Kinderhook moves toward more digital services

KINDERHOOK — The Town Board is slowly, but surely moving access to town government information into the digital age, albeit somewhat behind some other municipalities in the county. The Town Board voted unanimously on Monday to spend nearly $1,200 to make the Town Code available to residents through the town website via service provider General Code.

Columbia County towns of Chatham, Ghent, Austerlitz and Copake, and the City of Hudson already provide Internet access to their town codes through General Code’s “ecode-360” platform.

In addition to online access to town laws and regulations, the town is working on improving the usability of and depth of information on its website, a project spearheaded by Councilman Peter Bujanow. Mr. Bujanow, who did not win reelection to a seat on the board in the November election, said he will give a full presentation of his progress at the board’s year-end meeting, next Tuesday, December 27.

At the Monday, December 19 meeting the board also heard a presentation from Fran Martino of the Greater Stockport Creek Watershed Alliance, an organization crafted to “explore, understand and protect our watershed ecosystem through community involvement and stewardship,” according to its brochure.

Ms. Martino said she’s addressing town boards and other community organizations in Columbia and Rensselaer counties in New York and Berkshire County, Massachusetts, to “raise awareness about the watershed project in this area.”

She said the Stockport Creek Watershed is the second largest tributary into the Hudson River, running through 26 municipalities, starting in the Berkshires, and ending where the Stockport Creek joins the Hudson River.

Ms. Martino said her organization was able to test water at 35 locations along the watershed last summer, and that 21 of them were rated “unacceptable” due to excess pathogens, which included fecal matter from animals and humans.

The alliance is looking for volunteers to help monitor water quality and to participate in stream cleanup and tree planting, among other things. For more information visit the website www.stockportwatershed.com.

In other business the board:

*Unanimously voted down a request from the residents of Wildflower Road to have the town take over the private road

*Unanimously voted down a request from resident Renee DiNardi to reduce a $305 bill from the town regarding the care of her dog. The lost boxer, which was not properly licensed, was picked up by animal control and the town paid for its care for 20 hours until it was claimed by Ms. DiNardi

*Voted unanimously to hire former deputy clerk of the villages of Kinderhook and Valatie, Dierdre Curtis, to assist Tax Collector Lillian Roginski at a rate of $10.95/hour. This item is already provided for in the town budget for $4,400

*Voted unanimously to sell two used town trucks from model years 1999 and 2001

*Announced the town is soliciting resumes for openings on the town Planning Board, the Board of Assessment Review and the Recreation Commission.

*Announced the year-end board meeting on Tuesday, December 27 at 7 p.m. will be held at the South Building on State Farm Road, because court will be in session at Town Hall that night.

At the close of the meeting, Town Supervisor presented departing councilmen Peter Bujanow and Michael Kipp with plaques for their long-time service on the Town Board.

“I thank you for your service, and I couldn’t have done it without you,” said Mr. Grattan. He said both councilmen had been integral in getting the town’s financial situation back in order over the last two years.

“I’d like to thank the community for the opportunity to serve you,” said Mr. Bujanow.

“Ditto on that,” said Mr. Kipp. “And I’d like to thank all the board members I’ve worked with over the years.”

Mr. Grattan said he had asked both councilman to “stick around” and work on several special projects for the town. “I don’t let talent escape” said Mr. Grattan.

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