Women now hold reins of power in Town of K’hook

VALATIE–Newly-elected Kinderhook Town Supervisor Patsy Leader resigned her position as
councilwoman at the start of the town organizational meeting Monday night and appointed Debra Johnson to the seat.

Ms. Johnson served on the Town Board from 2002 to 2010. Ms. Johnson’s appointment is only for one year. In November 2020, the seat will be open for a one-year term to finish out Ms. Leader’s term.

At the January 6 meeting, resident Ed Simonsen pointed out during public comment that Ms. Leader was the first woman supervisor for the town. And Town Clerk Kim Pinkowski said that there were more women than men (3 to 2) on the board now. Read more…

New Chatham board hires some familiar folks

CHATHAM–The Town Board approved funding for a traffic light on the Albany Turnpike Bridge in East Chatham at the board’s first meeting of the year January 2. The project is funded by federal aid but the town needs to spend $250,000 and will then be reimbursed.
Tom Baird from Barton and Loguidice, the town’s engineering firm working on the project, was at the meeting to answer questions about the light and changes to the intersection on Route 295.

The light, he said, will have sensor, so that drivers on the Old Chatham side of the bridge will trigger the light to turn green when they approach the bridge. There will also be a sensor on the Route 295 side. Mr. Baird said that the technology for the sensors has gotten better and will be sensitive to back-ups on 295.

New Chatham Town Board members were sworn in on January 1 at the Town Hall. Pictured (l-r) are town board members Abi Mesick and Vance Pitkin, Town Supervisor Donal Collins and reelected Town Justice James Borgia-Forster being sworn in by Town Justice Michael Rosen. Photo by Zach Neven

He told the board, “The light is going to be maintained by the town” but that the state is “very, very helpful with” setting up the timing of the light. He said that getting approval for the light and the funding was a long process for the town but the light is “to help reduce the potential for accidents.” He said after the meeting that once the board passed the motion on funding, construction should start in the spring. Read more…

Amtrak revives riverfront fencing plan

GERMANTOWN–Scenic Hudson hosted a public meeting here Saturday, January 4 to introduce residents to the group’s Hudson River Shoreline Access Plan.

The plan seeks to gather information on how and where people use the river for fishing, recreation and education, as well learn about locations residents would like to use so the plan can identify gaps in public access.

“Scenic Hudson has always been concerned with connecting people to the Hudson River,” said Jeff Anzevino, director of Land Use Advocacy at Scenic Hudson, who added, “It’s not a secret that the railroad is one of the biggest challenges to gaining access to the river.” Read more…

You need a jackhammer for those cattle?

COPAKE—The Copake Planning Board has to accept the State Department of Agriculture and Markets’ determination that Salvatore Cascino is operating a farm, but it does not have to stop asking questions.

It was a town Planning Board session filled with twists and turns on the site plan reviews for 13 Lackawanna Farms, a/k/a, Mr. Cascino’s Copake Valley Farm, January 2.

Since March 2019, the Planning Board has been reviewing two site plans connected with the Cascino property. One review seeks site plan approval for existing buildings that Mr. Cascino already built without permission. He was ordered by a court to get permission after-the-fact.

The other review is part of Mr. Cascino’s “master plan” for the property and involves the construction of three new structures yielding 64,200 square feet of enclosed or semi-enclosed space to be used in Mr. Cascino’s “farm operation known as Copake Valley Farm,” according to an operating plan submitted to the board by David Weiner, Mr. Cascino’s right hand man. Read more…

Power in numbers: K’hook sees path to lower rates

KINDERHOOK–The Village Board held a public hearing Wednesday, December 18 concerning a local law to join the Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) program. “This local law is intended to explore the ability of residents and owners of property to increase buying power through a group purchase of electricity through a CCA,” the public notice for the local law reads.

The notice also says that the benefits for the CCA program include “saving money on electric bills,
avoiding spikes in the price of electricity, combating energy telemarketers and door-to-door sales and accessing renewable ‘green’ electricity.”

The board signed an agreement to work with MEGA (Municipal Electric and Gas Alliance) last fall to
explore the option of joining the CCA. The board will need to pass the local law to become part of the CCA group, which includes several cities, towns and villages in the capital region. With about 90,000 households now in the CCA, including the cities of Albany and Troy, MEGA will bargain with electricity suppliers for a rate that the member municipalities can either accept or opt out of. Read more…