As he prepares to close the books on his third year as Town of Lloyd supervisor, Paul Hansut says that the focus for 2015 will be on upgrading town infrastructure and encouraging business to revitalize Lloyd and the hamlet of Highland. Lloyd’s Economic Development Committee (EDC), under chair Charles Glasner, is currently preparing a document to distribute to prospective business owners outlining the steps needed to open a business in the town, and they’ve created a building improvement contest that will provide grants to owners or tenants of commercial properties. The town’s Revolving Loan Fund will provide $5,000 in award funds and EDC members are soliciting donations from local banks, companies and individuals to match that amount.
Recently, Supervisor Hansut sat down with New Paltz Times to review 2014 and discuss what’s on the horizon for his town next year.
What are the major issues currently facing the Town of Lloyd?
I think the challenges that face Lloyd, moving forward into 2015 and beyond, are trying to stay within the property tax cap that the government has set. The difficulty with that is your infrastructure; doing improvements and upgrades, water and sewer work, road work… because if you go out and do a capital project, that’s not exempt from the tax cap. So that always becomes a challenge, looking toward your infrastructure. And we have a couple projects that we’re going to be moving forward with, so that’s one of our challenges.
What kind of projects?
We need to do upgrades at our water plant. We finished up the sewer plant last year; all the upgrades were done on that. That was about an $8 million project. With our water treatment plant, we’re actually looking at a two-phase process of doing the upgrades. The first phase will start in 2015, and that is connecting the wells that are on Illinois Mountain into the water treatment plant. And the second part of that phase will be repainting the storage tanks, which have to be done every 10-15 years. We’re falling into that cycle, and they have to be done. Then moving into 2016, ’17, there are some more improvements that have to be done to the water plant. So we’re going to break it up into two phases, and that way it’s not an enormous burden on the taxpayers all at once.
What are your top three priorities for 2015?
We’re hoping to put out to bid the western extension of the [Hudson Valley] Rail Trail in the early spring. We received a grant for that, and the final design reports are done, so we’re looking to take the western extension from the Tony Williams Field out to the firehouse. We’re hoping to start construction in summer or fall of next year. Secondly, we’re looking at beginning the right-of-way process with the Tillson Avenue-Toc Drive intersection. We’re hoping that’s going to come to fruition in ’15.