Dan Hust | Democrat
Woodridge resident Yermia Solomon, left, became the village’s newest police officer Monday after being sworn in by Chaplain Isaac “Yits” Kantrowitz at the village board meeting. Officer Solomon, 21, previously worked in the NYPD Auxiliary and with the Town of Fallsburg PD and was the top pick of five candidates, according to Woodridge Chief John Calvello. “I’ve known him for two years, and I recommend him 100 percent,” the chief said.
Woodridge relaunching Silver Lake Dam project
Story by Dan Hust
WOODRIDGE May 28, 2013 After years of planning, red tape, unaffordably high bids and the resulting delays, the Village of Woodridge is once again looking at restoring the historic Silver Lake Dam.
Built circa 1847 to create a reservoir (Silver Lake) to feed the then-growing Delaware & Hudson Canal, the dam survived for more than 150 years intact, until relentless water erosion breached it in 1999.
Silver Lake thus shrunk to around a quarter of its initial size, and village officials have been working to restore it ever since.
However, the original plans drawn up for the dam’s repair a decade ago were recently reviewed by Village Engineer Will Illing and deemed unworkable.
“It’s too old and cannot be used,” Mayor Joan Collins told the village board at its Monday meeting.
So new plans are in the works.
“We’re investigating what it’s going to take to get the dam repaired and the lake back,” Collins confirmed.
Working with NYSEG, Village Clerk Myra Bennett told the board that Woodridge will be upgrading its lighting fixtures and bulbs with more energy-efficient equipment.
Specifically, the village hall, highway barn, sewer plant and water plant will get new lighting.
“NYSEG will pay 70 percent of our costs,” Bennett pointed out.
And Woodridge’s remaining 30 percent share should be recouped in two to three years, thanks to electricity savings, she added.
The overall cost is around $8,700, meaning the village’s outlay will be around $2,600.
Trustee James Slater was the sole vote against the project, noting a poor experience at his business.
“I just went through it in my garage,” he explained, “and I think we could have done it differently.”
The village board unanimously approved a $10-per-category increase in the sanitation rates for residential properties: $390 a year for two cans per week, $440 for three, $540 for four and $310 for a Dumpster serving four or more units.
This is the first hike in three years, said Collins. Commercial sanitation rates remain unchanged.
Not a zoo
Aiming to eliminate wandering domesticated turkeys, chickens and the like in the village, the board is poised to enact a law prohibiting livestock in Woodridge and limiting cats and dogs to no more than four per household.
“It’s consistent with the town [of Fallsburg’s law],” explained Mayor Collins.
Monday’s public hearing on the proposal elicited no comment, but it will be held again on June 17 at 7:15 p.m. because of a change requested by trustees, who insisted those who currently have more than four pets be grandfathered-in.
“We’re not going to make them get rid of them,” said Collins. “That would be horrible!”
Thus the proposed law’s wording will be amended to allow residents to keep the pets they have currently, regardless of amount (though they will not be able to replace a deceased or missing pet if the total number of pets exceeds four).
Zoning under review
Collins confirmed that Honesdale, PA-based planner Tom Shepstone has been retained by the village to review its zoning/planning laws and advise its zoning & planning boards on an as-needed basis.