NEW LEBANON–The Town Board meeting March 12 was preceded by a special meeting and presentation on the Columbia County Environmental Management Council Resolutions on Carbon Fee and Dividend, a policy to address climate change. There was a packed house and attendees were encouraged to participate in discussions throughout the evening.
Like other Columbia County towns, Supervisor Colleen Teal noted that New Lebanon had received an increase in revenue from the county sales tax, a reflection of the improved economy that resulted in $97,000 more than budgeted.
Among actions taken by the board:
• Declined any town action on the carbon fee and dividend policy
• Approved a streetlight LED conversion following a presentation by Jill Falchi, a sustainability planner with the Capital District Regional Planning Commission
• Passed a resolution requesting that milling and repaving of State Route 22 from Peaceful Valley Road in Canaan to US Route 20 in New Lebanon be made a priority of the New York State Department of Transportation. The request echoes those of the Canaan Town Board and the Columbia County Board of Supervisors, which led to television coverage from Channel 13 in Albany
• Approved plans for construction of new restrooms in the park to cost no more than $50,000, with existing restrooms to be converted into storage space
• Passed a resolution calling on Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature to continue the Aid and Incentives to Municipalities program in the 2019-20 state budget in order to avoid the loss of $60,000,000 by 1,300 villages, towns and cities.
The board also discussed and proposed revised terms of office for Town Board members from two years to four years, as well as alternating years for Town Supervisor and Town Clerk. The apparent intent is to provide continuity and avoid wholesale turnover of the board in any one election.
If approved by voters, the changes would affect board elections in 2020 and the supervisor election in 2022.