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.)

Read more…

Group to buy movie house

CHATHAM–The memorial sign to Tony Quirino has disappeared from the marquee, and the fliers listing the real estate broker are gone from the movie poster boxes, the first signs late last week that the historic Crandell Theatre is about to be sold.

The buyers expect to continue operating the Main Street landmark as a movie theater, but only one member of the group has gone public. Read more…

In Ancram, hall’s like new… and cheaper

ANCRAM–The Town Hall sparkles with a new coat of white paint, and the town made a little green in the process.

The town hall painting project, supervised by local painting contractor Jane Moore, was completed in record time last month by 17 residents–all of whom volunteered their time and elbow grease. Read more…

Lake Taghkanic State Park spruces up for season

GALLATIN–As Lake Taghkanic State Park’s May 14 opening day approaches, the park staff is rushing to prepare for an onslaught of summer visitors. They’ve been working ever since the park closed last fall, to repair and renew the park and its facilities for the coming year.

“The off-season is dedicated to prepping the park for the main season,” said Christopher Rickard, the park’s assistant manager. “There’s so much to do during that time, that I have never noticed a lull in activity,” he said. “You’re rushing to beat the clock. It’s such a big place, nature will always throw you a curve ball,” Mr. Rickard said. One such curve was the December 2008 ice storm, which caused tree damage that took two years to clean up. Read more…

ICC joins effort seeking tax relief

KINDERHOOK – The Ichabod Crane Board of Education approved a letter that will go to state legislators entitled “New York State’s Regulatory and Funding Framework for Public Education Is Unsustainable,” although they did require delete one sentence before voting in favor of the letter.

Board President John Phillips also announced at the Tuesday, April 27, meeting that there are three open seats on the on the board and the district has received three petitions from candidates; all three are from incumbent board members. With the deadline for filing petitions having expired Regina Rose, Anthony Welcome and John Antalek will run unopposed on the ballot for the annual election and budget vote May 18. Read more…