One of the advantages of holding public meetings virtually is that Village of New Paltz officials don’t have to address the problem of where to hold meetings at all. The meeting rooms in Village Hall are inaccessible to anyone who cannot use stairs, because the chairlift is broken. As repairing or replacing it could be a five-digit expense, and the fate of Village Hall and the attached Town annex will be up for discussion once the move to the new firehouse is complete, there is a reluctance to do that work when a better solution could be on the horizon in the form of converting the 23 Plattekill campus into a space for most Town and Village offices. In the brief time when meetings were held in person last summer, the problem was avoided by having them in the firehouse itself, which is on the ground floor. However, that space is being cleared out, and holding meetings there could be disruptive or even impossible.
While Town officials are taking over the new courtroom in the justice center for their meetings, that’s not an option without passing a state law, because it’s outside of the Village line. Another option could be the Community Center, which is a Town property that happens to be inside of the Village. Trustees must make a decision on how to host meetings in person, because the right to hold them entirely virtually is set to expire as the Omicron wave recedes.