News from the county Board of Supervisors

HUDSON—Honor for Chatham High School Varsity Boys Baseball team, increased fees for disposing certain waste, tourism efforts, schools, discrimination, and housing policies were among the items addressed at the September 14 Columbia County Board of Supervisors meeting. But those topics were overshadowed by debates about farm workers and the new state gun law.

The board approved 50 resolutions. Three were those giving the Columbia Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) leadership of county housing policies (see article September 22), committing to discussing alternatives to the state Farm Labor Board’s proposal to increase the farm labor overtime threshold from 60 to 40 hours (now adopted by the state commissioner), and criticizing opposing the latest gun control law (see editorial September 22).

But before voting on the resolutions, the Supervisors gave the Chatham High School Boys Varsity Baseball team a plaque and certificates of recognition for earning the Class C Championship Title for the 2021-22 baseball season. It was the first Columbia County school to do so. Board Chairman Matt Murell (R-Stockport) read a proclamation declaring this win a victory for all Columbia County.

On another topic, the board authorized the Solid Waste Department to raise fees, citing increases in the price of fuel and contractual obligations. This includes doubling the charge for disposing brush and yard waste to $50-a-ton from $25-a-ton, effective October 1. Other fee increases effective October 1 are for the disposal of mattresses and box springs to $15 a piece from $10 a piece; and for roll-off container service by $50 or $100, depending on the container size.

Effective January 1, 2023, tipping for construction and demolition debris rise to $150 a ton from $140 a ton.

Two resolutions designated the County Tourism Department as the Tourism Promotion Agency for 2022 “I Love NY” Matching Funds and authorized the tourism department “to establish a list of professional marketing experts to assist in 2023 tourism promotion efforts.” The experts, for now, include Blandori Design, Trevellyan.biz, Blass Marketing, BBG&G Advertising, Famous Destination Marketing, Pro Printers, Flint Mine Press, Down in the Valley Designs, and Suscha/Media.

Regarding schools, the board authorized its chairman to enter into agreements with the county’s six public school districts regarding the video cameras, which deputy sheriffs are now wearing on duty. Some deputies serve as School Resource Officers. According to the resolution authorizing the agreement, when districts raised concerns related to them wearing the cameras in the schools, “an agreement was established between the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and the school districts “to address their concerns,” and procedures were established for deputies wearing the cameras in schools.

In addition, the county board authorized the health department to purchase 30 air purifiers and 200 PCR testing kits to distribute to schools, using money from the ELC Reopening School Grant of the American Rescue Plan Act. (ELC stands for Epidemiology & Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases.) The following week, county Public Health Director Jack Mabb said that the testing machines presently in schools could , with the proper material, also test for strep and flu.

The board authorized updating the county’s Policy and Complaint Procedure Regarding Discrimination and Harassment as per the State’s Human Rights Law of March 16, 2022. The policy prohibits harassment and discrimination based on statuses that are protected by law, such as race, religion, disability, and genetic characteristics. It includes a model form for county employees to use when submitting complaints of such activities.

The supervisors also authorized:

•Hiring for jobs in the Human Services, Social Services, Real Property, and Highway departments, 9-1-1, and in the Public Defender’s and Sheriff’s Offices

•Purchasing laptops for the Human Serviced departments, up to $20,000 (in addition to items for the Health Department to give to schools)

•Granting acceptances for the Sheriff’s Office: A Child Passenger Grant, for purchasing child safety seats and conducting car safety checks ($3,000); and from the state Sheriffs’ Association for Covid detection and mitigation in confinement facilities ($62,900)

•The auctioning off of one Department of Health vehicle.

•Several agreements and finding set ups for Public Works construction projects.

Also at the meeting:

•Chairman Murell appointed Richard Novak to Water & Sewer District #1

•Mr. Murell created and appointed members of a Computer Subcommittee

•A public hearing was held on getting the Community Development Block Grant for the Hudson Valley Creamery Goat Dairy Conversion Project. The only speaker was Michael Tucker, President and CEO of the CEDC, who said the board needed to take no action, but regulations require the hearing. The hearing lasted two minutes.

The next meeting of the Columbia County full Board of Supervisors will take place Wednesday, October 12, at 7 p.m., at 401 State Street in Hudson.

Comments are closed.