State recognizes middle school for ‘character’

CHATHAM–The school board approved an increase in the district’s real property tax exemption at its meeting this week. It also learned that the middle school has earned statewide distinction.

The exemption is designed to help district residents with disabilities, seniors and volunteer firefighters and emergency responders. Read more…

Co-op fortifies milk money

Hudson Valley Fresh finds niche market for local dairy products

HILLSDALE–Nobody becomes a dairy farmer to get rich.

But most dairy farmers would agree that if they were rich–or at least if they received a more reasonable price for their milk–it would be easier to stay in business. And now some of them may have found a way to do that.

Read more…

IDA douses plans for Kohl’s store in Greenport

HUDSON–A Kohl’s department store won’t be coming to the area, at least not any time soon. Neither will discounter TJ Maxx.

The county Industrial Development Agency voted unanimously last Friday, February 5, to reject a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) application that the Widewaters Group, the developer of Greenport Commons, said was essential to attract Kohl’s to the shopping plaza on Fairview Avenue in Greenport. The plaza already has a large Walmart and a Lowe’s home improvement store. Read more…

Abode plans to grow… carefully

Historic Shaker structures will remain intact under new, long-term plan

NEW LEBANON–At the very northeastern-most corner of Columbia County change is afoot at the Abode of the Message. A new master plan recently released by the organization envisions improvements costing from $10 to $15 million over the next 10 years. A capital campaign will soon be launched.

The Abode, as it is frequently called, is just east of New Lebanon. It is an “intentional community” founded in 1975. About 40 people live there full time and are dedicated to living according to prescriptions for personal spiritual growth and universal harmony. Many more come to visit, meditate and learn. Read more…

Hamlet will decide what to be and not to be

HILLSDALE–When local government looks down the road to development it’s often called “strategic planning” or “managed growth” or “smart growth” by urban planners. These days it usually includes all the ecological buzzwords like “organic,” “sustainable” and “green.”

Hillsdale adopted its first Comprehensive Plan in 1995 and revised in 2000. Now the town is again updating the plan with input from residents and help from specialists. Read more…