NEWSLETTER MARCH 2021
 
VOLUME 1   |   ISSUE 3
village of millbrook
 
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In this issue
check COVID-19 Updates
check Board of Trustees Meeting
check Meet the Staff
check Meet the Trustees
check Upcoming Meetings
Contact Me
If you have questions or comments, don’t hesitate to email me at
villageofmillbrookmayor@gmail.com
Phone: 845-677-3939 option 5
 
Mayor Collopy
Mayor Tim Collopy
Welcome to the March 2021 edition of my newsletter. Thanks to all who have provided feedback & suggestions to make this worth your read.
March 2021
COVID-19

COVID, COVID, COVID... I know - me, too! But now is not the time to let down our guard. Positivity rate remains at 4% and there are currently over 1000 active cases in Dutchess County. Mask-wearing, social distancing, and routine hand-washing are still necessary even if you've been vaccinated (because whether a vaccinated person can pass the virus to an unvaccinated person is under evaluation). As the Greek goddess of victory (Nike) reportedly said a few thousand years ago, "Just Do It"!

 

On Saturday, 3/13, the Millbrook Pharmacy gave out 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine at the Grace Church meeting house to those who were eligible and on the Pharmacy wait-list. My wife & I were 2 of many already-vaccinated volunteers who helped with administrative tasks. Kudos to the Pharmacy for a well-run operation. The 2nd doses will be administered to the same individuals on 4/10. Meanwhile, Carmen Schaefer (Pharmacy Manager) is requesting an additional allotment of 1st doses, if available, in the next few weeks.

 

MARCH BOARD OF TRUSTEES MEETING

Well, I really blew this one! Due to the pandemic and the restricted space in the Village Hall conference room, we’ve gone to 100% Zoom board meetings. Residents are welcomed to attend the Zoom call (must get meeting ID & passcode from the office) but we are not broadcasting live on channel 22. Instead we’ve been posting the Zoom recording on the village website & the public channel a few days later. This works great as long as the moderator (me!) presses “record” at the start, which I evidently failed to do last Wednesday. So what to do: (a) Deputy Clerk Nicole made “record” the default henceforth; (b) Deputy Mayor Mike & I recorded a Zoom meeting in which we reviewed the discussion & charts that were presented at the board meeting. Here is a summary of the meeting…

 

    1. Good news — Village resident James Maestri achieved the ultimate rank of Eagle Scout in February! Less than 10% of Scouts are able to demonstrate the leadership and motivation necessary to realize such an accomplishment and, on behalf of the entire village, I say “congratulations” to James.

    2. Sad news — Kevin McGrane has resigned from the board of trustees for personal reasons. While we will miss Kevin’s contributions and insights (he knows everybody & everything that’s happening in the village), we wish him the best. The pursuit of an appointment to replace Kevin will be put on-hold for a few months while we complete & pass the budget for the next fiscal year.

    3. Within the past month the police department took delivery of a new cruiser and the highway department took delivery of a new dump truck. Necessary additions to make them road-ready are underway (license, signage, lights, etc.) after which the older vehicles will be sold.

    4. The board reviewed & approved the Police Reform & Modernization action plan which was based on recommendations from a panel of both residents and village officials and was presented by Deputy Mayor Mike. The plan is posted on the village website and resulting actions will be reviewed by the board monthly.

    5. The new water filtration system continues to work as expected and I’ve heard comments that the water seems to taste better. Contractors are completing final details (“punch-card” items) while we are petitioning NYS to release the last of their promised grant dollars so we can pay final bills. Note that even with all of the grants received from NYS & DC, the village has a total of $1M long-term debt to payoff from the water tower and water filtration infrastructure improvements of the past few years.

    6. The board of trustees approved a resolution to raise the sewer rates by 16%, effective with the next billing cycle. The reasons for this rate increase are the following:

        a. The system is over 45 years old and the last significant improvement was over 10 years ago. Hence, maintenance & repair costs are increasing while the last rate increase was over 5 years ago.

        b. Maintenance & repair costs before the current fiscal year exceeded revenue such that the sewer fund (which is supposed to be financially independent) had to borrow $60K from the general fund (this is allowed on a temporary basis but must be repaid).

        c. In order to balance the sewer budget in the current fiscal year, $50K of requested expenditures were cut as a temporary fix.

        d. Capital improvements to the discharge process & overflow-retention facility (ORF) are necessary to modernize our system.

      This rate increase is a necessary 1st-step to address these tactical (items a-c) & strategic (item d) issues. You’ll see for the coming fiscal year that we’ve started a reserve fund in both the water & sewer budgets which will allow us to “seed” the financing of future capital improvements.

    7. The village has 3 bank accounts which were formed many, many years ago: Haight, Lamont Christmas Tree and Nine Partners trust funds which total $43K. Because restrictions on usage are either impractical, wasteful or impossible to execute, these funds have sat idle for years earning minimal interest. At this month’s meeting the board approved a resolution which was recommended by our legal representative to petition the NYS AG for approval to use these funds for general public improvements or holiday decorations. The AG’s office has 90 days to respond.

    8. There was a brief discussion about the new proposal to develop the Migdale Estate. While this is primarily a town issue, our concern is that any such development which has a sewage treatment facility must demonstrate to the satisfaction of our engineering contractor that there is 0 chance of discharge contaminating the village water supply.

    9. Resident tennis players have started a fund-raising program to resurface the village tennis courts. The goal is to reach $25K and they are currently at $10K. Donations should be sent to the village hall with “tennis court” specified on the notation line. These funds are kept in a separate budget line and will only be used for said purpose once the goal is reached.
Meet the Staff
Bob CollocolaBob Collocola
Highway Superintendent
millbrookhighway@gmail.com
845-677-3022

Hi, My name is Bob Collocola. I have been the Village of Millbrook's Highway Superintendent for 16 years and have been a resident of the village and town for 20 years. As Highway Superintendent, I always welcome your comments, whether positive or negative.
Meet the Trustees
Vicky ContinoVicky Contino
Trustee
vctrusteevom@gmail.com

Thank you Millbrook! I am thrilled that you elected me Trustee last November and will do everything I can to reward your faith. I am looking forward to bringing my experience as a government affairs attorney to bear on our efforts to preserve all that is best about the Village, while improving our infrastructure, advancing projects that support the charm and vibrancy of our recovering “Main Street,” and maintaining the integrity of our budget. My immediate goal is to use my knowledge of the Federal, State and County budget process to help the Village pursue pots of money that may be available to help fund Village needs. I am also working closely with our team to establish an asset management inventory and other budget planning tools that we hope will allow us to fund our priorities more efficiently.
village hall
21
APR
Next BOT Meeting
Visit our calendar for updated meeting and event information.
 
zoom
BUDGET
Watch the website for the dates & times of budget working and public hearing meetings between now & mid-April.

Public Hearing: Wednesday, April 7, 2021 at 6 PM
BOARD
Due to the budget schedule, the next Board of Trustees meeting will be Wednesday, April 21 at 6 PM
Contact Me

If you have questions or comments, don’t hesitate to email me at villageofmillbrookmayor@gmail.com

Thanks,
Tim Collopy
Mayor

Village of Millbrook

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