County eyes new housing plan for released prisoners

HUDSON–At the Finance Committee of the county Board of Supervisors this week Deputy Chairman Richard Keaveney (R-Canaan) presented several proposed resolutions including plans to authorize a task force to find housing for newly released prisoners, expanding the opportunity to vote two weeks prior to the general election and creating five additional polling sites.

Supervisor Bill Hughes (D-Hudson, 4th Ward), the minority leader of the full board, explained the benefits of the proposed $25,000 professional services contract with the Re-entry Columbia County Task Force. Currently, when prisoners are released, the county is obligated to provide housing, and often it comes in the form of expensive hotels.

By better coordination and anticipating needs, lower-cost housing can be found, saving county taxpayers substantial money. He added that County Judge Jonathan Nichols is in favor of the initiative, as it can help prevent potential recidivism. The board clerk will prepare a fact sheet and propose a resolution for the full Board of Supervisors meeting scheduled for March 13.

Also at the March 5 meeting the Finance Committee:

Endorsed a resolution to appoint Dan Kibler Columbia County Probation Director II at a salary of $65,000 annually

Approved merging the Columbia County Youth Bureau with the Department of Social Services.

Tabled a resolution to extend for another five years the term of Paul Mossman, director of social services at the request of Board of Supervisors Chairman Pat Gratton (R-Kinderhook, who sought an opportunity for additional review

Approved an expenditure of $60,000 to purchase a Google app to host the email service

Authorized filling a temporary assistant deputy clerk position while Rebecca Vinchiarello is on maternity leave. “The cost of the 3-1/2-month temporary salary will come out of my budget,” said Ron Caponera, county controller. It was further noted that this temporary position is distinct and separate from the $20,000 currently budgeted for the full-time deputy clerk slated to begin next month; the deputy will report to Board Clerk Gail DiCosmo.

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