By Lourice Angie
Although the growing phenomenon of Airbnb may seem accommodating to some visitors and an enjoyable way for homeowners to make extra income, Airbnb rentals have raised concerns over safety, zoning, taxation, garbage, and noise for the last few months. During the Village of Greenwood Lake Board meeting on Mon., Aug. 28, Greenwood Lake Mayor Jesse Dwyer announced that the Village’s Attorney, John Buckheit, was undertaking a study which includes reviewing other municipalities.
The study is expected to continue throughout the month. Once all of the information is collected, the Board will determine the next process. The matter will be subject to public hearing before any changes are adopted by the Board. As of now, the assessment is that the Airbnb rentals will most likely be registered and taxed. The Mayor anticipates having additional information by the next meeting.
After meeting with State officials and receiving the green light to proceed with the sidewalk project, the State showed up onsite and requested that the work be stopped and that plans be reviewed again. The Mayor said the issue is due to the elevation of the sidewalks, business entrances and walkways, which need to be ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant. The State is trying to obtain waivers to allow the Village to proceed legally in the meantime. The Mayor says he should have answers on the waivers by the end of the week and he will keep the public posted.
Mayor Dwyer announced that the Board has received a full contract and confirmation by the State to move forward with the Waterstone Rd. sidewalk project. After waiting nearly two years, Dwyer announced that the plans are completed and remain similar to what was reviewed over a year ago. Bid packages will be available sometime in the fall.
Wetland Handicap Walkway
After undergoing negotiations with the Health Department, awaiting contracts from the county, and receiving a permit from the DEC in regards to the wetlands handicap walkway project, Mayor Dwyer announced that everything is finally in order and that a bid package will be available by mid to late September. The project will proceed, depending on the results of initial test processes, and is anticipated to be completed by the winter.
Van Orden Ln. Water Main
Mayor Dwyer announced that the Van Orden Ln. water main project is near completion and moving along. There are a few unresolved issues that the Board is waiting to finalize. Work went fairly smoothly with the exception of the ledge rock that was discovered upon hammering. Although the ledge rock did increase the project cost some, Dwyer says the contractors were professional and extremely responsive. Their team had great resources and did a great job.
Gateway Park & Boat Launch
The Gateway Park and Boat Launch project is complete, with the exception of a few trees. The trees have been ordered and will be planted by resident Tony Romano, who will donate his equipment and volunteer his labor to plant the trees. Mayor Dwyer anticipates having an official grand opening by late September.
It was announced at the meeting that last year, the general fund closed out under budget at $38,778.
“I honestly want the budget to be close to zero like our water budget was this year,” said Mayor Dwyer. “We were over budget for our water fund by $153 dollars.
“That is as close as you want to get,” said Trustee Thomas Howley, “considering the last year was a rough one, especially for our Water Department.”
The Board agreed it was a very successful budget year. The general fund account balance is $874,055. The fund balance account has $571,285. Dwyer says it’s about $375,000 more than it was five years ago. The water fund has more than doubled within the last five years.
“All in all we’re healthy,” said Dwyer.
New Business – Procurement Policy
During last month’s Board meeting, the Mayor discussed a letter that he received from the NYS Comptroller’s Office after the Board was reviewed. The only issue found was that the Villages procurement was too strict. The Office of the Comptroller suggested that the Board consider increasing the thresholds of soliciting bids on procuring items in the future. The Village will hold a public hearing on Mon., Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. to review changes to the procurement policy.
Zoning Board of Appeals Alternate
The Village of Greenwood Lake is seeking alternate members for the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). The alternate members would be expected to attend ZBA meetings like any other member but would only vote on actions when the requisite number of voting members is not present.
Additionally, the alternates would, in most cases, be next in line for a full position on the ZBA when a voting member is not extended for an additional term or leaves the position mid-term. Dwyer says the applicant should have some knowledge and experience working with the ZBA. If anyone is interested in a position as an alternate member of the ZBA, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include a resume and brief description of interest.
Next Village Board Meeting
The next Village Board meeting will be held on Mon., Sept. 18 at 7:30 p.m., after a workshop at 6:30 p.m. at the Village Courthouse, located at 47 Waterstone Rd. in Greenwood Lake.