May 7, 2020

Dear Neighbors and Friends:

The Town of Thompson is monitoring the summer camp situation closely. Presently Empire State Development “ESD” does not list summer camps as an “Essential Service” and therefore they cannot operate under Gov. Cuomo’s State of Emergency. It should be noted that while operation of summer camps is currently prohibited by the State, construction at summer camps is allowed as an essential service. Summer camps are regulated and permitted by the NYS Department of Health, not the local municipalities. Under NYS law the NYS DOH is the “Authority Having Jurisdiction” (AHJ) and we, local officials, cannot overrule their decisions, regulations or rulings. It is my understanding that there have been social media posts directing concerned citizens to call their Town Supervisors. They might be better served by expressing their concerns additionally to our State representatives and the NYS Health Department since they make the final decision. Should the NYS DOH ultimately decide to allow summer camps to operate, they should do so only with a clear and enforceable plan to protect the campers and staff, our year round and seasonal residents, and protect our limited resources at Catskill Regional Medical Center. The DOH should move with the utmost of caution and make decisions based on medical science, not emotions or political pressure.

William J. Rieber, Jr.
Town of Thompson Supervisor
845-794-2500 Ext. 306