News From Town Hall
By Laurie Willow
From Issue 22: Spring 2014
Communications: Supervisor Zatz states that communications technology is one of the top priorities. “Even Gardiner lives in a fast paced digital world,” says Zatz. “It would be unfair to impede progress when it comes to public safety, our kids’ future, and accountability to our citizens.”
First on the list was the installation of a town server. Dedicated to storing and disseminating information, the server increases the capacity of our web sites in order to increase access to town information. Because of the upgrade in computer capacities, there is now instant access to all of the town’s financial data. And that’s just the beginning. You can follow the Town of Gardiner on Twitter, “Like us” on Facebook, and sign up for Newsletters at www.townofgardiner.org.
Safety: An outgoing call emergency alert phone has been installed to announce Gardiner-based alerts including states of emergency, evacuation, shelter availability, and more, and the newly installed defibrillator (AED) can now be seen at town hall outside the conference room. Employees there have been trained to use the AED and administer CPR.
The Cell Tower: The Town Board has granted the Special Permit for the construction of a cell tower on Route 208 at Wright’s Farm. John Arthur of Wireless Edge estimates that it will be on line early this summer. AT&T is the only cell service committed, but John feels that others will commit later. You might want to ask your carrier to get onto the tower to keep you from switching to AT&T.
For years, Gardiner tried to install a cell tower on town-owned land in order to benefit from the lease payments. Unfortunately, Gardiner didn’t own land suitable for a cell tower, and the tower has come to roost on private land. The benefits of a cell tower in Gardiner will be many, and the town will still reap a small financial benefit; taxes on the tower will be assessed at $1,000 per foot plus about $12,000 per carrier, so a 150-foot cell tower plus a hypothetical three carriers totals around $186,000. School and Town & County real estate taxes on that is about $5,437 and the town’s portion, around $1,493, comes with no liability or use of town resources. There will also be sales tax collected.
Recycling: Gone are the days of transfer station attendants. Recycling has a new face and a new urgency. (Supervisor Zatz even skippered the “All recyclable” entry in the New Paltz Regatta to the crowd’s delight.) Recycling Coordinators are now trained, environmentally conscious, and cost-driven. Wendy Toman, Gardiner’s new Coordinator (Story, Page 1) says that we generate an average of 4.7 lbs. of garbage per person per day. 55% of that is recyclable but most goes directly into our Municipal Waste Stream.