Durham releases its first ever annual report
Andrea Macko is reporting for Porcupine Soup the Town of Durham has released its first annual report and a communitywide meeting to hear feedback from residents will be held in June. The report contains a summary of town business from the past year as well as a rundown of future goals from Town Supervisor Shawn Marriott, Highway Superintendent Joe van Holsteyn, and town board member Joan Breslin, who serves as the chair of Durham Connect. Marriott said the pandemic affected the town's day-to-day activities, mostly for the public. He said, “The biggest change was in the way we conducted our twice-monthly public meetings. Initially we used a free telephone-based conference software... Later, we moved to a video conferencing service which is part of a Microsoft package that town employees were already using.” Marriott said while he prefers in-person meetings, the virtual meetings allowed the town to attract as many as 50 or 60 people to a virtual meeting. Marriott also discussed broadband, property sales and new residents moving to town, as well as GlaxoSmithKline’s PILOT agreement coming to an end. van Holsteyn explained that due to the initial COVID regulations, only 50 percent of the highway department crew could work at a time. “There were also problems with supplies during the early part of COVID — a lot of little stuff that meant that a simple project that normally would take one or two days would take a week,” van Holsteyn said. Breslin explained that Durham Connect is an initiative of the town board following the adoption of the comprehensive plan in June of last year. “Its purpose is to help implement the plan’s recommendations,” she said. The initiative led to the the publication of the first issue of the twice-a-year town newsletter, the Durham Courier. It was mailed in November to 1,800 town property owners. The report will be presented to the full community at 10:30 a.m., Sat., Jun. 5 in Brandow Park. Residents are encouraged to provide their feedback on the report. Read the full story at porcupine soup [dot] com.