Chatham board opens door to new STR rules

OLD CHATHAM–The Town Board held a workshop meeting at the Tri-Village Firehouse to discuss proposed updates to the current town zoning law.

The subject of short-term rentals (STRs) took up the largest amount of time. STRs currently are not regulated under the town’s zoning law.

The February 6 meeting started with a public hearing on a proposed town law to create the position of confidential administrative assistant to the Town Supervisor. One audience member had a question about the position, which replaces the position of budget officer. Supervisor Donal Collins said that new title would not change anything in the budget and the responsibilities for the administrative assistant “are redundant to the budget office.” Read more…

Hudson District scrambles to feed hungry kids at home

HUDSON–A teacher singled out for praise by a TV station, parking regulations, voting, and special education highlighted the Hudson City School District (HCSD) Board of Education meeting February 4.

Michael Antonelli, a chemistry teacher at Hudson High School, has been selected as a Top Teacher of the Year by News Channel 13, the Capital Region NBC affiliate station, after being nominated by the High School’s Student Council. Student Representative Piper Nayowith announced the station’s recognition of Mr. Antonelli at the meeting.

The meeting also saw board members express concern about enforcement of parking regulations when school is not in session and the usual staff is not present. Board member Lucinda Segur reported that she had come to a district school for a weekend event and found a double line of cars filling a fire lane. Read more…

A smoother ride ahead for Rte. 22 in Canaan

CANAAN–Nearly 25 town residents attended the February 10 meeting of the Town Board to hear the good news that the state Department of Transportation intends to complete repaving of state Route 22 from just north of Tremper Property Association where it completed 2 miles last summer southward to the I-90 interchange.

The board also announced the town Highway Department will be paving 10 intersections along the route, piggy backing on the DOT contractor, Callahan, for approaches at all 10. The Canaan repaving should begin in early summer.

Nothing was reported at the meeting on Route 22 north into New Lebanon. Read more…

This village isn’t big enough for comfort canines

CHATHAM–The Village Board voted against allowing the village Police Department to have a comfort dog. Trustee Lenore Packet was the only board member who voted to support the program at Monday night’s board meeting.

In December the board heard from Police Chief Peter Volkmann that Deputy Chief Joe Alessi was at a comfort dog training with his dog and planned of offer the service to the part-time Police Department.

Chief Volkmann said at the time that there was no cost to the village for the program. Deputy Chief Alessi was paying for the training and he owns the dog. Board members had questions about the program and Mayor John Howe said he wanted to talk to the village attorney. Read more…

Glamping tonight: Austerlitz ponders plan

An image presented to the Austerlitz Town Planning Board from Farm & Field for a campground consisting of six 8’ wide x 8’ tall x 20’ long recycled shipping containers. Photo by Peter Flierl

SPENCERTOWN—Despite freezing rain, snow and slippery road conditions the audience filled the meeting room last week for a public hearing before the Austerlitz Planning Board on a project called Farm & Field.

As described at the hearing, the project would be a farm, learning center facility and a campground where campers stay in modified shipping containers. The owners are seeking a special use permit from the Planning Board before the project can proceed.

The February 6 hearing began with a presentation by Jill Duffy, co-owner with her husband, Jason, of the approximately 210-acre farm in Spencertown. Reading from notes, she said she and her husband feel a connection to the land and farming and created Farm & Field last spring as a means of stewardship and maintenance of small scale agriculture, which she said is disappearing across the country and here in Columbia County. Read more…