Hudson shared summer streets

Warren Street in Hudson was busy Sunday afternoon, June 28, as the city tried out a new shared street approach designed to get the city back in business while maintaining physical distancing. Barriers were set up at each intersection from 7th to Front Street which were passable with cars, bikes, strollers and dogs on leashes but with a 5 mph speed limit enforced by bicycle mounted police. Governor Cuomo confirmed this week that the Capital Region, which Columbia County is part of, would be entering Phase 4 of the statewide re-opening. For more information on Phase 4 go to columbiachamber-ny.com. Photo by David Lee

Chatham readies ‘stop-gap’ short-term rental regs

CHATHAM—The Town Board voted three-to-two to move forward with a public hearing on a proposed law governing short-term rentals (STRs). The board vote came during a June 18 online meeting using the Google Meets platform. The proposed law is on the town’s website, www.chathamnewyork.us

The board’s vote also sends the proposed law to the county Planning Board for review and sets the public hearing for August 6.

Supervisor Donal Collins and board members Vance Pitkin and Abi Mesick voted Yes on the motion. Board members Kevin Weldon and John Wapner voted No. Read more…

Illegal fireworks + dry conditions = bad mix; 2 workers test positive

HUDSON—“As we approach the Fourth of July holiday weekend, I would like to remind everyone that the use of illegal fireworks can not only bring on an arrest, but with the drought conditions we are experiencing, may cause a fire,” Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murell said in the county-issued Covid-19 update press release July 1.

In Columbia County, it is illegal to buy or use any type of fireworks.

“A fire has the potential to cause damage to property and people. This reckless disregard of the law forces local fire departments to unnecessarily expend their resources. The little bit of recent rain that has fallen has done virtually nothing to alleviate the dry conditions,” Chairman Murell said in the release. Read more…

Galvan shifts site for 77-unit housing plan

Above is a rendering of the 77-unit housing proposal from the Galvan Foundation for the west side of North Front Street in Hudson. Image contributed

HUDSON—The Galvan Foundation seeks “to give people what they’ve been asking for: affordable housing anywhere in any part of the City of Hudson,” said Dan Kent, vice president of initiatives for that organization, in a phone interview June 15.

Construction projects underway in Hudson include continuing work on 356 Union Street, Hudson for affordable apartments. This is part of the foundation’s Housing Initiative announced March 2018. Of the 10 Galvan buildings in the initiative, the other nine already have tenants, Mr. Kent said.

(Late last week Galvan announced another project—the construction of a new location for The Starting Place, Coarc’s daycare center for children with special needs. The center will occupy part of the Galvan Armory at North 5th and State Streets, which is also the site of the Hudson Area Library. The Starting Place will include a playground. The program currently uses a former Coarc building. See sidebar below.) Read more…

Few kids camps open for summer

GHENT—While New York is on Pause so are many of the things that make summertime memorable, especially for kids.

Like ball games, swimming at the local pool or lake, playing tag with a group of friends and summer camp.

Currently, no municipally-run summer recreation program in the county will open this summer, Columbia County Director for Public Health Ed Coons told The Columbia Paper this week. Read more…

Housing Authority drafts pandemic plan

HUDSON-Apartment openings, emergency grant use, Hudson’s Affordable Housing Strategic Initiative and elevators are all topics that received attention at the Hudson Housing Authority (HHA) meeting June 10. The HHA runs the 135-unit, income-restricted Bliss complex in Hudson and a Section 8 program for housing elsewhere in that city. This report is based on an audio recording of the meeting.

Twenty-five Bliss apartments are currently empty, but all should be ready to rent by September, reported HHA Executive Director Tim Mattice. Three of them have always been vacant and used for purposes such as storage, but HHA has “decided to rent them out.” The others went “off line” because of damage their last occupants caused, Mr. Mattice said. Of the 25 units, HHA has already rehabilitated seven for $140,000. It will get an additional $117,000 for apartment rehabilitation as one reward for converting to RAD (Rental Assistance Demonstration) status earlier this year.

Addressing another matter, Mr. Mattice announced, “We have not have one case of Covid-19 in our building. This is great.” He attributed the good news to the hard work of staff, saying, “I’m drafting a long term Covid emergency plan. Maintenance and administrative staff will continue to wear face masks,” he said, and employees will be taking the temperature of people who come into the building seeking to lease a unit. Read more…