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For want of a (galvanized) nail, roof is lost


GERMANTOWN—The Parsonage on Maple Avenue is the heart of the Germantown History Department, and the Parsonage is losing its roof, shingle by shingle.

In making her report to the April 28 Town Board meeting, Susan Raab, town historian, said again that she was concerned about the roof of the Parsonage. “More and more shingles are on the ground every Saturday when I go there,” she said. The fieldstone building, constructed in two sections beginning in 1746, is open to visitors Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon.

About 10 years ago, the roof was replaced, paid for through a grant from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The grant was awarded based on the work being historically correct, on this historically registered building. From his post videotaping the meeting, maintenance director Anthony Cidras recalled the cost of the roof as $100,000.

Cedar shakes were used, instead of contemporary roofing materials. Galvanized nails should have been used; “the cedar shakes are the historical part,” said Supervisor Joel Craig. Nails, not being visible should have been galvanized, he said, but they weren’t. Now they’re rusting and Ms. Raab picks up expensive cedar shakes every Saturday.

“We need to dig out the original grant” paperwork, said Mr. Craig, and have town attorney Tal Rappleyea review it and say what the town’s legal obligation is. “Just repairing it is not an option, I don’t think,” he said.

In other business the board:

Approved the purchase of a 61-inch Cheetah mower with a deck for the Maintenance Department for $9,913, just under the $10,000 budgeted for it

Learned from Mr. Cidras that last month’s road cleanup brought in 520 pounds of garbage, including six tires and three rims

Heard from Martin Overington that the 14th annual Riversweep cleanup is Saturday, May 10 (rain date May 11) beginning at 9 a.m. Teenagers and up are welcome, and can begin at Lasher Park or Cheviot Park and work south or north. Followed by trucks from the Highway and Maintenance departments, the volunteers pick up trash of all sizes, including washing machines and pianos. Debris from Hurricane Sandy still floats down the river. Volunteers should bring good gloves and will get a snack in the middle of the sweep. Since they are working along the railroad tracks, this is not an activity for children.

Approved purchase of two new doors for Town Hall from Herrington’s with installation by Jennings Contracting. These are paid for by the approximately $2,700 remaining from a state Justice Court Assistance Program grant (the Town Court is within Town Hall)

Learned that the Police Department had dealt with one abandoned boat, one larceny of snowmobiles and one injured deer during their rounds the previous month. They are looking into leasing police vehicles, said officer-in-charge Brian DuBois

Approved spending $500, half the price, for Porta-Potty rental for the Little League ballpark. The funds will come from the ballparks and fields budget. The Little League will pay the other half

Approved allowing Clarkson University to install environmental monitoring for a year at Anchorage Park. Small computer equipment will monitor tides, barometric pressure and more in a self-contained unit that runs on solar energy. Clarkson has a grant to install 100 of these in New York State. Mr. Craig will ask if the town gets the data and suggest that the board is interested in a presentation

Approved the Intermunicipal Highway Agreement with Clermont and Livingston. Shared services are the byword of the day, Mr. Craig noted, but the three towns have been doing that for years

Learned that Saturday, May 17 is the townwide yard sale and plant sale all day. “We hope people will come and buy our stuff,” said Mr. Craig. For $5, a vendor can be included on a map the town is creating, and for $10, set up a table in Palatine Park and be on the map. The reservation deadline is May 10; call town clerk Joyce Vale, 518 537-6687

Thanked Janet Crawford for securing a $500 grant from the Hegarty Foundation for the summer park program. There will be “great new trips and a revamped program with new activities,” said Mr. Craig. Ms. Crawford is the contact for that program

All board members except Michael Mortenson and an audience of 10 attended. The next Town Board meeting is Monday, May 19 at 7 p.m.


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