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Highway Supervisor Update on Winter Roads and Parking

Please remember that keeping the Town roads passable during inclement weather is my top priority during the winter months. I would appreciate your cooperation while my crew members are trying to do their jobs-
Please do not park or leave your vehicle on any public street, road or highway within the Town or on any Town owned or maintained parking area (excluding designated areas) in the Town of Pine Plains between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 6:00 a.m or during any period of snowfall or other precipitation (excepting rain) and for a period of six hours following the said snowfall or other precipitation (excepting rain) during the months of November of each year through April of the following year.
Please be sure that if you have sidewalks located either at your place of business or residence, that they are free of snow or ice and icy conditions within 24 hours at the end of accumulation. I would like to remind residents that plowing snow into and across the roadway is illegal as per Highway Law § 214. This practice is very dangerous as it compromises the safety of motorists who are often approaching the area unsuspecting an obstacle. Highway Law §214 states that “depositing ashes, snow, ice, stones, sticks, et cetera upon the highways is a violation subject to a penalty.”
My crew and I would like to remind you that clearing the roads takes time. The material that we are applying to deice the roadways does not work instantly. Balancing both budget dollars and environmental impacts, we are not applying pure salt to our roadways therefore our roads do not and will not melt off as fast as the main roads you are accustomed to traveling. We appreciate your understanding.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.
Heather Emerich, Highway Superintendent (518) 398-6662 Office (518) 965-1876 Cell





Pine Plains Water Improvement Area Notice about delinquent water bills

Please remember that all water bills are to be paid within 30 days or they are considered delinquent.  It is the PPWIA policy to re-levy any overdue unpaid water balances to the following year’s county/town tax bill on November 1, 2021.  Any outstanding account balances 30 days and older will be forwarded to Dutchess County and added to the annual tax bill for collection.  These amounts will show as a line item.

Landlords of properties within the water district should take note that the owner of the property is responsible for all outstanding water usage balances of their tenants.  Bills with “Duplicate Invoice Please Do Not Pay” indicates that the bill was also sent to the tenant in their name.  Landlords renting property to tenants should contact the PPWIA at 518-398-1411 to ensure all outstanding balances as of November 1, 2021 are paid to date.  If a balance remains, it will be re-levied on the property tax bill.  Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Dear Pine Plains 10.29.21


Dear Pine Plains,

I walk around town a lot talking to people, and am always amazed at the way rumors gestate and then become live and rampant, and again at the assumptions people have when they hear certain words spoken and read no further. Hot-button phrases like “affordable housing” and “central wastewater system” end up growing large in minds, yet all these resources are available to alleviate worries and fears. So let me get into this a bit in this newsletter.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING does not mean Section 8 housing that falls into squalor. What does it mean for Pine Plains? First of all, it is a goal set by the Comprehensive Plan as far back as the 1990s. Then the Town recognized the need for housing that our own children might live in to start their families, or workers on farms and at local businesses can afford to live in. That hasn’t changed. If anything, availability has gotten much worse. So, what do we do? We study it for the best possible solution for a small rural town, because that solution is also subject to the zoning here. Our first step has been to re-zone for accessory dwellings, so that a homeowner can build an apartment in a barn or garage to rent out OR live in, thereby renting out the larger house. This will actually open up a lot of possibility for rental housing here if people choose to go this route. And it allows our seniors, who may be living in homes they can’t take care of anymore, to move into a smaller place right on their own land. As regards the 21 acres in the middle of town owned by the NYC Catholic Archdiocese, they have recently contacted us to begin talking about what they might do with their land. Suffice it to say, NO developer would touch it if we don’t have a central wastewater system for them to tie into. (Check out Woodstock Commons for the development built by RUPCO across the river. These are 2-story apartment buildings which are mixed-income set in the woods, with park-like pathways all around them. Think how nice it would be to take a walk at night on those pathways through preserved meadows and see your neighbors and meet new people…)

At any rate, I attended the 2nd meeting of the DC Housing Committee, and learned more interesting facts: in discussing trends, we looked at graphs of financial states versus home-buying/renting ability. In a nutshell, the top tier of earners make over $150,000. The lowest tier make under 50,000. Middle and lower middle make 50,000 to 100,000 plus. Upper middle is 100,000 to 150,000. Top tier earners came up to Dutchess County able to buy from the lowest tier sellers, with the money renovate those houses. They got “deals”. But when they renovate, they add to the cost of their homes making them unreachable by the middle tiers.  The lowest tier stayed in houses no one else wants. The middle tiers faced housing prices they could not afford. In addition, wages remained stagnant for the lowest tier, but rose for all the other tiers. Renters in the middle tiers can generally afford rising rents, but in the lowest tiers, people cannot. Hence, we have a housing crisis.

CENTRAL WASTEWATER SYSTEM November 15th at 7pm at the Community Center above the Library we will unveil the results of the Sewer Feasibility Study we did this past year with grant money and encouragement from the County. The properties affected are all in the zoned business district, 32 in all. Operations and Maintenance costs will be borne by those property owners, but their ability to expand exponentially will make up for these bills. The design is small and compact and hardly visible, so come see what it’s all about. Without a system like this, no new businesses can thrive or even open due to the department of health laws around septic system size now in place. It is not the old days anymore. We have new challenges to keeping our drinking water clean, and this system would enable anyone to open a business regardless of their personal wealth.

A lot of people fear a rise in taxes that would make remaining in their homes impossible. A lot of people blame “city people” for changing things in Pine Plains. A lot of people blame local businesses for having high prices and they shop elsewhere. But here’s the rub: who does everyone go to when they are fundraising for a school team? A class, the FFA, a family that has fallen on hard times? Business owners. If businesses fail in Pine Plains, we have only ourselves to blame, and the repercussions are vast. Just FYI, since I have been in office, every business space in town has either been renovated and opened, is in the process of opening, or awaits approvals and will open hopefully in the spring. 

Thinking does not necessarily lead to the truth, but it does give our lives meaning. Learning and thinking and asking questions are what we all must do in order to make Pine Plains a thriving, kind place. A meaningful place. The place our children want to come back to, to live. All of these issues are tied inexorably together.

Check out Rock Academy tonight at The Stissing Center. 7:30 and wear a costume.  Tickets are CHEAP! as always and the evening features Youth Bands 12 yo to 18.  $10 for students, $20 general admission. Go to for more details. Plan on crazy hijinks on Halloween but note that the Fire Department will NOT be hosting the costume party this year, but WILL hand out candy from 5-7pm.

And think local, Pine Plains!
Darrah Cloud

This is what a central septic system looks like in a small rural town:

Planning Board Public Hearing on Pocumtuck Valley Farm Special Use Permit 11.10.21 at 7:30pm at the Pine Plains Town Hall

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a public hearing will be held by the Town of Pine Plains Planning Board on the 10th day of November, 2021, at 7:30PM, for the purpose of hearing all persons for or against the special use permit for an accessory dwelling, submitted by Pocumtuck Valley Farm Trust, for a property located at Prospect Hill Road, Town of Pine Plains, Dutchess County, State of New York, Tax Map No. 6972-00-711435.
This meeting will take place in person at town hall, 3284 Route 199, and via Zoom, in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order 202.1. You will have an opportunity to see and hear the meeting live and provide your comments in the comments section of Zoom. Comments for the public hearing session can also be sent in advance of the meeting to or written and sent into town hall. A dial-in number is also available if you do not have access to a computer. This meeting will be recorded and a transcript will be available at a later date.
Meeting ID: 827 3280 3213
Passcode: 018888
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Meeting ID: 827 3280 3213
Passcode: 018888
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Alternatively, the public hearing may be viewed live on the Planning Board’s YouTube channel at:
Any resident of the Town of Pine Plains shall be entitled to be heard regarding said application. The application is available for review during regular business hours at the Pine Plains Town Hall.
By order of:
Town of Pine Plains Planning Board

Meet the Candidates Friday, October 15th at 7pm at the Pine Plains Community Center at the Library 7775 South Main St.

All are invited to “Meet the Candidates” night in the Community Room at the Library, Friday, October 15th at 7:00 pm.

Hosted by the Pine Plains Free Library and moderated by the Dutchess County League of Women Voters,

this will be a great opportunity to learn more about the candidates running for the

Dutchess County Legislature, Pine Plains Town Supervisor, Pine Plains Town Board.

The League of Women Voters will moderate and manage questions from the audience, and will give each candidate equal time to answer questions and share their goals for Pine Plains and Dutchess County.

Masks will be required.

2021 Evergreen Cemetery Lantern Tour October 22nd and 23rd


Tickets Now Available

Supporting the Pine Plains Free Library and sponsored by the Little Nine Partners Historical Society the Evergreen Cemetery Lantern Tour is back!
Sign-up now on Eventbrite!
For cash, check, and Limited Mobility Tour purchases please come in or call the Pine Plains Free Library at (518) 398 – 1927Friday,

Oct. 22nd
5:00 pm Limited Mobility Tour
6:00 pm Tour
6:30 pm Tour
7:00 pm Tour

Saturday, Oct. 23nd
6:00 pm Tour
6:30 pm Tour
7:00 pm Tour
7:30 pm Tour