Voters give high marks to school budgets

GHENT–With all of the six school districts in the county reporting, each of the districts’ annual budgets has won approval by a wide margin. Eight of 10 ballot propositions were also endorsed by voters, including capital projects in the Chatham and Taconic Hills districts. But in each of those districts voters rejected plans for supplemental capital spending proposals.

A chart of vote results appears below.

Germantown voters approved the $14.8-million budget proposition by 236 to 91. Voters also approved a capital reserve fund proposition, where the vote was 229 in favor and 91 opposed.

Heather Schultz won one of the two open seats on the Germantown Board of Education with 244 votes The other seat went to incumbent board member Donald Coons, who won 159 votes. The third candidate in the race, Andrew Soltano, received 135 votes.

In Hudson, the $48.7-million budget was approved with 308 votes; the No votes were 187. Two incumbents, Willette Jones, 357votes, and Lucinda Segar, 363, won reelection without opposition. Voters also okayed a proposition to transfer $715,000 to the Repair Reserve fund. Read more…

Potholes gnaw at Ghent Route 66 bridge

GHENT–If driving to and from the hamlet seems a little bumpy lately, a solution may might finally be in view. But how soon still remains unclear.

At last month’s Town Board meeting town Supervisor Mike Benvenuto mentioned he had reached out twice to the state Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding the immediate need of repairing the bridge over Kline Kill on Route 66. Drivers have been veering erratically over the bridge to avoid the deeper potholes, and the problem has only worsened after a long winter.

At the Town Board meeting the month before, Ghent Fire Company Chief Anthony Brahm expressed the need for repairs, and soon. “The piecemeal and patching is just not working, and more and more cars are swerving to avoid the potholes,” he said. “I’m afraid that soon there’ll be an accident there.” Read more…

Victim of Chatham apartment fire dies of injuries

CHATHAM—One of the three people rescued from their burning apartment complex by firefighters has died of his injuries.

Fire broke out at the Chatham Manor Apartments, a two-story building complex containing 32 apartments for elderly and handicapped residents, at 18 School Street in the village, May 13, Mother’s Day, at 8:26 a.m.

On initial attack, Chatham Fire Chief Paul Rideout and Assistant Fire Chief Eric Barnes entered apartment 7 on the first floor which was engulfed in flame and smoke, the assistant chief told The Columbia Paper Monday.

They knocked down the fire and were able to locate an elderly wheelchair-bound man trapped inside the apartment. Read more…

Taconic Hills hosts budget, capital project and BOE vote on May 15

CRARYVILLE – On Tuesday, May 15, voters in the Taconic Hills Central School District will vote on a proposed budget of $38,739,392 for the 2018-2019 school year. Voters will also have the opportunity to select candidates for school board. David Baylen, Joseph Costa and Theresa “Terry” Sullivan will be on the ballot running for two available seats on the Board of Education.

Voters in the Taconic Hills School District will also decide on two Capital Project Propositions. Proposition 3 includes alterations to the existing buildings and grounds as well as a new greenhouse addition. Alterations include concentrating on safety, accessibility concerns at paved areas and sports fields, addressing equipment and building materials at the end of their useful life, reconstructing tennis courts, and adding air conditioning to teaching spaces. Proposition 3 has a proposed overall cost of $11,542,917. Through a combined use of state building aid, retiring debt service, capital reserve funds, cash reserve funds, and bond financing, this portion of the project would come with no tax increase. Read more…

School Budget Vote 2018

Columbia County School Districts

District: Chatham

Proposed 2018-19 budget: $31,936,305

Percent Spending (budget) increase/decrease: 3.56% ($1,099,330)

2018-19 tax levy (amount to be raised by taxes): $22,192,631

Percent tax levy increase: 2.49%

Number of school board seats up for election: 5

School board term lengths: Three 3 year terms, one 2 year term, one 1 year term

Names of candidates for school board: Denise Barry, Beth Hover, David O’Connor, Patricia Wilson

Other propositions on the ballot (Proposition #, purpose — “bus purchase” e.g. — and amount):

Proposition #2 Capital Project buildings and grounds renovations for $9,784,665
Proposition #3 Capital Project security cameras for $1,213,388

Polls open/close times: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Poll location(s): Mary E. Dardess Elementary (MED) School gym Read more…