VALATIE–Kinderhook Town Supervisor Pat Grattan this week urged residents of the county to fill out the Broadband Accessibility Survey on the county’s website, www.columbiacountyny.com.
At the regular Kinderhook Town board meeting Monday night Mr. Grattan said, “My ignorance was appalling” with regard to understanding the issues raised by the lack of access to the Internet in parts of the county. He said lack of access options in the southern and western parts of the county affects businesses and residents, pointing out that students can’t complete homework assignments because they can’t get online.
Mr. Grattan, who is also chairman of the county Board of Supervisors, said it was important to have survey information now, since there is federal and state money available to upgrade broadband services and access. “We have an opportunity here to have four funding sources,” he said, two of which are federal and two through state grants.
Board member Deb Simonsmeier pointed out that the survey form is online and that people with poor Internet access would have a problem filling it out. She suggested mailing a survey to people in the county.
At the May 12 meeting, the board also heard from County Clerk Holly Tanner about the KISS program, Keeping Identities of Seniors Safe. The program has been going from town to town helping seniors, defined as 60 and older, dispose of paperwork that has personal information on it.
Ms. Tanner said that the county is working with a waste management company, which comes to towns with locked containers where seniors put the paperwork they want to destroy. After signing a waiver that they are handing over the paperwork to the town, the company shreds the material and recycles it.
“It’s all confidential and secure,” said Ms. Tanner. She also said that the service is being offered at no cost to the town. The program comes to the town with the containers for a week so seniors have to time to collect and bring in their old documents and other papers that have personal information that could be misused.
“We try to make it as easy as possible for the seniors and the town,” she told the board. Ms. Tanner said she would contact the town clerk about dates in June for Kinderhook to hold the KISS program in the town.
Also at the meeting the board:
•Approved hiring Tracey Freeman as recreation director with an annual salary of $15,000
•Announced a Neighborhood Watch meeting will be held Wednesday, May 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the Martin H. Glynn Building
•Announced that the Memorial Day Parade will be held in Niverville May 26.
The next town board meeting will be Monday, June 9 at 7 p.m.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .