Write-in wins village seat in Philmont


GHENT— Village elections were held last Tuesday, September 15 after a six-month delay.

In the Village of Philmont, a write-in candidate, Debra Gitterman, won a trustee seat with 50 votes. Incumbent Trustee Brian Johnson was reelected with 55 votes. The other incumbent on the ballot, Barbara Sagal, received 37 votes and write-in candidate Mike Wheeler received 39 votes.

According to the village office, 122 ballots were cast and there were 6 absentee ballots. Read more…

K’hook eyes more photo ops in town park

KINDERHOOK—The town held an in-person meeting Monday at the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building before an audience of about 8 people. The board discussed purchasing cameras for the Volunteer Park and a state grant of $30,000 the board received for lighting.

Also at the meeting on September 14, the board set the dates for town budget workshops. The board will meet on October 14 and 21 at 6:30 p.m. to look at what Supervisor Patsy Leader called a “tough budget” for 2021. She pointed out that there are “no revenues coming into the town.” Town budgets need to be approved by the board and sent to the state by November. The town’s fiscal year starts in January.

Supervisor Leader also talked about vandalism at Volunteer Park and said she and Highway Superintendent John Ruchel were looking at purchasing security cameras. Mr. Ruchel said the town doesn’t have access to the feed from cameras that are currently at the park. Supervisor Leader said she talked to representatives from the Village of Valatie about the cameras they use on Main Street and in the Callan Park. Read more…

Copake’s poised to tax 60MW solar farm

COPAKE—If a state siting board ultimately approves a 500-acre solar facility in Craryville, the Town of Copake demands the right to tax it.

It seems that state Real Property Tax Law section 487 makes such facilities tax exempt unless the municipality with the jurisdiction to tax it, “opts out” of the law.

At its September 10 meeting via Zoom, the Town Board unanimously approved a resolution making the tax exemption available under real property tax law “not…applicable within the boundaries of the Town of Copake with respect to any solar or wind energy system, farm waste energy system, micro-hydroelectric energy system, fuel cell electric generating system, micro-combined heat and power generating equipment system, electric energy storage equipment and electric energy storage system, or fuel-flexible linear generator electric generating system, constructed subsequent to the date of the Resolution, or any other energy system eligible for the real property tax exemption pursuant to §487 of the Real Property Tax Law…This Resolution shall take effect immediately.” Read more…

Imagining the once and future fairs

This Labor Day Weekend was a little different at the Columbia County Fairgrounds in Chatham. In past years, like in 2018 (r) the fair takes place at the site with rides, livestock, the demolition derby and other events. In June, the Board of Directors of the Columbia County Agricultural Society, which runs the fair and maintains the fairgrounds, canceled what would have been the 180th consecutive county fair due to the Covid-19 pandemic and “limitations on social gathering and related mandates under the regulations which have been adopted by the state government,” according to a statement on the fair website. Last weekend on what would have been a peak attendance day at the originally scheduled fair, Danica Roth (l) from Valatie, rode her bike at the fairgrounds. She comes with her family to the fairgrounds often, where her mom says she can ride her bike and play a little bit more freely. Photos by David Lee

Chatham set to open door on short-term rental regs

CHATHAM—The Town Board held a public hearing online on proposed Local Law #2 that would create regulations governing short-term rental properties. At times, a little over 40 people joined the meeting on September 3 and about 15 people spoke. The board has also posted emails from residents about the proposed law on the town website at chathamnewyork.us

Many of the residents who spoke wanted the local law to include a residency requirement for owners of short-term rentals and set a higher permit fee for property owners who want to offer a short-term rental.

Town Supervisor Donal Collins read the proposed law before the public hearing started and said that the Town Board members were at the meeting to listen. Board members did not comment during the public hearing. The town also had a stenographer at the hearing. Read more…