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Dear Pine Plains 9.10.21

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Dear Pine Plains,The big news from last week is still big news: we received grants totaling around $110,000 for a new all-abilities playground, 2 all-terrain wheelchairs, and the district formation of our potential central wastewater system. I wanted to explain here what this means. The Playground: it’s called a Bridging Pathways set and has the space for a wheelchair to go to every location in its immersive play space. It’s vast, and this money will pay for about half of it. The rest of the money will come from us all. The grant is for $70,000—and we need $141,000. You can write a check for any amount and send it to: Madelin Dafoe, Town Clerk, Box 955, Pine Plains, NY 12567 or drop by Town Hall and leave it with Madelin or Alice. Write it to: Town of Pine Plains but in the memo please write PLAYGROUND! Let’s do this!

The two all-terrain wheelchairs will allow people to get onto our trails and around our ball fields and onto our beach and right into the lake. They are fascinating pieces of engineering, and we hope this will open these assets to many new people. We will set up a way to check them out when we get them.

Finally, the money for the formation of a Sewer District is based on our Sewer Feasibility Study, which has just been completed. We are negotiating for the location for a possible central septic system, underground, and will be holding a public meeting on this in the coming months. Suffice it to say, the town needs a system: right now, restaurants cannot open with enough capacity to be successful, and regular people can’t open a new business due to the huge expense of the septic requirements by the Department of Health.

Next week’s Town Board meeting is on the 16th. There are two big laws being discussed: the marijuana laws and the zoning review changes. We are still accepting your input on whether to allow a dispensary or a lounge here in Pine Plains. We would love to have more feedback. Write me at or drop off a note.

If you need a hunting or fishing license, our new Town Clerk is open for business from 10-1pm five days a week now! Come say hi to Madelin Dafoe.

The 9/11 Memorial Tribute in Stanfordville will take place all day at their Town Hall on Route 82. Many people in both communities read the names of the lost for a recording that will play all day. Stop by and see it.

There is a swing band playing at The Stissing Center tonight at 8pm! Go swing with them!

The first Narcotics Anonymous meeting took place last Tuesday at the Church of the Regeneration rectory, 16 Pine Street. Our recovery coach told us that sometimes people don’t want to come to a meeting in their hometown and prefer to find a place where no one knows them. But please give it a try and send people who would like to be a part of this in their own community to the meeting. There is something big to be said by those handling these issues to have a voice in our town, and the importance of their experience and knowledge is huge. Openness is how we get to recovery, and the whole community would benefit from that. It takes a town. The meeting will be every Tuesday at 6:30pm.

We will be discussing the 2022 Budget at the next Town Board Workshop on Monday the 13th at 7pm, but also the concept of affordable housing. Right now, people cannot find rental housing in Pine Plains that they can afford. Homes previously for rent are being sold in the current sellers’ market, and renovated places are going for high rents. The Town Board actually has been working on this issue since 2018. Finding the land to build a small development, finding a developer, finding a way to do this has been a constant effort. We helped found the Tri-Town Coalition on Affordable Housing with Millerton and Amenia, and it has come down to this: without a wastewater system in the hamlet, no developer will touch the town. Should we build one, they will come. There are many moving parts to solving this issue. If you’ve ever said or heard this phrase: “We don’t want those people here!” know that “those people” are now your kids and your parents and could be you.

Use this weekend to get out your items for Town Clean-up Day on the 18th. We will see you at the Highway Department from 8am to 2pm thanks to the generosity of Lenny Liberta, who donates the dumpsters every year and hauls them away. Remember, there will be fees charged for certain items. See our website. Think of getting rid of all that junk as getting rid of the past!

And never forget, Pine Plains!
Darrah Cloud