Value of old Ockawamick School drops by half

HUDSON–Among the ceremonial functions performed last week by the county Board of Supervisors, which included Chairman Patrick Grattan (R-Kinderhook) reading a proclamation declaring December 5, 2013 Martin Van Buren Day, a commemoration of the 8th president’s 231st birthday, there was also a motion that may have longer term implications for the county.

At their Wednesday, November 13 monthly meeting the supervisors authorized acceptance of an appraisal of the old Ockawamick School on state Route 217 in Claverack that sets the current value for the building and surrounding land at $700,000.

The county paid $1.5 million for the property 5 years ago. At the time the county bought the 77,600-square-foot former public school and its 24-acre grounds in 2008, the proposal was to use it as the new headquarters for the county Department of Social Services and some other county agencies.

But public resistance to moving social services out of the City of Hudson and the costs of rehabbing the old school, which opened in 1952, thwarted the county’s plans. Other ideas for use of the building that have come up since the county bought the site have gathered little support and the school is presently used primarily for storage.

In other business, Hudson 4th Ward Supervisor William Hughes (D) presented a plaque to Francis Hughes, chairman of the Trustees of Shiloh Baptist Church in recognition of the outstanding service of the church to the City of Hudson for the past 98 years. Supervisor Hughes noted that Ms. Hughes is his mother and that his family has had a connection with Shiloh for all 98 years. Hudson supervisors Sarah Sterling (D-1st Ward), Ward Edward Cross (D-2nd Ward) and Ellen Thurston (D-3rd Ward) also attended the presentation.

• Filled a vacant position of psychiatric social worker, at a salary of $53,331, for the Department of Human Services

• Authorized the transfer of The Martin Van Buren Nature Area to The Friends of Lindenwald

• Authorized the director of E-911 to contract with Eastern Communications Inc. to complete the communications shelter site preparation at a cost of $35,665

• Authorized the director of E-911 to secure a contract with Intrado to upgrade the 911 phone system for a total of $369,302, to be paid in five annual installments of $82,450 • Authorized the director of 911 to secure a contract with Tiburon to upgrade the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) System.

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