City leaders wary of public-private housing plan

HUDSON–Prominent Columbia County and Hudson City residents filled the Hudson Housing Authority (HHA) Board of Commissioners meeting January 9 regarding plans to erect new buildings in Hudson across State Street from Bliss Tower. Concerns they brought up included choice of developer, communication with the public and nature of the intended new residents.

Attendees included Tom De Pietro, president of the Hudson Common Council; Alderwoman Eileen Halloran (D-Hudson, 5th Ward); Virginia Martin, Democratic County Election Commissioner; Don Moore, former Common Council president and county supervisor; and County Supervisor Sarah Sterling (D-Hudson, 1st Ward).

The proposed new housing, known as State Street Apartments, is to consist of two four-story buildings: one with 33 apartments for senior citizens with low incomes; the other with 40 apartments for “families” with moderate incomes. Construction is part of a project that will also include reconstructing all apartments in the Bliss complex, which consists of 135 apartments for individuals and families with low incomes: 120 in Bliss Tower (9 stories), and 15 in the Columbia Apartments, which comprises 3 two-story buildings). Read more…

K’hook village eyes regulating short-term rentals

KINDERHOOK– Village Zoning Enforcement Officer Glenn Smith asked the Village Board to add language on short-term rentals to the village zoning code at the board’s meeting Wednesday, January 9.

He said there are standards for bed and breakfast services and rentals in the village code but not short-term rentals, saying, “We’re pretty much talking about Airbnb.”

Mr. Smith told the board he has looked at the Airbnb website and there are several short-term rental options offered on that site in the village. He said he just wants to look into safety issues in the homes, and that there could be an impact on village water and sewer services. Read more…

State comptroller releases ICC audit

ALBANY –New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced last week that an audit was issued for the Ichabod Crane School District (called the Kinderhook Central School District by the state) due to procurement issues. The audit period was from July 1, 2016 to November 9, 2017.

According to a press release from the Comptroller’s Office, “district officials did not always procure goods and services in accordance with board policy. Although auditors found the purchases were for legitimate purposes, officials do not have assurance that goods and services are being procured in the most economical way.”

The audit objective was to determine whether the district procured goods and services in accordance with district policy and procedures. Read more…

ICC seeks answers to testing requirements

KINDERHOOK–The Ichabod Crane Board of Education looked at graduation rates and assessments at the regular meeting January 8. The district’s goal is to increase the graduation rate and school officials are looking at students’ test scores and grades throughout their time in the district.

One issue the board had when viewing the numbers at the meeting was that the district still has a high “opt out” rate for the state mandated tests in the lower grades. State testing starts in third through eighth grades.

Suzanne Guntlow, district principal for the annual performance review, called the APPR, presented the data to the board. She said that students in the district do well on state Regents exams in high school. But only about 50% of students took the state math and English Language Arts (ELA) tests in the primary and middle schools. Ms. Guntlow did say that the number of students who took the test last year increased over the prior year. When the state implemented the testing in 2013 parents could refuse to have their child take the tests with no penalty to the student or the school district’s funding. Read more…

G’town board deals with menu of local matters

GERMANTOWN–At its January 8 meeting the Town Board took action on routine items, including complying with the state Department of Environmental Conservation requirement that all wastewater treatment plant employees be certified.

The board allocated $1,050 dollars for Anthony Cidras to attend a wastewater treatment plant operation class. The board also seeks to send a backup person to school and in doing so there would be a $1,600 savings to the town.

On another topic, a public hearing on Amtrak’s plans to install gates and fences along its tracks on the banks of the Hudson River is scheduled for January 29, 2019 at 5-7 p.m. But town Supervisor Robert Beaury says this date is tentative. Read more…