G’town’s Bohnsack honored at town’s Open House

GERMANTOWN—The town’s business group, 12526.biz, had a successful second annual open house December 7, Supervisor Roy Brown reported at Monday’s Town Board meeting. About 55 people attended the reception held at Central House on Main Street.

Among those honored at the gathering were Bruce Bohnsack, CEO of GTel, and the third generation of the family-owned communications company based in town. Mr. Bohnsack was honored for the myriad services he and his company provide to the town; for example, he currently chairs the Germantown Economic Development Committee.

Also saluted was Ken Flood, development czar of Columbia County, for his continuing efforts on behalf of the county.

Lawlor’s Package Store on Main Street, owned by James and Wendy Lawlor, was chosen Business of the Year.

Mr. Lawlor, 46, has owned the store since 1997. “Package store,” he agreed, is generally a New England term. But when his grandfather opened the store in 1966, he said, “everything had to go into a bag,” and the words “liquor” or “wine” weren’t wanted on the storefront.

Mr. Lawlor grew up in Germantown, graduated from the College of Saint Rose and worked for the Bard College Security Department. After the death of his grandfather, the store had other owners (five in 10 years) until he took it over again. The store now sells 1,300 items, he said, and he continues to expand and freshen the stock.

“We have a great little community here,” said Mr. Lawlor. “Everyone works well together. We could use a restaurant,” he added, echoing a wish often heard in town, “but the businesses we have are doing well.”

In other business at the meeting the board:

Accepted the $1,500 low bid for construction and installation of two information kiosks. Designed by Norman Mintz, a part-time resident of the town, the kiosks will be built by Kurt Holsapple Restoration on Hover Avenue Extension. Scheduled installation is in the spring, one kiosk near the post office and one on Main Street between Otto’s Market and Fingar Insurance.

Two of the kiosks’ three sides will be covered, with notices and event announcements posted by Town Hall staff. The third, pegboard side, will be for impromptu notices from residents.

Learned that aerators were installed and working 24/7 in the lake on Palatine Avenue, with the goal of controlling duckweed and watermeal, for more pleasant swimming next summer.

Learned from Mr. Brown that after a correction to an error he made in an Excel spreadsheet, the town’s tax rate will actually go down 5 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation in 2013, not up 2 cents as previously stated. This is the third consecutive year, he noted, that the town has had either a flat budget or a decrease in taxes.

Approved the sale of a 1993 International six-wheel dump truck to the Village of Tivoli for $4,500.

Learned that the town police are working with the State Police on some two-dozen vehicle larcenies. In all instances, said Mr. Brown, the vehicles were unlocked and only loose items were stolen.

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