It’s official, a new congressman… from Kinderhook. Congressman John Faso (R – 19th) speaks after his ceremonial swearing in at Kozel’s in West Ghent, on Friday, January 6. Mr. Faso, who lives in Kinderhook, was elected to Congress in November. He was officially sworn in as a member of the 115th Congress earlier this month at the Capitol in Washington, D.C. His district covers all of Columbia County, and all or parts of Delaware, Greene, Otsego, Schoharie, Sullivan, Ulster, Broome, Dutchess, Montgomery, and Rensselaer counties. Pictured with Mr. Faso are his wife Mary Frances, his son Nicholas Faso and daughter-in-law Meaghan Murphy. Rep. Faso’s local office will occupy the same space in the Village of Kinderhook last used by his predecessor, former Congressman Chris Gibson. Photo by Scott Langley

ICC adopts tax break for Cold War vets

KINDERHOOK–The Ichabod Crane School Board passed a motion to extend a tax exemption for veterans of the Cold War whose primary residence is in the district. The district is one of several in the county that approved this exemption after already approving a tax exemption for combat veterans.

District Business Manager Michael Brennan told the board at the January 10 meeting that 38 district residents could take advantage of this exemption that would change assessments for the rest of the residents in the district by .04%. Mr. Brennan said in his report to the board that, this on average would cost non-vets approximately $1.50 to $3 per tax bill.

He stressed that it would have “minimal impact across the district.” Read more…

G’town board now meets 3rd Tuesday

GERMANTOWN—The Town Board has changed the date for its regular meetings in 2017. At the January 3 reorganization meeting, board members agreed to meet the third Tuesday of the month beginning January 17. Start time is the usual 7 p.m.

That was one of the few changes in a quiet meeting at which the board considered 29 resolutions in groups of five.

James Trapp is now code enforcement officer and building inspector. He previously worked in this position through Crawford & Associates, engineers, but he is no longer with Crawford, said Supervisor Joel Craig. Mr. Trapp now serves three towns including Germantown, where he earns $18,000 annually for the post. Read more…

Chatham taps tech savvy schools chief

CHATHAM–The Chatham Board of Education introduced Salvatore “Sal” DeAngelo to the community this week at a reception and a few minutes later voted unanimously to appoint him the next district superintendent of schools.

He will start July 1 and will replace current Superintendent Cheryl Nuciforo, who announced last April that she would retire at the end of this school year.

Dr. DeAngelo currently works for the Bethlehem Central School District as chief technology and information officer. He holds a doctorate in educational leadership from the Esteves School of Education at Sage Graduate School and a master’s degree in business education from Norwich University. Read more…

Murrell holds county gavel, promising ‘stable’ taxes

HUDSON–Columbia County Board of Supervisors Chairman Matt Murrell (R-Stockport) summarized his 2017 agenda at the board’s organizational meeting Tuesday, January 3, citing items that include sewer improvements for the Town of Greenport, fire towers, Columbia Green Community College finances, opiate addiction, broadband internet service and the Central Business Office—all while “keeping our tax rate stable and continuing to receive good ratings from New York State and Moody’s.”

Several incumbents from 2016 received confirmation to continue in the same positions for 2017. The Board re-elected Mr. Murrell chairman, Supervisor William Hughes (D-Hudson, 4th Ward) is minority leader and Supervisor Patrick Grattan (R-Kinderhook) is majority leader.

Mr. Murrell then reappointed as Deputy Chairmen Supervisor Ronald Knott (R-Stuyvesant) and Richard Keaveney (R-Canaan). Read more…

Rip Van Winkle Bridge project will start Jan. 9

Reprinted with permission from the Times Union

HUDSON – The sidewalk along the Rip Van Winkle Bridge spanning the Hudson River in Columbia and Greene counties will get a makeover starting January 9.

The state Bridge Authority will resume construction on the sidewalk, a $5.4 million project, that will end in November, part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s statewide infrastructure investment plan.

The work is also a part of the Hudson River SkyWalk project, a scenic pedestrian trail linking the Olana State Historic Site in the town of Greenport to the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in the village of Catskill, according to the Bridge Authority. Read more…