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Dear Pine Plains 11.15.2019

Dear Pine Plains,


Thank you for coming out to vote and congratulations to everyone elected. Now we can move on!

This week, Sandy Towers and the Community Garden crew put the vegetable beds to bed. They have ideas for sharing garden space next summer which they will articulate at the next Town Board meeting. But I want to make sure I thank them in every location possible for their hard work and for getting their food into the hands of people who really needed it. Between these volunteers, and Nelson and Lisa Zayas, who founded Willow Roots in order to use all the food they produce and feed people in Pine Plains, pounds of fresh produce were distributed to people who needed it, and loved “shopping” the Zayas’ porch. Other farms got into the act and a movement was born in Pine Plains to help end food insecurity here.

We have now received the completed Comprehensive Plan Update and it’s a beautiful document. It will be up for approval of the Board at the next Board Meeting along with our Final Budget for 2020. So much hard work took place over the last year on both the endeavors and again, thanks to all who volunteered their time and intelligence. It’s a big accomplishment.

This weekend we put up the trees in town for Decoration Day and help is always needed. If you see a crew of teenagers and Carl Baden and Ibis, just join in. The Big Day is on the 30th, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Tree decoration begins at 3pm and all families are invited to pick up the decorations in front of the bank and then find a tree that needs you. The Fire Department is having a pre-holiday craft sale this weekend as well. Our 1897 LaFrance Fire Truck is back from its stay at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds and will be installed at the fire museum there when that building is completed.

I finished my last class of Affordable Housing Training last week at Pace Law School. For that last day, we were treated to tours of a project in Peekskill and Chappaqua Crossing, on the grounds of the old Readers Digest offices. That huge building was re-furbished as mixed-income housing, with common rooms and outdoor spaces, a workout center and office center. A trolley takes residents over to an outdoor shopping center or doctors’ offices. It was really impressive, yet blended into the landscape in a really tasteful way. Everyone I spoke to at this training told me that no one can develop affordable housing in Pine Plains until we get a sewer system.

Which brings me to the Sewer Feasibility Study which is about to launch: we will be sending out a survey with only 3 questions on it and only to business and homeowners in the residential/business district and perhaps adjacent to it. This survey will be essential to our study, so please, when you receive it, get it back to us in a timely manner. Your voice is important in this. As in all things. Drop by Town Hall and tell me your ideas, or write me at And if you have a friend who isn’t on the email list yet, tell them to sign up.

Sing out, Pine Plains!

Darrah Cloud