They’re floating a good idea. Sixteen kayakers led by Marissa Codey of Columbia Land Conservancy (CLC) and Nick Zachos of the Hudson Sloop Club enjoyed an afternoon on the Hudson River Sunday, September 17. The group went three miles roundtrip from the Hudson kayak launch to the upper North Bay. Pictured above is the lower North Bay with some of the last standing remnants of old fishing cabins built along riverbank. CLC has been working with the City of Hudson, Columbia County and other partners to explore creation of a recreation and natural area that would be open for public use such as walking and paddling. Sunday’s event was part of the 2017 Hudson River Valley Ramble. Photo by B. Docktor

County hears feedback on drug crisis response plan

VALATIE–“I didn’t know how bad it was,” Hudson Supervisor William Hughes Jr. (D-4th Ward) told the audience of more than 40 people gathered at the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building last week to hear the county government plan for responding to heroin and opioid abuse.

From what members of the audience said when they got a chance to speak, many already knew a lot about the toll of drug abuse and the lack of local treatment facilities.

Mr. Hughes, the minority leader of the Board of Supervisors, said he had met with people in and outside of government knowledgeable about the rising number of deaths and non-fatal overdoses in the county. Based on what he learned, he and the leadership of the board put together a committee whose members include the district attorney, the sheriff, the heads of the county Human Services, Social Services and the Department of Health as well as the executive directors of Twin Counties Recovery Services and of Catholic Charities. Read more…

C-GCC earns high marks and county funds

HUDSON–“We have a gem,” said Supervisor Art Bassin (D-Ancram), referring to Columbia-Greene Community College (C-GCC).

He made the comment at the monthly meeting of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors September 13, where C-GCC President James R. Campion presented the board with a list of envisioned capital projects from college Master Plan. The board committed up to $5 million for those projects and participants noted that C-GCC ranked 2nd in the state and 27th in the nation in Wallet Hub’s survey of 728 community colleges.

The listed items combined would cost an estimated $20 million, of which the state would pay half, and Columbia and Greene counties would each pay $5 million. “We want to put them in one capital project so we aren’t coming back to you every year,” said Mr. Campion. “A lot has changed, including energy and ADA requirements,” he added. ADA is the Americans with Disabilities Act. Read more…

State grants aid new farms

STUYVESANT—Three new farms in Columbia County have been awarded grants to help them do what they do best—produce food.

The farms, located in Stuyvesant, Greenport and Copake, will receive grants totaling more than $100,000.

The Empire State Development Corporation has appropriated more than $1 million for the New York State New Farmers Grant Fund Program to provide grants of between $15,000 and $50,000 for up to 50% of project costs for beginning farmers who produce an agricultural product in the state. The purchase of new or used machinery and equipment, supplies and/or construction or improvement of physical structures used exclusively for agricultural purposes can be covered under the program. Read more…

County okays campus concept

HUDSON–The Columbia County Board of Supervisors officially adopted a Countywide Shared Services Plan that calls for moving county and Hudson city offices to a consolidated campus.

At the board’s monthly meeting Wednesday, September 13 supervisors also agreed to retain a law firm to “investigate and if appropriate commence” a lawsuit against to-be-determined companies responsible for the over-use of addictive prescription opiates.

The Countywide Shared Services plan required by the state calls for considering the purchase of the John L. Edwards Primary School from the Hudson City School District. The district hopes to close the school in June 2018, and the county may buy it for use as a combined Columbia County-Hudson City government campus. The campus would house the offices currently at four separate Hudson locations: three county buildings in the City of Hudson and Hudson City Hall. Read more…

Valatie aims to be ‘Clean Energy Community’

VALATIE–At the Valatie Village Board meeting Tuesday, September 12, the board adopted an energy benchmarking policy for certain municipal buildings in the village as a first step toward achieving a “Clean Energy Community” designation.

The designation would qualify the village to apply for grants from the New York State Clean Energy Communities’ program to further implement clean energy solutions, reducing costs as well as greenhouse gas emissions.

The board also discussed lighting in the village, noting that all new bulbs are LEDs. Read more…