Slowly but surely Stuyvesant restores its historic station

Volunteer Richard Moran pointed out some of the features of the Stuyvesant Depot’s exterior, including a demonstration patch of finished and painted masonry as it would have looked in 1881. Photo by David Lee

STUYVESANT–After a couple of years of pandemic shutdown, dozens of hungry people turned out for a Father’s Day waffle breakfast fundraiser at the Stuyvesant Depot on Sunday morning, June 19.

Strawberries were provided by Samascott’s at wholesale cost, the cream for whipping was donated by Brian Chittenden of Dutch Hollow Farm and the eggs from the Burch family chickens.

The unique little building, which looks out across the tracks to the Hudson River, is one of the last of the old train stations still standing on the east side of the river. It has been a community project since it was purchased by the Town of Stuyvesant in 1996, providing a link to the town’s history.
The original train station was a wooden structure built by the Hudson River Railroad between 1848 and 1852, but it fell victim to a fire that destroyed more that 30 buildings in the town on May 13, 1880. Icehouses, mills, factories, hotels, homes and shops and the train station all burned. The current brick structure was immediately built and reopened in 1881. Read more…

In Valatie, state offers overdue water/sewer aid

VALATIE—At the regular Village Board meeting Tuesday, June 14, Mayor Frank Bevens discussed a state program the village is involved in to help residents pay their water and sewer bills. The mayor said he has posted information on the village website (www.valatievillage.com) about the state’s Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP).

LIHWAP can assist households who have past due bills for water and sewer services. “LIHWAP is a benefit based on the actual amount of water and/or sewer arrears, up to a maximum of $2,500 per water or sewer provider, or $5,000 if water and sewer services are combined, per applicant household,” according to the state. Information is at otda.ny.gov/programs/water-assistance/

Mayor Bevens pointed out to the board that the state directly pays the village for the past due bills. The village has dealt with past-due water and sewer bills for years.

To be eligible, benefits are based on: income, household size, and amount owed to water and/or sewer provider. Read more…

What’s a BOCES and how’s it work?

CASTLETON-ON-HUDSON—Columbia County’s six public school districts purchase a variety of educational services from Questar III BOCES, the BOCES for Columbia and parts of Rensselaer and Greene counties. This spring Questar submitted plans for the 2022-23 school year, including what each of the districts in Questar III will pay in administrative fees, what Questar’s tentative budget would be, and who will sit on its governing board. The boards of education of what are called the “component districts” have now adopted those parts of the Questar III plan that needed their approval.

New York State established BOCES (Boards of Cooperative Educational Services) to provide programs and services that districts are unable to offer on their own or that are more economical to share with other districts, according to Questar’s Tentative Budget overview of March 2022.

Questar III has 21 component districts. It provides some services at its own facilities and some services in its component districts’ buildings. Students it serves include both those in special education and those in general education. Read more…

Ancram seeks a few more polite people

ANCRAM—The town’s new Committee for Respectful Behavior is not yet formed, but if it were, it would already have its first complaint to deal with.

At the June 16 Town Board meeting, it was announced that the board would later go into executive session (closed to the public) to discuss a new harassment complaint.

Supervisor Art Bassin said four candidates have thus far applied to serve on the Committee for Respectful Behavior (CRB). But the board wants a five- to seven-member committee, so Mr. Bassin suggested that the application period be extended until the board’s July 21 meeting in hopes of hearing from more candidates.

The board voted to form a CRB in May. Read more…

How can gun violence be ended?

There was a rally in the Village of Chatham on Saturday morning, June 11 to end gun violence. The assembly gathered at the gazebo and listened to speakers, including Columbia County Democratic Committee (CCDC) Chair Sam Hodge, CCDE Second Vice Chair Brenda Gevertz, Bob Elmendorf of the Upper Hudson Peace Action and Jamie Cheney, who is the Democratic candidate for 19th Congressional District. Her son, Whitlow Cheney, above, who is 10, also spoke from the gazebo. The event concluded with Rev. Kim Singletary of The Overcomers Ministries of Hudson providing a rendition of “Amazing Grace.” Photo by David Lee