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Author: Wendy Burton

Restarting Dutchess Phase 1 beginning Tuesday, May 26th !

Poughkeepsie, NY … Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced today Dutchess County, as part of the Mid-Hudson Region, has been approved by New York State to begin Phase One reopening starting next week having successfully met all of the core health-related required metrics. The Governor is expected to announce the specific reopening date over the weekend. The following business industries will be able to reopen next week under the NY Forward phased reopening plan:

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail – Limited to curbside or in-store pick up or drop off)
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
  • Wholesale Trade

County Executive Molinaro said, “This is good news for Dutchess County, a cautious beginning to restarting our local economy. We have worked tirelessly in the battle against COVID-19 and all of the metrics prove we have moved in the right direction. Our local businesses have also been working hard to put plans in place to ensure the health and safety of their employees and their customers. It is critical we all continue to work together to protect our community’s health as we begin the process of ‘Restarting Dutchess’.”

Construction staging – including moving materials and equipment onto job sites and setting up safety precautions – may begin now to allow full construction activities to be able to begin next week once the Governor has determined the specific date.

All eligible businesses who plan to reopen during Phase One must have a COVID-19 Health and Safety Plan to protect employees and consumers, make the physical work space safer and implement processes that lower risk of infection in the business. Plans must be retained on the premises of the business and must be made available to the New York State Department of Health (DOH) or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection. Businesses must review and submit affirmation they will adhere to the guidelines outlined in the NY Forward plan. Summary guidelines, safety plan templates and affirmation statement and submission directions are available, by industry, on the NY Forward website.

Phase One businesses are considered essential to the economy and are the lowest risk businesses. Phase 2 includes professional services, retail, administrative support and real estate/rental leasing. Phase 3 covers restaurants and food services. Phase 4 is arts, entertainment, recreation and education. It is anticipated there will be approximately 2 weeks between each phase being approved.

The NY Forward website also has a Business Reopening Lookup Tool to see if a particular business is eligible to reopen.

County Executive Molinaro offered his gratitude to all the people who recently volunteered to serve as contact tracers to help Dutchess County meet its goal of 252 contact tracers. Dutchess County had already met the original state-mandated metric of 30 contact tracers per 100,000 population with more than 90 contact tracers. Earlier this week, the state increased the required number of contact tracers to 252, basing it on infection rate. The County pushed out a call for additional volunteers, and there are currently more than 360 people (including the original 90) who have signed up to serve as contact tracers.

“We are grateful to all who are working to protect our community health,” County Executive Molinaro. “We all have a responsibility to remain vigilant, it is vital each person continues to do their part to ensure the health & safety of themselves and our community – wear your face mask, maintain social distancing, wash your hands frequently and make smart choices. We want to continue moving forward, opening our economy piece by piece, as long as we continue to see improvements in our community’s health and well-being.”

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Please note: New York State has NOT authorized the Department of Motor Vehicles to reopen to the public. DMV remains closed under Executive Order through June 6th. No reopening date has yet been established.

2020 Grievance Day COVID Procedure for May 26th

The Board of Assessment Review has worked diligently in order to be able to hold Grievance Day remotely, via ZOOM.

To meet with the BAR during the 1-3 PM session, your documents must be submitted by 9 AM on the 26th.  And you must provide your email so Stacey Adams can send the Zoom meeting login details.  You can contact here at 

To meet with the BAR during the 7-9 PM session, your documents must be submitted by 3 PM on the 26th.  An email address must be provided so Stacey can send the Zoom meeting login details. 

Any documents received from 3-9 PM will be reviewed later.  To make an in person virtual presentation, you may do so on Thursday, May 28 at 10 AM.  Again, an email address must be provided so Zoom meeting login details can be sent.

Instructions will be placed on the Front Door of Town Hall 

Thank you!

PARKS UPDATE !

As the warm weather has arrived,  we are all so very tired of being housebound.  Our kids are even more stressed out than we are.  I would like to remind everyone that even within Stanford there are are open spaces we can take advantage of.  Within your family groups, masks are not necessary.  We just remind everyone to be mindful of social distancing when you approach others who may also be enjoying our beautiful outdoor spaces. We are so happy to be able to announce that Sparc Park has been opened in anticipation of Memorial Day Weekend. The playground is not open, but picnic tables are out, and social distancing measures are visible around the tables. We are asking residents not to move them.  The Tennis Courts are open.  The baseball field is not.  Roosters 82 has graciously donated two Dog waste stations to the park, so please make use of them and enjoy our beautiful park!   

Wilcox Memorial Park is open and will have picnic tables on the grass and near grill stands for families to enjoy. Social distancing measures will be visible around the tables and residents are asked to please not move the tables from the designated areas. Lawn chairs and picnic blankets are allowed.  Whitlock Preserve is open.  The Harlem Valley Rail Trail in Millerton is open as well as the Dutchess Rail Trail.  I am working with the Audubon Society in an effort to reopen Buttercup Sanctuary.  It was their decision to close it.  This is a difficult time for all of us, but nature is still out there and I believe there are safe ways we can all enjoy it.  

Wendy

Please fill out your 2020 Census ! You can even do it by phone!

Have you filled out your census yet? Stanford is counting on you!  The final numbers will determine how federal funding gets divided across the country.  Congressional and legislative districts will be redrawn based on the figures as well.  You can even fill out the Census by phone 844-330-2020 for English and 844-468-2020 for Spanish.  You can also go to click here to fill out your census form.  

Right now the national self-response rate is 59.7%; New York state is 54.5%; Dutchess is 58.2% but Stanford is at 49.5%.  Please take a moment to Stand up for Stanford by completing the 2020 Census form.

Memorial Day Update

Memorial Day Activities

Although we find ourselves in the tragic position of not being able to hold our traditional parade with an Honor Guard and formal wreath laying ceremonies to honor our fallen heroes, wreathes will be laid at 8 a.m. at the Bangall Monument, the Civil War Monument and at the Peter Miller gravesite at Sparc Park. Our flags will fly at half staff.  Everyone will be able to visit the monuments during the weekend, though the state is still asking that gatherings do no exceed 10 people at a time and social distancing be used outside of family groups.

A convoy of county, police, fire and local municipality vehicles will traverse Dutchess County (see attached map) as part of this year’s Memorial Day celebrations on Monday, May 25th. Residents are asked to please not gather in large group settings to watch the Memorial Day Convoy. To show support, residents are instead encouraged hang American flags along the convoy’s route. For those families who live along the route, children are encouraged to paint and draw flags to be displayed in their windows, or on driveways. For more information, contact Dutchess County Division of Veterans Services at (845) 486-2060. 

Dutchess County Needs Contact Tracers

In order for Dutchess County and the Mid-Hudson Region to begin re-opening in phases and importantly to contain COVID-19 and prevent further spread, the County is in vital need of individuals to serve as contact tracers, who can work remotely and telephone residents who may have been exposed to COVID-positive individuals.  New York State will not allow our county or region to begin Phase One of reopening until we can prove we have sufficient residents willing to serve in this capacity. if you would be willing to take a 4-hour training to fill this critical gap and help our community take the next step in the re-opening process, please send your name, email address and cell phone number to dcpersonnel@dutchessny.gov Signing up to add your name to available volunteers does not prevent you from applying for a paid contact tracing positions with the State.

2021 School Budget

In accordance with Executive Order No. 202.26, the Budget Vote and School Board Election will be held remotely, by Absentee Ballot only.  Qualified voters of the Pie Plains Central School District will receive absentee ballots by mail.

The Public Hearing on the Budget Vote and Election will be held remotely on May 27th, 2020 at 7:00 pm. It will livestream at this link https://media.dcboces.org/Watch/a7G4Rrye  The budget materials are available on the Budget Vote tab and in BoardDocs on the Pine Plains Central School District website.  If any community members have quetions and/or comments regarding the budget, please email the district clerk at j.tomaine@ppscd.org . Please email your questions by 7:30 pm on the night of the Public Hearing, or email before the meeting.  Thank you from the PPPCSD

Latest Update from the County on Reopening Dutchess / Stanford

We had hoped to announce a full entry into the Phase I Reopening today, but Dutchess County is being grouped within the Mid-Hudson Region, and although Dutchess meets 6 out of 7 metrics to move into Phase I, we are being held back by other counties within our region.  That being said, both Dutchess & Ulster Counties have been given the green light for these activities:

  1. Drive-in Movie Theaters are open for movies as well as for church services and graduation services
  2. Houses of Worship may conduct services outside as long as the congregation stays in their vehicles
  3. Our library in Stanford is not yet open, but there are many opportunities they are offering.  Check out their FB page.
  4. Retail can deliver to curbside no matter the size of the store.  They can deliver items to a customer’s home or have the customer pick-up at curbside. The owner and one employee can be on site.
  5. Single student horseback riding with a single instructor
  6. Hunt clubs and gun clubs can operate.  However, there can be no food service indoors.  Food can be sold for “curbside” pick-up
  7. All elective medical procedures are now allowed as well as acupuncture
  8. Auto Maintenance
  9. Pet grooming [if it involves the animal’s health]
  10. Landscaping.  Please continue to social distance and wear mask protection if you are landscaping as a crew.
  11. Non-motorized boating
  12. Golf – one person to a cart

The County is also postponing its Foreclosure Auction so owners still have time to pay back taxes.

We will make every effort to restrict only certain areas of Sparc Park so the picnic tables and open air spaces are available to enjoy.  We ask that people outside of direct family clusters still maintain social distancing.  I hope to make this announcement within a few days.

Mask Making & Dispensing

A group of Stanford residents have generously been sewing face masks for their neighbors free of charge. Stanford residents can get a free fabric face mask through this volunteer effort by: