This building needed a lift. The old Hillsdale Mercantile building on Anthony Street in the Hillsdale hamlet is being renovated and upgraded to become a restaurant and brewery. But major repairs are required, including a new foundation. The work started with raising the historic structure off its footings and placing on cribbing as seen here in a photo taken earlier this month. More about the project is on Page 9. Photo by B. Docktor

Copake updates zoning in a mere 7 years

COPAKE—The process took about seven years, but the Town of Copake now has a revised zoning code on the books.

Local Law #4 of 2018, “A Local Law to Revise the Zoning Code of The Town of Copake,” was enacted unanimously by the Town Board at its July 12 meeting.

Review and revision of the zoning code was undertaken beginning in 2011 after the town adopted its Comprehensive Plan. The idea was “to ensure that the Town Zoning Code promoted, and was in conformity with, the principles, objectives and visions set out in the Comprehensive Plan. This local law is the culmination and embodiment of that effort,” according to the law. Read more…

Chatham and Ghent firefighters explore merger

CHATHAM – At the regular meeting last Thursday, July 12, the Village Board heard from Chatham Fire Department 1st Asst. Chief John Howe that the department is in preliminary discussions with the Ghent Fire Company to look into consolidating and creating their own fire district.

A new fire district would have taxing authority and a board to oversee the combined fire companies. The Village of Chatham Fire Department is a municipal fire department, funded through lines in the annual village budget. The department must go the Village Board for authorization to purchase equipment and spend funds over a certain amount. The firefighters are volunteers, as are all the other firefighters in the county.

The towns of Chatham, Ghent and Kinderhook have contracts with the Village of Chatham for fire protection. Those towns sign a yearly contract and pay a certain amount to the village for the protection service. Read more…

Former top trooper: Close G’town PD

GERMANTOWN—Harry Corbitt, a retired superintendent of the NY State Police, submitted his Germantown Police Assessment report dated June 26, 2018 and it is posted on the town website .

Parts of the six-page report are redacted, so that personal and personnel information is not released to the public, but Mr. Corbitt’s conclusions are published in full: “The Germantown Police Department has not demonstrated engagement in performing a full array of law enforcement services during the past three years,” he writes, “[and] has not functioned in a similar manner as their counterparts for the last three years if not longer.”

The three-year mark is stressed presumably because an earlier assessment report was submitted by Peter Volkmann, the Village of Chatham police chief, dated March 23, 2015. The Town Board had hired Chief Volkmann as a consultant to review the Germantown PD, as Mr. Corbitt was hired earlier this year. Mr. Corbitt concurred with the findings of Chief Volkmann. Read more…

Hillsdale to mark oldest cemetery

HILLSDALE–The Town Board has allocated $125 to erect a marker at the Old Community Cemetery, also known as Old Orchard Cemetery, on Old Town Road. Funds for the marker, which measures two feet high and six inches wide, are raised from the Historic Homes Tour. Howard VanLenten, a Cemetery Committee member, brought copies of the marker design to the board’s monthly meeting Tuesday, July 10.

The cemetery is credited as Hillsdale’s oldest. The earliest known stone, for Mercy Chase, dates back to 1767. In addition to Chase, six Revolutionary War veterans and possibly Native Americans are buried there. Old Community is the first of 15 historical cemeteries that will get markers. Read more…

Cleanup in stream near Dewey Loeffel Superfund Site to begin

NASSAU – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that cleanup work will begin this summer to address soil and sediment contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at the Dewey Loeffel Landfill Superfund site in the town of Nassau. The General Electric Company (GE) will remove contaminated soil and sediment, replace it with clean backfill, restore the stream channel, and re-plant trees and shrubs. The work will begin this summer and will be completed this fall.

“Superfund is at the very core of EPA’s mission and this important cleanup work will address one potential source of contamination at the Dewey Loeffel site,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez in a press release. “EPA is working closely with the community and is expanding its efforts to involve stakeholders as we advance this cleanup forward working closely with our state and local government partners.” Read more…