3 seek 2 seats on Taconic Hills board

CRARYVILLE—On May 18 voters residing in the Taconic Hills School District (THSD) will decide on four propositions, including a budget and two members of the school board.

Proposition #1: Adoption of a $38.9 million budget for the 2021-2022 school year. The budget plan does not call for any increase in school taxes.

Proposition #3: Seeks approval to spend a maximum of $254,000 to purchase two full-size school buses.

Proposition #4: Calls for creating Capital Reserve Fund#2 of up to $5 million effective July 1. By email Assistant Superintendent for Business Cybil Howard wrote that the district will conduct a building condition survey that that would serve as the basis of a plan for facility maintenance and improvement. Read more…

Remains of Korean War casualty come home

U.S. Army Corporal Clifford Johnson, who died in the Korean War. Photo contributed

VALATIE—On April 23, 2021, the United States Department of Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced that it had identified the remains of an American soldier who had been listed as missing in action during the Korean War. The soldier was Corporal Clifford Johnson, 20 years old, of Valatie.

On May 18, the soldier’s casket will be flown from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency identification facility in Honolulu, Hawaii and will arrive at Bradley International Airport in Connecticut, where it will be received by a hearse from the Bond Funeral Home of Valatie. Accompanying the hearse on its trip from the airport to Valatie will be an Army escort and possibly other official vehicles. The Patriot Guard Riders Motorcycle Club will also escort. The Ichabod Crane Central School will display a welcome home banner and the Columbia County Blue Star Mothers will urge the citizens of Valatie to turn out.

Columbia County Veterans Service Director Gary Flaherty said that the burial will be on Thursday, May 20 at the Gerald B. H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville. He said that in the hours before the burial, veteran’s groups will make presentations at the Bond Funeral Home. Read more…

The munch line starts here

On Sunday, May 2, The River City Garden, 59 North Front Street in Hudson was the site of sowing the seeds of a public garden. Operated under the governance of the Kite’s Nest youth education organization, it is used by about 35 to 40 families. The garden was launched in 2014. During the pandemic, the garden has become an outdoor classroom for Kite’s Nest. Executive Director Kaya Weidman said that as many as 200 people benefit from the produce. New plots are being created and the organization is accepting applications, prioritizing residents of the Second Ward who live in public housing and do not have access to garden space. A new teaching greenhouse currently under construction on an adjacent lot will have its grand opening in early July. Serajul Islam (l) employs a Bengali hoe to till the soil for his chili seeds, as Jabed Ahmed (r) watches as he works. “In two months there will be a lot of people here and everything will be green,” Mr. Ahmed said. Photo by David Lee

Claverack Town moves to former library building

Former Claverack Library will temporarily house the Town Hall and Town Court. Photo contributed

CLAVERACK – The former Claverack Library building will become the temporary home of the Claverack Town Court and Town Hall during construction of a new Town Hall and Community Center in Mellenville. The town also plans to utilize the new library’s meeting spaces for municipal functions during construction.

Minor renovations are now underway at the little white building at the intersection of state routes 9H and 23B, with the addition of a new wing with a fully ADA-accessible bathroom and a new entryway to bring the building up to code.

“This joint project provides the town a space to hold court and conduct meetings while we take the necessary steps to plan and build a new town office complex that will house the court as well as all of our offices, in addition to providing much needed community space for the public,” said Town Supervisor Kippy Weigelt in a press release. “We are grateful to the library for their willingness to rent this building to us while we embark on this exciting project.” Read more…

Chatham makes a la carte deal on comp plan planner

CHATHAM—At a special meeting on April 13, the Town Board approved hiring planner Michael Allen of Regrowth Planning for an amount not to exceed $19,090. Mr. Allen will work with the town’s Comprehensive Plan Update Review Committee on updating the town’s 2009 Comprehensive Plan.

Originally the committee co-chair, Councilwoman Abi Mesick, asked to hire Mr. Allen at $42,000 to work for about a year on the update. Board members expressed concern, since, as Councilman Vance Pitkin said, “We don’t know what we don’t know” about what needs to be changed in the plan before spending the money and working on a major revision. The board voted down Mr. Allen’s whole proposal 3 to 2 and asked if he could do the work instead in pieces, starting with a survey to determine what updates are needed.

Mr. Allen attended an online meeting on April 1 to review his process, and said he would be comfortable working on the first few tasks of the proposal he sent to the town. At that meeting the planner said as town officials go through the first few steps in his plan, he and the town can “decide if we are both happy with each other.” Read more…