Occupancy case sparks call for clear policy

TAGHKANIC–Board members Joyce Thompson and Larry Kadish addressed a problem with record keeping by the town’s former building inspector at the May 3 meeting. It appears that some people have certificates of occupancy and others who should have them don’t.

Houses built before 1972 are not required to have the certificates, but many owners of homes built since 1972 who do not have them will run into problems if they try to sell or refinance, said town attorney Robert Fitzsimmons. Read more…

County reports it cut and saved in first quarter

HUDSON–Columbia County government spent $1 million less in the first quarter of 2010 than it did the year before and ended up with “a $1.5 million favorable net variance” compared to what the budget anticipated the county would spend.

The results were released Monday, May 3, by Roy Brown (R-Germantown), chairman of the county Board of Supervisors, and Art Baer (R-Hillsdale), the board’s budget officer. The results were for the three-month period ending March 31 of this year. Read more…

Taconic Hills adopts $32M budget proposal

CRARYVILLE–The Taconic Hills Board of Education has adopted a proposed budget for the 2010-11 school year that includes a tax levy increase of 4.89%.

The $32,046,466 budget, which still must win the approval of a majority of district voters, comes with a tax levy increase a whole percentage point higher than the figure of 3.89% that schools Superintendent Mark Sposato had deemed “acceptable” in the months leading up to the board’s April 21 vote on the plan. Read more…

Heavy metal moves to Electric City

GHENT–Heavy metal music impresario Kenneth Randeze lost patience with Columbia County and pulled the plug on a proposal for a four-day concert July 15 to 18 at Meadowgreens on Route 9H. The festival, which he estimated would have attracted an audience of 5,000 per day, will now be held in Pattersonville near Schenectady, August 26 to 29.

Last week it looked like Mr. Randeze was making progress toward meeting county and state permit requirements. But he says he was then told by Michael Deruzzio, the acting environmental director at the county health department, that he would have to hire an engineer to work on enlarging the Meadowgreens campground. That was the last straw. Read more…

No mice, no pumpkin, but girls go to the ball

CHATHAM–A few months ago, Julie Pietrak issued a call through Facebook for people to help her with an idea. Jenn Van Brunt and Laurie Starks Johnson answered it and soon after, Cinderella’s Closet was born. Cinderella’s Closet is a boutique on Main Street that matches teenagers with dresses and accessories for dances, completely free of cost.

The three lifelong Columbia County residents loved the idea of Cinderella’s fairy godmother enabling her to go to the ball (or the prom) with a dress, and also the environmental benefits that can be gained from reusing barely worn dresses, Mrs. Johnson told The Columbia Paper. Read more…