What's going on in Germantown?


The Town Borad meeting of July 28th, 2014 was called to order by Supervisor Joel Craig at 7:00PM. All Board members present, Andrea Dunn, Don Westmore, Mike Mortenson, and Matthew Phelan. The Town Clerk, Joyce Vale, and the Town’s Attorney, Tal Rappelyea were present.

The Board approved the minutes of the previous meeting and the Audited Bills for payment; all Aye.

The Town Clerk had no written communications for the Board. However, Joel had received a letter from the Livingston Supervisor, thanking Germantown’s Fire Department and other Town personnel for their assistance in dealing with a flooding condition.


Maintenance Department: Anthony Cidras reports that there has been lots of mowing & painting. Ball fields have been kept up. Water was off for a period, and the Town may need to replace a water pump. Newly ordered doors for Town Hall will be installed soon. The Fourth of July event went well. [Matthew Phelan reports on that below].

HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT: Don Westomore reports that the crew is on their second round of road repairs, blacktop patching, etc. The application of oil and stone on certain roads will be done in August. Road repair has been done in streets near the River because of the damaging impact of rainfall of 4 to 5 inches in June.

SEWER DEPARTMENT: George Sharpe, Jr. reports that there was an average flow of 31,000 gallons per day. There were 6 dig requests last month. He has a meeting the next day (Tuesday) with the contractor chosen to do the specific repairs needed for the sewer.

POLICE DEPARTMENT: Roger Rekow reports: The Department provided 106.5 hours of patrolling last month. This included visits to public areas: Cheviot: 19, Anchorage: 18, Schools: 17, Palatine Park: 18, Dale’s Bridge: 14. In addition there were 17 warnings and 1 traffic ticket issued, responses to 1 EID (Alarm) 1 illegal dumping complaint, 1 warrant issued, 3 assistances to Fire. EMS, 1 open door, One officer is leaving the Germantown Department for a position with the State Police Department in six months. The Department requests the approval for two to begin attending the County Police Academy to be trained fot Germantown: Emil Ericson III, and Kyle Jennings. They will begin in September. Roger tells the Board that the requirements for cadets has been increased to 160 hours of ride-along patrol service before they can go out alone. Board approves All Aye.

HISTORY DEPARTMENT: Sue Raab thanks Anthony Cidras for his continuing help with roof leakage problems at the Parsonage. Constant rain has been a problem.. Also, a downspout needs to be replaced. Vynal, not copper !


BUSINESS & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE: Roy Brown reports: The Committee meets every month on the porch of Central House at 9 AM, with the next meeting to beheld on August 13th. New Town Signs are up and more will be coming in August. He needs an additional $250.00 for the last ones. Board approves, all Aye.

Reception for “12526BIZ” was held and about 70 people attended. There is a growing concern about additional parking , particularly since the Restaurant building has been purchased. There was an extensive discussion among Board members about the idea of a 2 hour limit on parking in the business area. Since the Main Street is also a County Road any changes need to b run by the County. Attorney advises that it would be a Town Law and to be adopted it would require a Public Hearing. Also the Police Department would need to be consulted. The Board agreed that there were many issues to be resolved. Don Westmore made a motion “to investigate the Pros and Cons of a 2 hour parking limit.” All Aye.

COMMITTEE FOR ART AND TOURISM: Corrine Curry (co-chair) The Committee has developed a Mission Statement that was presented to the Board. She hailed the success of the first two ArtSpace shows. There was excellent turnout at receptions for those two shows. The next show will be “Syria –Then and Now”, an exhibit from a noted photographer of architecture. It features his splendid photos of noted architectural sites shown with new photos of how it looks now since the war has been in progress. It will run from August 16th through September 7th. Gorrine thanks lots of people, from the owner of the property, Mrs Marchisio, all the participating artists, members of her committee, Billy Kimmel who designed the Logo,and their donors: the Bank of Greene County and the Lions Club. AND Joel Craig, for his constant help, and the judges Dennis Elliott, Susan Seidel, and LuRaye Tate.

She introduced her co-chair, Billy Kimmel.   He spoke about, and presented a large graphic map of Germantown with local businesses and community sites shown on the map. This is a “BETA version” for the benefit of the Board. When it is finished to everyone’s satisfaction it is to be displayed on the Kiosk for easy public view.

He made a request to the Board to be permitted to refurbish and move the existing old kiosk near the beach shack and the Town Hall to a better location near the memorial bench at the Town Parking Lot across from the Post Office. Joel asks for a motion to move it. Don moves that it be moved to the new location if it is feasible to site it without disturbing the Memorial Bench. All Aye.

Billy also tells the Board that they have scheduled a Reading of the play “ART” in October by members of the Tangent Theater group in Tivoli. [Details will follow].

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS Andrea Dunn reports that the committee has completed a report for the Board that needs to be turned in to the Columbia County officials.


Matthew Phelan reports that they had 70 + volunteers to help make the event a success. He thanks the Board for their full commitment to the project, and cites Janet Crawford and Brian Duboise for their help. When he started the project he tried to envision what would “success” be? He settled on “Everyone should have fun!” as his goal, and he thinks they reached that goal. And they came out fiscally sound, to boot, with approximately $1200 ahead of expenses. He was amazed at the great distance people came from to attend. About 3,000 attended and they are sure it will increase next year.

Matthew and Roger Rekow noted that (because of the rainstorm) this year’s postponement for a day of the fireworks happened only once before in the past 25 years. Bigger,Better for 2015!



Joel asks for the Board to approve a resolution of support for an application for funding for a county-wide EMC GIS mapping tool by the Hudson River Greenways organization. Such a capability would be a powerful tool for Planning Boards and economic development.

The Board votes to approve the appointment of George Atwell to the Grievance Board for a term ending 9/30/2019. All Aye.


Joel tells of an informational meeting to be held on August 7, 2014 at 1 PM : “Medicare 101” provided by the Columbia County Office for the Ageing. Open to the public.

Joel tells of a group of teachers and volunteers who are running a benefit for school children. If you can donate school supplies—paper, pencils, binders, backpacks (used are OK if they are in VERY good condition) –they are being collected at Town hall and at Ralph’s Real Estate office on PG over the next two weeks, Call to make sure someone is at the office to receive the donations.


Roy Brown speaks: He notes that the Germantown Fire Department received 2nd Place, Group C award at the County Fire Departments Parade held in Kinderhook. In 2018 the Fire Department Convention will be held in GERMANTOWN. There will be tents, activities, parades—a big event and an honor for Germantown to be chosen as the site.

He reminds the Board and the public that the Hudson Valley Apple Festival was deep into preparation for the September 20th event in Palatine Park. Food, Music, Games, and Fireworks by the same company that did our 4th of July display. Bigger and Better!!

There will be a survey to locate and inventory the hazardous materials that need to be known to the town and the Code Enforcement Officer. The town’s CEO needs to update every year for his annual certificate.

Frank Mammone rose to speak. He has been struggling to resolve his complaint tot he town about his neighbor who has a great deal of trash around his property. He started in May of last year, but has seen no improvement. He is getting desperate. “What do I need to do to get some action on this.?”  Joel told him they were aware and had been working on the problem. The Code Enforcement Officer, John Fieser, had been at the meeting but had to leave before the meeting came to an end. The attorney was there and he described the stes that can be taken to push compliance. In his opinion, only a court-imposed fine is effective in most cases. Joel says the town will move forward on the complaint. It turns out that the property owner, his lawyer and the code enforcement Officer will be meeting Tuesday. Joel asked Tal to attend and make the  Town’s powers clear to the property owner.

Kay Abraham spoke. Congratulates Anthony Cidras for the appearance of town property and parks. She warned the Board to look deeply into the impact of any change in the Parking Law. It is well intentioned but people can be very upset at such changes and you need to be prepared to respond to annoyed residents. It’s thorny—sort of like a Noise Ordinance.

Billy Kimmel speaks. He suggests that a good way to prevent over-long parking is to prohibit overnight parking.

Joel adjourns Meeting at 8:30 PM

The next meeting is at August 18th, 7 PM


To the best of my note-taking skills,

Kay Abraham 537-5407

Corrections and additions welcomed.


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