Notes from the Saugerties Village Board

A sign showing motorists’ speeds on Ulster Avenue has made a difference, Saugerties mayor William Murphy said at the meeting of the village board on September 3.

While Ulster Avenue is a state highway, so the village could not put up a permanent sign. But there’s a solution. “We could put a ‘temporary permanent’ sign,” said Murphy. “I can tell, it’s made a difference already.” The sign, on Ulster Avenue just past Naccarato Insurance, is in the place police chief Joseph Sinagra said would be the most effective, Murphy said. The sign indicates the speed at which an approaching vehicle is traveling.

According to neighbors, motorists have been ignoring the speed limit near the Price Chopper supermarket, which has a traffic light at its crossing. The light does not have a pedestrian cycle, making crossing the street dangerous.

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Insurance hardball

Though Marshall and Sterling handles the village fire department insurance, the department’s equipment is included in the general village insurance policy handled through Reis Group. The policy calls for replacement of buildings and equipment at the depreciated value, mayor Bill Murphy said. “Say our firehouse burned down, God forbid. It would only be replaced at depreciated value. Under the VIFS program, insurance payments are based on current replacement value, a big difference.”

Reis found out that the village has been discussing switching equipment to Marshall and Sterling, so it also bid on insurance carrying current replacement value, Murphy said.
While he invited the Reis Group to quote on the insurance, he would not go along with their request that he not consider the Marshall and Sterling proposal. “That would not be fair,” Murphy said he told the insurer. “No offense, but you have been carrying our insurance for three years and you never proposed this, and they did, so I wouldn’t cut them off.”

The different policy would cost a couple of thousand dollars more a year, Murphy said, but it would give full replacement value. When one considers the cost of a fire truck, the benefit could be very significant. The trustees will look over the proposals, and the decision may be made at the next board meeting.

Praise for gas-line contractor

Trustee Don Hackett praised John Mullen’s handling of a major upgrade of the village gas pipes. His crews try to accommodate residents and are generally courteous to the. They complete his work within the time limitations indicated on local road signs, so residents are not blocked for longer than necessary. “I’m very impressed with the guy [Mullen] and the work he’s doing,” Hackett said.

Hackett said neighbors are using the municipal lots and the lot at Bella Luna for parking while the work is in progress.
“I had a business owner call me last week; they weren’t complaining, but they said people are having trouble parking on Main Street because of the work,” Mayor Bill Murphy said. “I told them they could park at Bella Luna’s. They weren’t aware of it, I said it had been in the papers.” Murphy also noted that while signs indicate that work is from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., “sometimes they have to go past that.”
“We’ve had some ridiculous phone calls, like the intent was to drive all business out of the village,” the mayor said.

Bluestone sidewalks

Contracts with contractor John Mullen have been executed for the installation of bluestone sidewalks on Main Street, special projects coordinator Alex Wade said. While the state Department of Transportation has not officially notified the village, it will not need to rip up Saugerties sidewalks and replace them to meet the requirements for the degree of slope the Americans With Disabilities Act.
”It was in and out,” Wad3e said. “Ssome areas were level, some weren’t and tearing up here and there just wasn’t making any sense at all, and as we got the guy up and he looked at it in the field, and agreed.” DOT officials don’t usually come out to local sites, so the visit and the waiver were very much appreciated, Wade said.

The bluestone for the project has been approved and is on order, Wade said. It should take about six weeks for it to arrive, so that’s the earliest he work can start. 

In another matter, Wade said his contact at DOT had told him the light at Price Chopper was private, and the village couldn’t alter it. However, the DOT will review the traffic lights in the village.
“The one [traffic light] at Market Street and the one at Main are both very slow to start counting, much slower than others,” said Wade. “They can’t do anything about that, but they can adjust the number of seconds.” Those lights are set for 20 seconds, while others are set for 14, mayor Bill Murphy added. In addition to the longer setting, Wade said, the lights will pause for several seconds before they begin counting.

Beach weeds are gone

The removal of weeds at the village beach has been completed, and the village has received “a very nice note from the gentleman who did it [Zdenek Ulman],” mayor Bill Murphy reported. Murphy said the contractor also had suggestions for next year. “I really like this,” Murphy added. “I like the people.”
He has been in contact with several homeowners. He also did John Mullen’s cove on the other side. The village board agreed that Ulman had done a good job at a reasonable price. They will look into hiring him again next year.

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