By Buffy Calvert
Two citizens spoke at the Andes Town Board meeting on June 13th. Board members present were Wayland (Bud) Gladstone, Supervisor, Dale Cole, Ritchie Gabriel, Shayne Moshier and Tom Hall, assisted by Carol Ames, Town Clerk. Members of the public attending were: Eric VanBenschoten, Rich Johnson, Tom Denter, Elizabeth DelFalco, Reporter, Buffy Calvert, Gazette. On Zoom: (run by Peter Ames) Sherry and Sarah.
PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR
Privilege of the Floor was granted to Rich Johnson who asked the Board to adopt a proclamation declaring June as LGBTQ+ Pride month. He agreed with the Board that Andes was a welcoming community and that no one had complained of prejudice or mistreatment but hoped that such a declaration would ensure that Andes would not be “swept up in the hate mongering” elsewhere. Gladstone declared that “As long as I am Supervisor there will be no hate mongering.” Board members all felt that Andes was a respectful and accepting place to live and work. They decided not to “create an issue” and tabled the idea for now.
Tom Denter then took the floor to complain of the Code Enforcement Officer Mohr’s treatment of him and his construction firm, refusing him permits and speaking ill of him publicly. Mohr told him to take his complaints to the State Building and Codes Department. “This is not the forum.” Gladstone said that our Town attorney had advised that the complaint should be aired in open forum rather than Closed Session. After some testy back and forth by Denter and Mohr, Gladstone ended the exchange. “This has to be resolved between yourselves.”
Supervisor’s Report: Gladstone thanked Jim Andrews for organizing the Memorial Day Parade and ceremonies.
He presented a letter from Jacob Johnson from MTC (Margaretville Telephone Company) stating that Community WiFi was now available as a trial at no cost to the Town along Route 28 from Dirty Girl Farm on Delaware Avenue to Bohlmann Park and the library. It can be accessed by passersby who download a QR code taped on street-facing doors or windows along the route. (Actually, when Carol Ames attempted to access it after the meeting from the code on the Town Hall door, it didn’t work. She will call him to straighten it out.)
Andes Community Day will be Saturday, August 12th. Robyn Ciccone at Dragonfly is in charge.
Highway Superintendent’s Report: John Bouton, back on the job after complete knee replacement, gave a day-by-day account of the care of our roads. He also attended Highway School. There he learned that the State is going back to the old 10-year format for the CHIPs reimbursement program from the 5-year program of the last 15 years. Fall Clove, Gladstone Hollow, State Road, Fish Hollow, and Crescent Hill were on his plan for repair. He asks for patience as he reprioritizes the schedule.
Stevens Road has been reopened for seasonal use only.
The Highway Department needs a Sweeper. One is available for $29,900 (down from $38,000). It has worked well as a rental and the rent paid will be counted in the cost. The Board agreed to purchase the vehicle.
CEO Mohr reported on permits granted and violations assessed. A member of the public complimented him on the repair of the Public Library sign, damaged by underground pipe work, which Mohr had offered to fix. He said that Andy of the Water Department had asked to do it since it was they who broke it. And he did.
Mohr noted that the Electric Vehicle (EV) charging station at the rear of the library parking area is used frequently. Good news.
ANDES POOL: Ritchie Gabriel said that Director Rachel Andrews hopes to open the pool on June 19th. It was drained by Highway Department and Transfer Station personnel.
Eric VanBenschoten commented from the floor that with the loss of Walter Gladstone who was such a liberal donor to the pool, we should work on pool expenses.
Request to allow ATVs to operate legally on town roads. Let’s see how it works out in other communities. Tabled.
We have hired a youth to work at the pool this summer. Another is available. Assign to ACS?
Comment by Ritchie Gabriel: “The Andes Public Library is planning to use Bohlmann Park as a Community Edible Garden. That’s wrong. It’s a Veterans’ Park. We should tell the library that we already have a community garden space on the school grounds. It’s a mess.” The Board agreed to engage the library in discussion while it is still in the planning stage.~