named the county’s Partner of the Year.