Highway Study in Red Hook Aims to Improve Services, Save Money

posted Apr 2, 2014, 11:15 AM by Richard Weidemann   [ updated Apr 2, 2014, 11:17 AM ]

Residents in Town, Villages Invited to Public Kick-Off Meeting April 2 at 7:30PM

Red Hook, NY – Following a successful application to the Dutchess County Municipal Consolidation and Shared Service Grant Program, the Town of Red Hook, Village of Red Hook and Village of Tivoli are kicking-off a year-long highway shared services planning study with a public meeting. The meeting will be held at the Red Hook Town Hall on Wednesday, April 2nd, from 7:30 – 9:00 PM. All interested residents are encouraged to attend to learn about the study and share their ideas.

The Highway Shared Services Study represents a commitment by the three municipalities to look more closely at how they deliver important highway services to residents, and how, by working together, they might stabilize or reduce costs while maintaining a high-quality system of local roads.

“Based on all of the cooperation that has already occurred between our communities, I am confident that there are some promising opportunities that we can explore together,” said Red Hook Town Supervisor Sue Crane. “This study will help us identify those opportunities and understand how we can go about making them happen so that residents receive the most cost-effective services.”
A steering committee comprising elected officials from the three municipalities began meeting shortly after the grant application was submitted. When funding was awarded, the committee conducted a search for a consultant to guide the study process. A team comprising Rondout Consulting, of Kingston, NY and Fairweather Consulting, of New Paltz, NY, was selected and has met with the committee to finalize the schedule and tasks that will be included in the study.

Before the study gets underway, the committee and the Rondout/Fairweather team agreed that a public meeting would be a useful way to let residents know about the project, and to listen to their hopes and concerns about the topic of highway shared services. “It is important right from the beginning that people have a chance to ask questions and share their thoughts with our committee and the consultants,” said Tivoli Mayor Bryan Cranna. He added, “any study that could end with recommendations that would change the delivery of services should be done in a transparent way, with lots of opportunity for public involvement.”

Tim Weidemann, one of the project consultants, added, “we know that studies like this can be a source of anxiety for village and town employees, so we like to provide a formal opportunity for them and all other residents to share their thoughts right from the outset. We will also meet early in the study with staff in each municipality so that they can ask questions, share their ideas and express any concerns.”
At the public kick-off meeting on April 2nd, the consultant team will walk participants through the study’s goals, the steps involved in the study, and the ways in which they can stay informed and involved over the twelve months of the study timeline. A project web site, which provides access to documents and reports that will be developed throughout the study, can be found at redhook.rondoutconsulting.com. The site includes a meeting calendar with dates, times and locations of all public meetings related to the project.

“We all know that our residents – our customers – are relying on us to find ways to control costs,” explains Red Hook Village Mayor Ed Blundell. “But we also know that people choose to live in a community like Red Hook because of the quality of services we provide to them. It is an important balancing act and the Village will be an active participant in the study.  We look forward to working with our outside consultant, and our neighbor municipalities, in order to identify ideas and model options for shared services that will keep this a great place to live.”

The Public Kick-Off Meeting for the Red Hook Highway Shared Services Study begins at 7:30PM on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 at the Red Hook Town Hall. Light refreshments will be provided. Additional meetings will be scheduled as the study progresses to allow more input from residents in response to the results and recommendations from the study. 

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For further information contact:
Tim Weidemann, Rondout Consulting:  845-430-0426

Kick-Off Meeting Flyer