Lloyd Town Board members acknowledge the contributions of several respected town residents

Matt Smith, president of the Highland Landing Park Association, at the riverside site. (Lauren Thomas | New Paltz Times)

Matt Smith, president of the Highland Landing Park Association, at the riverside site. (Lauren Thomas | New Paltz Times)

Lloyd town council members acknowledged the contributions of several respected town residents in different ways during last week’s town board meeting. Donna Deeprose was honored for her commitment to environmental causes, Matt Smith was applauded for his work on the Bob Shepard Highland Landing park and Frank Lombardi was remembered in a proclamation that listed some of the many ways he worked for his community.

Lombardi is remembered most often for his leadership in the American Legion, an organization he belonged to for decades. He served on the committee which worked to build the present hall. He was also an active member of his church and the local Democratic committee, volunteering countless hours for each, and served for over 20 years as the town’s highway superintendent. His work for the town transcended any of those categories, however, and board members remembered Lombardi as someone who was always willing to lend a hand.

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Deeprose was the recipient of the Environmental Stewardship Award, given annually by members of the town’s Environmental Conservation Committee. While she only moved into Lloyd in 2003, Deeprose has had a deep impact on that body’s work. Chairman Jack Maguire said that he’d seen Deeprose organize extremely complex grant application materials, but also “up to her thighs in muck” gathering samples for biodiversity studies. “I’m very proud to have worked with her for many years,” he said.

Downplaying her efforts, Deeprose characterized herself as a “cheerleader” among people with more impressive credentials, a group she said were “not unthinking tree-huggers,” but experts who should be consulted on more municipal decisions. Dismissing stereotypes she’d heard about the town, she went on to say that she has always felt welcome and has always felt appreciated.

Smith was the man who had a vision of creating the town’s only waterfront park without using tax dollars, and since that dream was realized he has served as project manager at the Bob Shephard Highland Landing Park. Now, Smith has resigned both as project manager and president of the Highland Landing Park Association. In brief remarks that were tinged with emotion, Smith thanked council members for doing what he considers the best job, to “support, but not interfere” with park operations. Those same board members later voted to confirm Leonard Auchmoody to replace Smith as project manager.

When each of these local heroes was acknowledged during the board meeting, the response from the nearly-full-to-capacity crowd was applause and ovations.

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