Red Hook is one of the fastest-growing towns in Dutchess County, while Tivoli’s population has actually decreased.
And although everyone presumes that Tivoli, with its contingent of Bard College students, would have the most youthful community profile in the area, it turns out the town of Red Hook can pretty well match that.
Those are some of the surprising statistics that emerged from a detailed list outlined at the second public meeting on the Shared Services Study grant from the county, which was held Sept. 29 at Red Hook Village Hall.
Local statistics, in fact, dominated a study by Tim Weideman and Peter Fairweather of Rondout Consulting that was designed to outline existing conditions between the highway services of the town and both villages.
Among the fascinating facts they delivered:
• While Red Hook town as a whole had significant growth of 8 percent between 2000 and 2010, the village population grew even faster, at a rate of 9 percent. But Tivoli’s population dropped, by 4 percent.
• Tivoli is on average a younger community, with 43 percent of the population 24 years old or under, according to U.S. census figures used in the study. The town, however, runs a close second, with 40 percent of its residents 24 and under. In Red Hook village, the age range is distributed fairly evenly: 31 percent are 24 or under, 29 percent are between 25 and 49 years old, and 28 percent are in the 50 to 74 range.
• Among the three municipalities, the town of Red Hook has the highest average income, at $67,424. The Village of Red Hook is less affluent, with an average income of $51,324. Tivoli’s average income is even lower, at an average of $49,167.
• As for density of population, the town has 500 people per square mile in its 40.1 square mile area; predictably, Red Hook village is denser, at 1.1 square miles and 1,750 people per square mile, and Tivoli has a 1.8 square mile area with 600 people per square mile.
• Transit modes used: in the town, 71 percent of the residents drive to work, with the rest using a mix of public transportation, walking or biking. In the village, 72 percent use cars; in Tivoli, the number of car users drops to 60 percent, with 40 percent using other modes of transportation.
• Additional facts, using state Department of Transportation statistics, showed that under state guidelines that label roads rural or urban depending on population density, town of Red Hook roads are considered 74.9 percent urban and 25.1 percent rural; village of Red Hook roads are classified as 100 percent urban, and Tivoli’s roads are considered 100 percent rural.
• Responsibility for road maintenance breaks down as follows: 74 percent of the roads in the village of Red Hook are local and maintained by the village, 4 percent are county roads and 21 percent belong to the state. In the town, 63 percent are local, with 17.6 percent as county miles and 18 percent state miles, while in Tivoli 78 percent are local and 22 percent are county roads. Tivoli has no state roads.
• And highway spending breaks down this way, according to the study: On a12-year average—and factoring in direct and indirect costs such as insurance–the town spends $1.46 million on its highway department, Red Hook village spends $324,000, and Tivoli spends $104,000. [Weideman noted that all of the numbers were below the average of comparable Northern Dutchess municipalities.]
Once the statistical picture was presented, Weideman asked the officials from all three municipalities to write down what issues need improvement.
Town officials identified a need for a brush pickup plan for all town roads, solar panels for the highway garage roof, and more interdepartmental work sharing.
Red Hook village would like a tech savvy employee to help the highway foreman, and improvement on sidewalk snow removal.
Tivoli also sought an improvement in brush pickup and better interdepartmental communication..
A draft feasibility study on the project is expected to be presented in November.