Shandaken will continue to plow the church parking lots

By Jay Braman Jr.
There’s a pretty good chance it will snow again this season. Shandaken’s snowplows will sweep through the parking lots of the churches and firehouses in town, just like they have been doing for years and years.
They will do it even though one town resident warned that such actions are unconstitutional and should no longer be allowed because the town could be held responsible for damage.
That’s what town resident Dr. Lance Hoffman said at the February town board meeting where he made the remark after seeing a resolution before the board about the matter.
The resolution is pretty simple and resembles many others the board has passed over the years. It reads as follows:
WHEREAS, the Town of Shandaken shall perform certain snow plowing and sanding services during the winter of 2013 - 2014 for and on the premises of the St Francis de Sales Church in Phoenicia, Shandaken Methodist Church in Shandaken, Phoenicia Methodist Church in Phoenicia and Shandaken Community Church in Mt. Tremper.
WHEREAS, the Town of Shandaken shall perform certain snow plowing and sanding services
during the winter of 2013 - 2014 for and on the premises of the Mt. Tremper, Phoenicia, Shandaken, Big Indian - Oliverea and the Pine Hill Firehouses,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that for and in consideration of such snow plowing and sanding services the said Churches & Firehouses shall EACH pay to the Town of Shandaken the sum of $1.00 receipt whereof is hereby acknowledged,
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that said churches and firehouses shall save the Town of Shandaken free of any claims, causes of action or liability for damages to persons or property arising out of the services to be performed by the Town of Shandaken, its agents, servants or employees in the performance of this agreement.
It passed unanimously, just is has many times before.
After the meeting, Supervisor Rob Stanley said the board is on solid ground with the resolution regardless of what Hoffman says.
He said the fact that each of the churches and fire companies pays one dollar for the service making it a contractual relationship. He also said that those entities provide town services like housing the local food pantry and acting as polling places for elections.
Plus, the resolution clearly states that the town is free from any liability.