By Kevin E. Foley
The Putnam County Legislature gave its final approval Wednesday evening (June 5) to the long-awaited repair project for Snake Hill Road in Garrison. The $700,000-plus project will commence later this month and last until sometime in September. The county road, which has been a one-lane thoroughfare since sustaining damage from Hurricane Irene in late August 2011, will be closed during the reconstruction.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will fund the road repair. The road is an often-used link between Routes 9 and 9D. This project will be one of several road repair jobs taking place in the summer months, including work on the stone wall on 9D at St. Philips Church, upgrades to Route 9 and work on the Taconic Parkway.
“It’s been a long time coming, but now we can started,” said Philipstown’s Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra after the meeting. Scuccimarra sits on the Physical Services Committee that shepherded the approval to the full body.
In other business, the Legislature asked the county’s representatives in the state Legislature to obtain approval for the county to sponsor a sales tax holiday on certain clothing and other items related to the return to school. If approved, the two-week holiday would take place in August.
There was a brief debate as to whether the county’s Economic Development Agency (EDA), an independent nonprofit organization, should be housed in the same office with the county government. Scuccimarra chairs the Economic Development committee that made the recommendation. She said the “goal is to get economic stimuli going by working together.”
Scuccimarra also mentioned the new head of the EDA, Megan Taylor, had already visited Philipstown and that there were encouraging signs about new initiatives. Some legislators argued that independent agencies should maintain distance from the county government and that too much cooperation could lead to trouble in the form of inappropriate deal making. Nevertheless the measure passed. The county contributes $135,000 to the EDA budget.