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SHERMAN – On Thursday, September 27, Captain Chris Fuchs of the Sherman Volunteer Fire Department (SVFD) made the first update of the evening at the BOS regular monthly meeting, reporting that the department gained 10 new members who will be attending either Firefighter I and/or EMS training in January 2019.

“Our volunteers did a tremendous job,” said Fuchs of the fire department’s response to the May storms. The SVFD responded to 313 service calls since January 1st, both fire and EMS, approximately 50 more than last year and mostly due to the Spring microburst. The SVFD will be reapplying for a FEMA grant which will cover close to 95% of the roughly $100,000 needed for 30 new portable radios.

The journey to improved emergency services communication continues regarding the Aquarion cell tower. Several changes to the submitted plan drawings were suggested by an Aquarion representative, including putting a cable underground and erecting a fence around the propane tank for the back-up generator. No formal approval has been given as of this publication by Aquarion or the Timber Trails Associates, but updated drawings have been submitted for review.

An ad hock committee, for aging services, consisting of Beth Trott, Melinda Albert, Pat Bailey, Jackie Crawford, Michelle Hansen, Carolyn Valdivieso, Suzette Berger, and Lynne Gomez, met for its quarterly meeting on August 9th to review ADA Compliance around Sherman and report any concerns. At the Senior Center, the stone steps must be sealed to ensure safety, and a second exit must be made with a ramp for those with mobility devices, etc.—as of this publication the door will be placed by the kitchen. Several notes were made regarding Mallory Town Hall, including placing handicap-accessible electrical doors, a ramp at the second entrance in the event of an emergency evacuation, and listening systems and microphones so individuals both with hearing aids and without may better hear those speaking at meetings. At the school, notes were given to install hand sanitizer dispensers and clear out shelves in the handicap stalls, as well as the suggestion that “electrical handicap-accessible doors should be installed at the kindergarten entrance”. The committee will hold its next meeting on November 8th at noon.

The town’s employee training policy is in its final stages, awaiting revisions on wordage and grammar, but is anticipated to go into effect November 1st.

First Selectman Don Lowe reported that he visited the Fox Run site, saying the project is expected to finish this week, and that work on Route 37 is anticipated to end by October 12th. The wells at Mallory Town Hall and The Sherman School were evaluated on September 28th and 29th; details to follow.

The permit was signed for T-Mobile equipment to be set up at Happy Acres Farm and work will “probably be done” January 2019, as stated by First Selectman Lowe. Additionally, two cell tower sites are being researched in southern Sherman; details to follow.

The Elderly Tax Deferment Plan, after further discussion, will be added to the Annual Town Meeting agenda on October 13th at 10am.

John Motsinger reported the downsizing of the herd to “maintain a more manageable number” throughout the winter and into the spring. Regarding farm maintenance, Motsinger communicated that he would be contacting Hiravy Plumbing to properly insulate the barn pipes that freeze every winter, and continues “to urge the Town to move forward” on painting the barn and farmhouse, replacing the broken barn windows, supplying the replacement fence rails, and repairing the damaged gutters.

Happy Acres products were sold at the final Farmer’s Market in Pawling, NY on Saturday, September 29th. The Sunday Market will end on October 14th with its 4th Annual Chili Cookoff; all are invited to join the herd to celebrate another successful season with delicious food and great company.

The next BOS regular monthly meeting will be Thursday, October 25th at 7pm at Mallory Town Hall.

By Anne-Marie DiDomenico