Highway Superintendent Joseph LoCicero and Police Chief Gerald Marlatt asked the Town of Shawangunk Board to consider requests they say will improve their departments at the board’s July 15 meeting.
LoCicero asked the board to consider replacing an aging plow truck with a newer one, possibly a used vehicle from another town.
Marlatt said he would like to hire two additional part-time police officers to replace two injured officers.
“We have a single-axel vehicle that has lived its life,” LoCicero said. “One of my guys drives that vehicle every snowstorm. We’ve put countless money into it and it’s time to replace that truck.”
LoCicero said he gave the town board a comprehensive plan detailing the condition of the department’s vehicles at the beginning of 2021.
“They’re aware of what needs to be fixed and what doesn’t,” he said. “The problem that we’re coming up with is because of the pandemic we’re not getting the vehicles. We can’t find anything these days. It might be a good idea to start looking at other options.”
LoCicero said he saw a used truck from another town was being advertised recently. The cost for a used truck would be cheaper than purchasing a brand new one and the truck would be available sooner, he said.
“It looked like it was in pretty good shape,” LoCicero said. “Some townships are getting rid of trucks. We could find something halfway decent that’s worth the money. That might be the way to go. We’re down to two dump trucks. We could have some major issues this winter if we don’t get another truck.”
Although board members asked questions about the possible acquisition of a new truck, the board took no action on the request.
Marlatt said the police department was down two officers who were injured while off duty.
“Two officers were injured on another job,” Malatt said. “Not working for us. They can’t come back until they get clearance from their doctors.”
Marlatt said he’d like to hire two part-time officers to cover weekends instead of authorizing costly overtime pay.
“Luckily it’s the summer and we don’t have the schools to cover right now,” Marlatt said. “But with COVID restrictions lifted and people (police officers) wanting to get away on vacation, it’s hard to fill the weekends. That’s what we primarily use part-time officers for.”
No immediate action was taken by the board on Malatt’s request.
Supervisor John Valk asked Marlatt about the status of a new police car that the town had ordered recently, but hadn’t arrived yet.
“We’re getting no answer,” Marlatt said. “We should have had it already.”
Marlatt said Councilman Brian Amthor had assisted in getting a quicker response for another police car and asked if he could help again.
“Last time, he (Amthor) made one phone call and we got it right away,” Marlatt said. “I was wondering if he could use that special contact again.”
Although Amthor did not attend the meeting, Valk indicated he had agreed to help.
“He’s willing to do that,” Valk offered.
Councilman Adrian DeWitt reported that the town’s six-week summer camp that runs through Aug. 13 has “surprisingly been going very well in spite of the recent inclement weather. We have 58 to 65 kids most days.”
Nicholas Anello presented his Eagle Scout project to the board. His project was cleaning up and making improvements to the Dot and Greg Greer Memorial Park in Walker Valley. The two-acre parcel is the site of the Walker Valley Schoolhouse Community Center.
Valk, who commended Anello for his work, said the Greer family donated the parcel to the town in 1998.
“It was very nice of them to donate the land for the park, but nothing was ever done to it,” Valk said. “One of my goals before I leave is to turn it into an actual park instead of just weeds. It needs to get developed. And my hope is that one Eagle Scout project will lead to others. And eventually we’ll have a nice little pocket park there.”