BY MICHAEL CAHILL
At this week’s Stony Point Town Board meeting, the board recognized volunteers of the Wayne Hose Company, and discussed the creation of a Stony Point Film Commission. Supervisor Geoffrey Finn opened this week’s meeting by recognizing the women of the Wayne Hose Company #1 Volunteer Auxiliary. Finn proclaimed May 8, 2012 to be Wayne Hose Company #1 Volunteer Auxiliary Day.
During the public input section of the meeting two residents, Susan Filguares, president of the Stony Point Historical Society and George Potanovic, president of the Stony Point Action Committee for the Environment both spoke about the impending Hudson Champlain Power Express project.
The project calls for the construction of a high voltage power line to be buried in and along the Hudson River all the way from Canada. The power line will transport electricity generated by hydropower plants to New York City. According to Filguares, there are plans for the line to pass onto land in Stony Point on its way south.
Both Filguares and Potanovic implored the board to explore options for taxation of the project, and to assess the real impact it will have on town property values.
A resident of Stony Point’s Bragalia Drive also spoke during the public input section. He informed the board of an impending flood disaster on the street due to poor construction around a pond near the street. Supervisor Finn took down the man’s information and promised to get in touch with him to resolve the issue.
Supervisor Finn talked about the upcoming community garden project for this year that should be completed in the coming week. There are still plots available. Those interested in purchasing a plot should contact the town.
The board moved to keep open the public hearing on the new sign law for another month, as well as proclaim that May 13 – 19 will be Police Week, with May 15 being Police Memorial Day.
The board also held a brief public hearing on exempting the position of Deputy Receiver of Taxes from the town residency requirement. After clarifying that the residency exemption would only be for this position that board voted unanimously to approve the measure.
Following the public hearings the independent auditors from the O’Conner Davies Financial Services presented the findings of the independent audit of the town for 2011. The auditors talked numbers with the board members, and made several financial recommendations.
The grand finale of the evening was the presentation by the all volunteer, Stony Point Film Commission. The film commission formed as part of the Stony Point Economic Development Committee to explore ways to develop the town economy.
Ava Seavey, founder and president of Avalanche Creative Services Inc., as well as Stony Point resident and member of the film commission presented to the board the commissions argument for more filming in Stony Point. Seavey argued the economic benefits. Those benefits would not only come in the form of permit fees, but in patronage to local businesses and using locals as extras.
The goal of the film commission in Stony Point would be to attract movie and television productions to the area. With a competitive, straightforward permit and pricing system, Seavey argued, Stony Point could attract prominent production companies.
Malcom Dean, another member of the volunteer film commission, presented briefly on the specific marketing strategies, and steps the town could take to attract film productions. Dean also reinforced the economic benefits of filming, by citing the town of New Lebanon in upstate New York that was given a big economic boost by the filming of the movie “Taking Woodstock.”
After the presentations by the volunteer film commission, Councilwoman Konopko, also a member of the film commission, asked the board for a motion to create an official Stony Point Film Commission. However the town’s lawyer expressed concern about the specific powers of such a commission. Without any official documentation about the goals and powers of such an organization that he advised against it’s creation at Tuesday’s meeting.
The other board members concurred with the town lawyer and did not create the motion. Supervisor Finn said he would meet with members of the film commission to establish clear powers and goals in writing, and the matter would be voted on at a later date.
The board then moved onto the remaining agenda items. All items requiring action were passed unanimously except for item 10, which passed 4 – 1 with Councilman James White voting against the measure. The full agenda can be found online athttp://www.townofstonypoint.