STUYVESANT–Among the items discussed at the Town Board meeting last month was the modernization of the Town Court system.
Town Justice Carrie O’Hare announced at the board’s March 13 session that the Town Court is switching how it stores its records. Since 1986 the court has used scanned digital imaging to preserve records going back as far as the 1950s. But the court is changing to a system referred to as virtual cloud hosting, in this instance a service offered by a company based in Albany called eBizDocs.
The new digital service costs $600 a year, but the court has received a grant for $1,400 from the state Justice Court Assistance Program. If the court had stuck with the previous scanned digital imaging system, that system would have cost taxpayers $750 a year.
Under the new system, the records are accessible to the court clerk and to the two Stuyvesant town justices, Ms. O’Hare and Joseph Bruno.
Also discussed at the meeting was the Kinderhook Memorial Library’s annual report, released to the public on March 10. Among the statistics that were announced was a 1.9% increase in funding, a 12% increase in cardholders, a 17% increase in the book collection, a 62% increase in the e-book collection, a 67% increase in e-borrowing, a 14% increase in library visits, and a 73.31% increase in young adult attendance this year.
The report also discussed the addition of six new computers, wifi capability, and e-readers that patrons may borrow. The annual report, written by Gary L. Spielmann, president of the library Board of Trustees, discussed “investing in new technologies, while staying true to our mission of fostering a love of reading.” The Kinderhook Memorial Library’s charter from the state calls for the providing library services to residents of the Town of Stuyvesant.
On another topic, the board heard from Patrick Manning, an independent associate at Viridian energy, a company that provides “clean and renewable” power to municipalities. Mr. Manning, a former state assemblyman who represented parts of Columbia County, has met with many town and village boards around the county trying to convince local governments to purchase their municipal electrical power from Viridian, because it uses renewable energy sources and offers lower prices.
Before the 1990s state government heavily regulated the energy industry, and in any given region a single local utility was the only company responsible for all parts of system that supplied electricity to consumers. Now, under deregulation, the local utility remains responsible for maintaining the electrical wires that deliver power, but other suppliers of electricity can compete with the local utility for what customers pay for the cost of generating the power they use. Viridian, the company Mr. Manning represents, is one of those electricity suppliers.
The next Stuyvesant Town Board meeting is April 10 at 7 p.m. at Stuyvesant Town Hall, 5 Sunset Drive, Stuyvesant.