Gallatin earns Clean Energy Community Designation

GALLATIN – The Town of Gallatin has been designated a Clean Energy Community by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), recognizing its leadership in reducing energy use, cutting costs and driving clean energy locally.

Announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in August 2016, the $16 million Clean Energy Communities initiative supports local government leaders across the state by providing grants to eligible municipalities to implement energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable development projects in their communities. Clean Energy Communities advance the governor’s nation-leading clean energy and climate agenda by demonstrating the importance of communities in helping New York reach its goal of having a carbon-free power grid by 2040 and achieving economy-wide carbon neutrality.

The Town of Gallatin received the designation for completing four of 10 high-impact clean energy actions identified by NYSERDA as part of the Clean Energy Communities initiative. In addition, the designation gives Gallatin an opportunity to apply for up to $30,000 toward additional clean energy projects, with no local cost share. Read more…

Adrienne Citrin remembered as ‘inspirational force’

Ancramdale Neighbors Helping Neighbors Association board members are pictured with Adrienne Citrin Memorial Scholarship recipients in the Adrienne Citrin Gazebo. They are (l-r, back): Hila Richardson, Jane Moore, Laura Ponkos, Nancy Bryant, Glenda Rose, Jack Lindsay, Eric Wiener, Mike Sturdivant; (front), David Ditto, Annette Sturdivant, Mike Citrin, Leslie Boice, Alissa Cleveland, and Sydney Cleveland. Missing from photo is recipient Sarah Mason, and board member Jane Shannon. Photo by B. Docktor

ANCRAM—Adrienne Citrin had a long, dedicated career as a school teacher.

It seems appropriate that she now has an annual series of educational grants named in her memory: The Adrienne Citrin Memorial Scholarships.

Mrs. Citrin died earlier this year from a rare type of cancer at the age of 74. Read more…

Local agencies get busy now with feral kittens

HUDSON–As we swelter through this summer, the feral cat population of Columbia County is growing, with kitten season in full swing. Care facilities such as AnimalKind and the Columbia-Greene Humane Society are aiding the plight and striving to address the issues these colonies of felines face through vaccinations and community support.

Kitten season consists of the summer months as cats tend to give birth when the weather gets warmer. The boom of kittens increases the need for humane methods to regulate the populations of cats. While kitten season does not typically affect the operations of these care facilities, according to Katrin Hecker of AnimalKind, it warrants an increase of humane methods to keep the population at bay.

In 2018, AnimalKind rescued 1,004 animals, 992 cats and 12 dogs, according to data listed on the organization’s website; 2017 and 2016 recorded similar rates, making prospects for 2019 similar. Read more…

Officials aim for zoning tweaks in Chatham village

CHATHAM–The Village Board held a workshop meeting last week to review proposed changes to the village zoning law. Mayor John Howe said at the beginning of the meeting that a village committee had presented these changes to the board and to the public at meetings in 2017 but that the process was “derailed” due to other village issues. He said that now many of the members of the Village Board are newly-elected and they needed to understand what the proposals would change.

Mayor Howe, who was elected in March and took office in April, did stress that approving these zoning changes and updates was a priority for him and that the board would have a public hearing on the changes in September.

At the July 30 meeting he also said, “This is the Village of Chatham, not the Town of Chatham or the Town of Ghent.” The village has it’s own zoning law and village codes. The Town of Chatham is currently discussing proposed updates to the town zoning law, which is separate from the village. The village straddles the line between the towns of Chatham and Ghent but the towns’ zoning laws do not affect the village. Read more…

Ethics plan draws fire

GERMANTOWN—Late last month the Town Board held a public hearing on a proposed ethics law, Local Law No. 3 of 2019. Unlike many other town meetings, it was standing room only at that July 23 hearing. Many of the speakers commended the board for their efforts to put an ethics law in place. But parts of the 11-page document struck a nerve for other town residents.

Jaia Orient, speaking on behalf of herself and her husband, Joshua Orient, pointed out their concerns with Section 9 B & C which reads:

Recusal and Abstention

B. No town member may participate in any decision or take any official action with respect to any proposed project before the board when the board member has already expressed opposition to the proposed project and his or her ability to make an impartial judgment solely in the public interest is compromised by prejudice or bias about the project. Even the appearance of impropriety should be avoided in order to maintain public confidence in government. Read more…