Water is much on supervisor Jeanne Walsh’s mind, as the Town of Rosendale moves into 2015 with the Williams Lake Project ready for takeoff and grants rolling in for the restoration of the Town Pool, century-old water mains and a deteriorated storage tank. A Wayfinding study for a pedestrian-friendly trail system centering on the Rondout Creek should also help the town boost tourism interest already piqued by the opening of the Rosendale Trestle.
What are the major issues currently facing the Town of Rosendale?
Rosendale has several projects that I am excited to see begin construction this year. We have been lucky in that we have received over $7 million in grant monies recently to assist us with several major infrastructure needs. Now we need to implement those plans: building the pool, making the water district improvements and the first of several New York Rising projects.
We will be moving the Rosendale Court, the last of the Town departments into the new Town Hall in January. This will mean we are just waiting for the Town of Marbletown to move in so we can begin to explore additional shared services, which will give cost savings to both towns and the Rondout School District.
What are your top three priorities for 2015?
We have quite a few projects that we have been working on, so it’s hard to only pick three. But I would have to say Priority One is our Rosendale Pool.
We are working hard to see the pool completed this year. Having the Rosendale Pool up and running is very important to me and to the community, and it is my goal to complete the pool this year.
We will be making the much-needed Rosendale Water District improvements, which include upgrading the filtration plant, replacing the water main on Main Street, which is over 100 years old, and upgrades to meters and the storage tank.
We will start the first New York Rising project, making James Street more resilient from future storms by replacing a stone culvert near Park Crest to concrete and improving the riprap along the creek in that area and creating a pedestrian-friendly walk along the Creek to Route 32.
Looking back at 2014, what do you see as your major accomplishments?
I have always been a supporter of the Williams Lake Project, and I was happy to see the Town Board of the Town of Rosendale give the final approvals that were necessary for the Williams Lake Project to go forward. The Williams Lake Project signed a local sourcing agreement, which guarantees employment and goods are sourced from our community. This project, when completed, will be a great addition to our community, bringing more employment and tax dollars to Rosendale.
I am proud that I was able to secure the much-needed grants for the pool, the Water District and the new Town Hall.
Looking back at 2014, if there anything you would have done differently?
I believe we are on the right path in Rosendale. We are identifying the needs of the town and putting in place what is necessary to make those improvements.
In what ways do you want to grow in your leadership?
My goal has always been to represent all residents of Rosendale, and I will continue to be there for all the people of our Town.
What challenges would you like to take on in 2015?
We are currently working on a “Finding Rosendale” Wayfinding plan from grant money we received from the Ulster County Transportation Council. When the Rosendale Trestle opened, we realized we had several issues that needed to be addressed: Where should people park? How can we direct people to safely navigate to the businesses and services they are seeking in our town? We are planning to have this plan and design work completed this year, and will be seeking ways to implement this plan.
I would like to see the Rosendale Economic Overlay District approved, so that underutilized buildings can become productive spaces again and so that former schools can be revitalized. This will help to support the revitalization of places like Fann’s Plaza, which now has a fantastic grocery store. This Overlay District would help to encourage improvements to properties in need.
What are you personally looking forward to?
I’m looking forward to the day when our pool opens, and when we can see the new Town Hall fully occupied; when people visit the Town of Rosendale to enjoy our unique features like the rail trail and trestle and can drive through our town with both Main Street and the Route 32 corridor thriving.
Do you plan to run for office again in 2015?
I do plan on running for office again in 2015. I want to continue to serve the people of Rosendale. Many of the projects we have begun take several years to put into place, and I want to be able to finish the work I have begun. I was thankful to have been endorsed by the Republicans, Democrats, Independent and Conservative Parties in the last election, and hope to have everyone’s support again in 2015.