Middletown to cease workshop sessions

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By Joe Moskowitz
It was a busy evening for the Middletown Town Board last Tuesday. In addition to its “routine” business,” the board tackled issues which could change the way both the board and Middletown residents conduct business.

The board, at the urging of Supervisor Marge Miller, decided to stop holding monthly workshop meetings. Workshop meetings have been held in addition to the regular town board meeting as a way of giving board members a preview of what was coming up at the next board meeting. Information packets are now distributed in advance of meetings so that board members can do their ”homework’ prior to meetings without having to attend a workshop meeting.

Sidewalk replacement
The board approved a $44,000 bid by Hubbell Companies of Kelly Corners to build new sidewalks along a portion of county Route 38 in Arkville. The old sidewalks have been crumbling for decades. Hubbell was the only bidder. The money for the project comes from a Department of Environmental Conservation “Smart Growth” grant. The remainder of the money will be used for benches, decorative street lighting, planters, and banners.

Supervisor Miller and the rest of the board also discussed an on going, annoying, and sometimes expensive problem; disposing of construction and demolition debris. A number of different ideas were discussed, but as talks are in the very early stage, it was agreed to continue looking at a variety of options.

Two groups updated the board on projects that have been underway. Maps were distributed showing potential recreational access sites to the East Branch of the Delaware River and its tributaries. East Branch access is being pitched as a way to attract more tourists to the area and provide more recreation opportunities

Lastly, MTC brought some maps of its own. The maps showed the result of a recently completed survey concerning high-speed internet access. MTC recently received a federal grant to provide access to rural customers who cannot currently get service. MTC General Manager Glen Faulkner says the bulk of new customers will be in the Red Kill area of Fleischmanns. Work to install fiber optic cable has already begun, even though MTC has not yet received the grant money.