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Dear Pine Plains 7.2.21


Dear Pine Plains,

This letter will be devoted to a lot of the business at hand in the next few months. Much is going on here that impacts the future of Pine Plains in significant ways, and your input is absolutely necessary to this process. Save the dates for these special public meetings.

The first step in the long process of approval for a large development is the conducting of an environmental impact study. We talk about SEQR all the time—what’s that?  It stands for State Environmental Quality Review, and it is a study of just that. The Durst Organization is about to begin this study for what they now call the Hudson Valley Project at the old Carvel estate.

And so there will be two “scoping meetings” for the Hudson Valley Project held at the high school auditorium, one on July 21 @ 7pm, and one on July 31st @ 10am. What is a scoping meeting? First, I will tell you what it is not—it is not a time to comment on your opinion of the project. It IS a time for your input as to what you think ought to be considered for study for the Environmental Impact of the development on the area. You will be invited to peruse their Draft Scope documents and maps and come up with your ideas as to what ought to be considered as they revise this document.

We will also be putting up posters all around town regarding these meetings and informing the Millerton News about them so that those without internet can get this information.

In addition, written comments on the Draft Scope are invited. Written comments will be accepted by the CONTACT PERSON identified below until August 10, 2021 at 4 pm. Written comments may be delivered by e-mail or by mail (addresses below).

All Involved Agencies are invited to inform the Lead Agency of each Agency’s concerns, permit jurisdictions, and information needs to support such Agency’s SEQR Findings, including, where applicable, any specific techniques or model to be used in studies and analysis for the EIS.
For Further Information:
Contact Person: Tricia Devine, Planning Board Secretary
Address: Town of Pine Plains Planning Board Pine Plains Town Hall P.O. Box 955 Pine Plains, NY 12567
Telephone: (518) 398-8600, option 3

On August 16th, our usual Town Board Workshop Meeting will be turned into a regular meeting for the purpose of conducting a public hearing for the Zoning Review Committee results. If you missed our discussion of these, look on YouTube at Town of Pine Plains and our Board Workshop of June 14th. This was an extensive discussion of the results of the committee work on zoning revisions which we have made as a result of the update to the Comprehensive Plan finished at the top of 2020.

And the results of the Sewer Feasibility Study will be discussed at a public meeting as soon as the ink dries on the engineers’ final draft. Word about this meeting is forthcoming.

This year’s Triathlon was a record-breaking event. 150 athletes came to Pine Plains and swam a ½ mile, biked 4 miles and ran a 5K. The Fire Department was out in full force to help as were kayakers from the Stissing Lake Association and road volunteers. Besides being an exciting event, this is a way to introduce people to the beauty of Pine Plains in the hope of both preserving that beauty in their eyes and promoting the Town’s businesses, some of which were open after the race for meals and visits.

While we are on the topic of the future of Pine Plains, it is important to say at this time how much businesses mean to the present as well as the future of the town. If you go down to the Recreation Fields, you will see banners around the fencelines that show the financial support numerous local businesses have given to our recreation department. If you have ever had to raise money for school groups, scouts, sports, Decoration Day, the Ag Fair, the School Play, The Stissing Center, etc. in Pine Plains, you know that you went around to every business and asked them for a contribution. Without businesses here supported by an active community, financial support of these wonderful activities and groups would be on the shoulders of parents and townspeople exclusively. The Sewer Feasibility Study was conducted in the hope of our being able to build a small, efficient central septic system so that businesses can be opened by anyone—not just wealthy corporations–willing to take on the hard work of owning one, and thrive in Pine Plains.

Think local, buy local, Pine Plains!
Darrah Cloud

PS: If you missed this article by Anthony Musso in the Poughkeepsie Journal, here it is. Pine Plains had the first Library in the County! And guess where it was?

Upon opening in November 1798, the Union Library of Pine Plains became the first public library to exist in Dutchess County. That said, its operation relocated to several different locations through the years and it wasn’t until March 2016 that it finally settled into its present town-owned building.
The library was organized at a meeting held at Stissing House on the southwest corner of West Church (Route 199) and South Main (Route 82) streets. Ebenezer Baldwin acquired the tavern in 1797 from its original owner Cornelius Elmendorph, who opened the business in 1782.
Following the meeting to establish and provide space for the library in Stissing House, Baldwin joined two other proponents of the initiative and traveled to New York City to purchase its first supply of books.
In 1840, Richard Peck arrived in Pine Plains and erected a building as his law office across from Stissing House along South Main Street. When he was appointed the municipality’s postmaster in 1861, the building became the local post office while simultaneously serving as the Pine Plains Library; deputy postmaster Henry Parker oversaw both operations.   In 1874, the library’s status transformed from a membership entity to a tax-supported operation; its name changed at the same time to the Pine Plains Free Library. In March 1885, after closing temporarily with its books stored in the nearby Eno Law Office, the library reopened in a section of Cole’s Drug Store.Clarissa Cole and her son Harrie — both licensed pharmacists — retained the title of librarian through 1904, when Clarissa Cole’s granddaughter, Helen Netter, relocated the operation to her newly built home along Main Street. The library remained in that location for the next 64 years until a capital fund enabled the town to purchase the then McGee Building in 1968.   Ironically, it was the same building that Richard Peck built in 1840 and beginning in 1861 was a combination post office and library. The building had seen numerous owners and uses through the years, including various shops, a nurse’s facility, the office of the Pine Plains Register newspaper, and a restaurant.In August 1958, the first two-day annual Pine Plains Free Library’s Outdoor Book Fair and Art Show took place on the grounds around the library building. Authors participating at the function to autograph their books included Millerton’s Gerald Carson, who was promoting his new work “Cornflake Crusade.”   In October 1959, the Pine Plains Free Library joined 29 other municipal libraries to form the Mid-Hudson Library System. The library gifted the building to the town in 1973 and continued to operate there into the 21st century. In 2001, with space in the building becoming cramped and the overall condition of it falling into disrepair, a group of concerned citizens formed the Foundation for the Pine Plains Library and Community Center in an effort to raise money to finance the construction of a new, larger building.
With funds in hand and a generous donation of property along South Main Street from the Pine Plains International Order of Odd Fellows, construction began in April 2008 and the new facility opened on May 15, 2009.

Foreclosure In 2013 financial challenges led to a foreclosure on the new building.
“The foundation that was charged with the library’s new building went bankrupt,” said Dyan Wapnik of the Little Nine Partners Historical Society. “It had to move its operation back to the building it used for many years and when the town purchased the new building in 2015, the library moved back in as tenants.”
“The Pine Plains Library strives to be the ultimate resource center for our community,” said Library Manager Alexis Tackett. “From technical services to information webinars and programs galore, the library exists to serve our patrons the best we can whether that’s picking up a best-seller or getting assistance setting an appointment online for a vaccine.”
The Pine Plains Free Library is at 7775 South Main St.