Chatham village holds ‘emergency’ budget meeting

CHATHAM—The village clerk issued a notice late Friday afternoon that the Village Board would hold “an emergency budget meeting” Monday, May 17, at 4 p.m. at the Tracy Memorial.

Village Trustee Lael Locke said Sunday that she had been notified that the meeting was a workshop session for the board to work on the budget. She said it is a public meeting but that it intended to be “for us,” the board members, and not to seek input from the public.

The board faced budget protests from unusually large crowds at two meetings last week, with speakers critical of proposed spending increases. The increase was set at more than 12% when the board convened a public hearing on the budget Tuesday, May 11. The board met again Thursday, May 13, and proposed an increase of 8%, which also sparked critical comments from town residents and business owners, who said the increase was still too high. One woman said she an increase in village taxes would force her to leave her home on Church Street.

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Abitabile resigns from Hudson school board

HUDSON–School Board member Patricia Abitabile unexpectedly submitted her resignation at this week’s board meeting.

Ms. Abitabile, who just began her second term last spring, submitted her resignation, effective June 30. Her term runs through June 2014. At the board’s meeting Monday, May 10, she attributed the decision to an illness in her family. Read more…

Federal funds will improve home and apartment efficiency

HUDSON–Columbia Opportunities, Inc. announced this week that it will allocate $400,000 in federal funds to weatherize and make the Hudson Terrace Apartments more energy efficient. And even with that expenditure, the agency has almost half again as much money that it has applied or soon will spend on similar projects elsewhere in Columbia County.

The non-profit social services agency will partner with the new owners of the Hudson riverfront apartment complex, Evergreen Partners, a company based in Portland, Me., which specializes in the redevelopment and management of affordable housing by acquiring, stabilizing and preserving older regulated properties. Read more…

Wind plan ruffles some in town

Neighbors question dual turbine proposal

ANCRAM–What would happen if one or both of the two proposed wind turbines fell down, why two turbines are sought and how they will look when they are up were among the questions and concerns aired at a public hearing conducted by the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals, Tuesday night, May 11.

Michael Gershon of 143 Carson Road seeks a special use permit to erect two 111-foot wind turbines on his three-acre property on Winchell Mountain in the southeast corner of the town, where the winds are legendary. Read more…

Villagers protest double-digit budget growth

CHATHAM–So many village residents arrived at the Tracy Memorial Tuesday night to attend a special budget hearing that the board was forced to move the meeting upstairs to the spacious courtroom.

The crowd of over 30 turned out to debate the proposed $1,285,340 village budget, a 12% increase from last year’s spending plan. Over and over again residents asked the Mayor Paul Boehme where the board had made cuts to save taxpayers money. Board members said the village had cut one worker in the Department of Public Works, but they did not mention any other specific staff reductions or other cuts.

(The Chatham Village Board met again Thursday, May 13, before and even larger crowd, and released a revised budget that would increase spending by over 8%. The reaction by the people who spoke Thursday remained critical of the proposed budget, with more than half a dozen people calling for a smaller expenditure for police. The board adjourned without voting on the budget, though board members agreed informally that they would have to adopt a spending plan at their next meeting May 27. In the meantime, Mayor Paul Boehme said he and board members would seek to find additional cuts.)

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