Village presses ahead with zoning updates

CHATHAM–The Village Board held a public hearing on proposed updates to the village zoning code on Tuesday, September 3. The proposed changes, which include a new zoning map, new and/or updated definitions and a new use table, were suggested to the board by a village committee formed after the board approved an updated Comprehensive Plan in 2015. The changes the committee first proposed to the Village Board about two years ago were based on changes made to Comprehensive Plan.

Committee Chair Lael Locke explained that the Comprehensive Plan is a road map for the future development in the village. “Zoning is what puts the teeth” in the plan, she said.

Mayor John Howe said of the updates, “This process should have ended a year ago and been voted on.” The committee had presented their changes to the board and held a public hearing on the changes in 2017. Mayor Howe said the board at the time had other issues to deal with and, when he was elected last spring, he promised to have the new code resolved before Labor Day. Read more…

Peepers explores new work and old

Eugenia Zukerman

ANCRAM—Eugenia Zukerman, an internationally known flutist, an impresario and artistic director of Classics on Hudson, is also an author of two novels, a nonfiction book and, this fall, “Like Falling through a Cloud,” a lyrical memoir due out in November from East End Press.

What spurred Ms. Zukerman to write this last book was her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease two-and-a-half years ago. “I didn’t plan to write it,” she said last Saturday. “I had just got through a series of tests that my [two] daughters were keen on,” after she had become forgetful, misplacing papers and losing words.

“I didn’t feel afraid, I didn’t cry, I found some humor” in the situation, she said. “I sat at my desk for half an hour, then picked up my pencil and started writing. I didn’t know what it was, but I was encouraged by friends and my daughters.” Read more…

High rents slam door on decent low-income housing

HUDSON–Rent and property tax increases, income too low to meet these costs but too high for assistance, frequent moving, and apartments kept mostly empty repeatedly came up at the Youth Housing Forum with Congressman Antonio Delgado (D-19th) September 7 at the Hudson Area Library.

Mr. Delgado sat between two 15-year-olds: Mia Justiniano and Dezjuan Smith. People of all ages crowded the library.

Mia told how she had lived in Hudson Terrace, a low-income development, with her mother all her life until she was 12, when they were evicted because of their service dogs. Before eviction, her mother had lived there 14 years. In the three years since, the family has alternated between Mia’s grandmother’s home on Glenwood Blvd. in Hudson and the Joslen Motor Lodge in Greenport. They had to get rid of their dogs. They have to pay the motel cost on their own, because Mia’s mother earns too much working at a Hudson clothing store to qualify for housing assistance. To afford a one-bedroom unit in the motel, they sometimes have to take in a roommate. “All this does not make me feel loved by my government,” Mia said. And if certain laws to protect tenants had been in place three years ago, “I would still have a home.” Read more…

Boil-water order lifted for Chatham water district

CHATHAM—The boil-water order for the village water district was canceled Thursday morning, September 12.

A release from Village Clerk Debra Meyers said that water samples had been “reviewed” by the county health department and the state Department of Health and that “all samples have been found to be in the safe limits.”

The release said Chatham Mayor John Howe thanked residents of the Village of Chatham and the Town of Ghent affected by the boil-water order for their “cooperation and patience.”

A state of emergency following a water main break Monday was previously ended following emergency repairs to the water system but the accompanying boil-water was left in place until water quality was confirmed. The Chatham water system extends beyond the Village of Chatham to serve parts to the Town of Ghent.

Mayor updates Chatham-Ghent boil-water order

(The boil-water order was canceled Thursday morning, September 12. A brief report has been posted.–Ed.) 

CHATHAM–Village Mayor John Howe reported Tuesday, September 10 that the major water main break has been repaired and the valve at the water tower has been replaced. He said in a press release that the repair was completed by the village Department of Public Works (DPW) crew just before midnight and the water tower was refilled early Tuesday morning.

Water service has been restored to the Edgewood Acres Mobile Home Park, however a boil water advisory is still in effect for the entire area served by the village water system, which includes the Village of Chatham, Edgewood Acres and the structures along state Route 66 in the Ghent hamlet. The boil water advisory will remain until samples taken from various locations, including the Chatham School District, are tested by the Columbia County Health Department and approval is given to lift the order.

At a Village Board meeting Monday evening, Mayor Howe said village officials were using an “abundance of caution” when it came to the boil water advisory. He told residents that he “can’t give a time frame” for when the advisory would be lifted. He did say there was a spike in water usage when the village announced the water main break and asked residents to conserve water. Read more…