Interns set to make their mark on Germantown government

GERMANTOWN–Eight student interns from the Germantown Central School District were introduced at Monday’s Town Board meeting and assigned to the board members they will assist this semester.

The students, all seniors, and their assigned board members are: Harrison “Harry” Forman and Amandus Fuchs, who are interning with Councilman Donald Westmore; Jahn Jaeger with Supervisor Roy Brown; Gary Stoerzinger with Councilman Joel Craig; Josephine Savarese and Meghan Guerriero with Councilwoman Joan Snyder; and David Marzahl and Kevin Saltis with Councilman Michael Mortenson.

The students do the internships through a program called State and Local Government, a fall semester Columbia-Greene Community College political science course offered at Germantown High School and taught by Robert Beaury.

Mr. Beaury teaches social studies courses to juniors and seniors at GHS, is an adjunct professor in sociology and history at C-GCC, and a town justice. This is his 11th year teaching at GHS and the fifth year that his students have interned with the Town Board.

Mr. Westmore had immediate plans for his interns. At the meeting the board accepted the offer of Ellen Jouret-Epstein of the Columbia Land Conservancy to do a habitat summary for Germantown. There are “significant species” of plants, animals, forests and wetlands in the town, she told the board, and the survey would be a tool for the Planning Board in particular. Mr. Westmore’s interns will assist and track the habitat survey.

In other business, the board:

*Approved the dates for budget workshops outlined by Supervisor Brown. The public is encouraged to attend all workshops, though comment is allowed only at the public hearing. Thursday, October 4, the board reviews department head requests. October 16 the supervisor presents the draft budget. Workshops on October 23 and (if needed) on October 30 fine-tune that budget.

The public hearing on the 2013 budget is Tuesday, November 13. All meetings are at 6 p.m. at town hall, Palatine Park Road, unless there is a space conflict, in which case the budget meeting moves to the Kellner Activities Building, Palatine Park Road.

Councilman Westmore said he would put the budget on the town website, www.germantownny.org

*Reminded all present that the Hudson Valley Apple Festival takes place Saturday, September 22 at Palatine Park, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., hosted by the Germantown Lions Club and Germantown Parks Commission. On tap is apple-themed family fun with 30 food and craft vendors, a local wine- and beer-tasting tent, baking contests, hayrides, classic cars, an apple-crate derby race and a fireworks finale at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5 for the day; children under 12 enter for free with a paying adult. “This is a great start to what we hope will become an annual event,” said Mr. Brown

*Set a workshop meeting for Wednesday, September 26 at 6 p.m. On the agenda are a presentation regarding duckweed removal in lakes and revisions to the town’s policy manual

*Heard from Corinne Curry, reporting for the Economic Development Committee, that Martin Lueck, proprietor of Central House, had introduced the committee to Steven Rockefeller and filmmaker Dennis O’Brien. The two made a film for the 97th birthday of David Rockefeller and now seek to pitch it to public TV. Much of the film takes place in Germantown; the Rockefellers arrived in the town in the 18th century, along with the Palatines. The Rockefellers are willing to fund up to $30,000 to complete editing of the film for professional marketing, and the filmmakers seek a matching grant

*Learned from Councilwoman Snyder that Highway Superintendant Richard Jennings has started this year’s list of residents who need wood, in chips and logs, and dirt. The highway crew will drop these off, without charge, as they become available. Residents should call 518 537-6686 to get on the list.

*Approved paying Titan Roofing of Chicopee, MA, $25,575, the “lowest responsible bid,” to replace the roof on the town garage. Eight bids came in; the highest was $107,500. “We look to get this done before the snow flies,” said Mr. Brown

*Set a Public Hearing for 6:45 p.m. Monday, October 15, on an amendment to town law that would permit the town to charge owners for the town’s boarding of stray dogs. The current law cites a $25 impoundment fee; the amendment would allow the town to collect all other costs. It would apply only to dogs

*Learned from Supervisor Brown that the emergency work needed at Cheviot Memorial Park after Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee had been completed and the FEMA funding received

*Agreed to spend up to $35,000 to have the emergency work done that is needed at Lasher Memorial Park after the two storms last year, despite the fact that the FEMA reimbursement is nowhere in sight. The necessary state permits to do the work are in hand and expire October 1. The contractor is ready to go. The town will have the work done and look to FEMA reimbursement in the next 12 to 18 months

*Learned from Mr. Brown that in a change from previous years, Supervisor Patrick Grattan (R-Kinderhook), chairman of the county Board of Supervisors, and county comptroller Ron Caponera will draft the county’s budget this year, rather than a budget committee.

The meeting, which included a half-hour executive session for personnel, was attended by the full board and about two-dozen residents. The next meeting is Monday, October 15, at 7 p.m. preceded by the public hearing, 6:45 p.m.

 

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