Civic News (Winter 2023)
By The Gazette Editorial Committee
From Issue 56: Winter 2023
Climate Smart Gardiner (CSG)
We received a $5000 grant from NYSERDA to support Gardiner’s EV Charger costs and maintenance. Gardiner’s Repair Cafe — where folks can bring beloved possessions to be fixed — was held at the library, and many items avoided the landfill. Gardiner’s LED streetlight conversion agreement with NYPA will result in lower costs and decreased Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. A Community GHG Emissions Inventory was completed so we could better target our local mitigation efforts and then present our findings to the Town Board and public. CSG is also planning green audits for local farms/municipal buildings, recruiting interns, and working on Gardiner’s Emergency Plan. Learn more at: www.facebook.com/climatesmartgardiner
Fire & Rescue
With 2023 fast approaching, the Gardiner Fire Department looks back at another year of serving the Town of Gardiner. As of Nov. 6, the volunteer members of the Department had responded to 176 Fire and 342 EMS calls. With our new ambulance, 635, we transported 157 patients to local hospitals. Department volunteers responded around the clock to emergencies ranging from garage fires to auto accidents to a cat stuck in a dumpster at the Transfer Station (the cat is doing just fine). In addition to responding to 911 calls, members of the Fire Department planned and hosted the Gardiner 5K Classic, provided mutual-aid assistance to fight the large fires in Minnewaska State Park, and continued their education and training. GFD welcomed four new EMTs and two new interior firefighters in 2022. While our members are always ready to respond to an emergency, you don’t want that emergency to be at your home! Now that the cold weather has come in force, remember to have your chimney cleaned and inspected yearly, and keep space heaters away from anything flammable. Everyone at the Fire Department wishes you and your family happy holidays and a joyous New Year.
The beauty of our scenic Fall surroundings has left us behind, and we have moved into the Winter Maintenance Season. It is important to remind you of snow removal and winter driving: during and after snow removal events, highway agencies —while plowing — receive emails or phone calls regarding damage to mailboxes, either from snow plows directly or from the force of snow being thrown by them. If such damage is indeed caused by snow removal, it is not done intentionally. It is, however, an unfortunate consequence of snow removal. Placement of all garbage cans for pickup is to be in the driveway — NOT in the road traveling way. All rural mailboxes need to be in good secure condition and meet Town Code. Remember, it is against the Vehicle & Traffic Law to push snow on the road. Hoping you are all warm and cozy in your homes when the weather outside is frightful and you have no place to go ~ Let it Snow ~ Let it Snow ~ Let it Snow!! Think of the Highway Departments as Santa’s Little Helpers clearing the roads; so Santa can spread his Christmas Cheer and To All A GOOD NIGHT! ~ Wishing You All a Safe & Healthy Holiday Season.
In September the Craft Fabric Yarn Sale was held for the first time at the Pole Barn in Majestic Park raising almost $11,000, making it the library’s largest one day fundraiser. A dedicated group of volunteers worked for months to prepare for this highly anticipated annual sale. In October, over 225 kids plus adults attended the Gardiner Library’s second annual Haunted Library. Starting in the summer, over 50 teen, college student and adult volunteers made props, decorated and helped on the day of the festivities. Staff, volunteers and the support from over 20 local businesses made this a lively community event. And, on November 8th the town of Gardiner voted to increase the library’s budget by $19,255 for a total annual budget of $294,331. The library staff and Board of trustees are grateful for the town’s support and look forward to another productive year in 2023.
Parks & Recreation
The Town of Gardiner Parks & Recreation Committee is accepting contributions toward a Park Bench in memory of Barbara Jo Kobelt. Barb was the long-time caretaker of Majestic Park and very sadly passed away in October. The bench is to be placed at George Majestic Memorial Park. Contributions may be made online at newpaltzfoundation.org, with “Barbara Jo Kobelt Memorial Bench” in the Comments section, selecting ‘Majestic Park Renovation’ under Campaigns. Please email Ilka at email@example.com with any questions. The Parks and Recreation Committee has space for one more member — please consider joining us in our efforts to improve and expand Gardiner’s recreational offerings.
Supervisor Marybeth Majestic
Recognizing the significant financial pressure, high inflation, and high housing costs currently facing Gardiner residents, the Town Board passed the 2023 budget, which will result in a 4.5% DECREASE in town taxes for most taxpayers. This is the largest decrease in taxes over the last 20 years. (Note that New Paltz school taxes INCREASED by approximately 5%.) The key components of the 2023 budget included a small increase in revenues due to the new cell tower. There were also small increases in expenses due to higher salaries to offset inflation and selective increases in staff hours. In 2023 the town will continue to invest in highway infrastructure and will select a new computer system to improve financial control. The reason that taxes could decrease significantly, despite small changes in revenues and expenses, is because $375,000 was redeployed from the town’s “unexpended funds.” These are “rainy day” funds that have built up over the years and were seen as too high, especially in the current very difficult economic environment faced by many taxpayers.