5 seek 3 seats on TH board

CRARYVILLE–Five candidates are vying for three open seats on the Taconic Hills Central School District Board of Education. The candidates are Craig Bender, Lynn Brandt, Joseph Costa, Nadine Gazzola and Linda L. Lee.

Two of the seats are for five-year terms and one is for a two-year unexpired term.

For 2019-20, the proposed budget is $38,112,618, which is down from the adopted 2018-19 budget by 1.62 percent. The proposed tax levy is $24,811,160, up $794,345 or 3.31 percent–the state Maximum Allowable Levy limit. Read more…

Chatham sweeps away its street fee

CHATHAM–The Village Board voted unanimously this week to rescind fees for closing Main Street and Park Row, and fees for Village Police protection during events.

In 2017, the board adopted a fee structure for closing the roads in the village for events. Event organizers paid $1,000 to have Main Street closed and $550 for Park Row.

Mayor John Howe said at the May 13 board meeting that there was also a fee for groups that requested the Village Police at events or special situations in the village. The streets in the village are closed for Summerfest and other events hosted by CABA (Chatham Area Business and Arts), a member organization for local businesses with the goal to promote the Chatham area. The extra police coverage became an issue last summer, when there was discussion between the Village Board and the county Agricultural Society about payments to the Chatham Village Police during the county fair, which takes place at the fairgrounds in the village. Read more…

Rates for early kindergarten vary sharply between schools

HUDSON–What schooling should one expect children to have before first grade? Columbia County’s six public school districts offer pre-kindergarten and kindergarten. Starting September 2019, the Hudson City School District will offer additional options, with 2- year kindergarten (2YK). However, a majority of its students will still have one-year kindergarten (1YK).

The 2YK class will be for those children judged at the time of kindergarten screening to be “not ready for kindergarten,” according to Hudson City School District Superintendent Maria L. Suttmeier. Examples include those who do not know the names of colors and shapes in any language. Every year kindergarten screening has indentified 15 to 20 children in the district who need more than a year to prepare for first grade, she added. Therefore, plans anticipate 2YK classes with 15 to 20 children.

In future years, the second year of 2YK is expected to have mainly children from the previous year’s first year of 1YK. This year, it will be for children who have completed kindergarten and are judged to need more preparation before being ready for first grade. Read more…

There’s no place like ‘domicile’ in Chatham

CHATHAM–The Town Board has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed new zoning law for Thursday, May 23 at 6 p.m. at the Tri-Village Fire House in Old Chatham.

The most updated proposed law is online at chathamnewyork.us/government/zoning, the town’s website.

This is not the first public hearing the board has held on the proposed zoning law. Last August, September and March the board held hearings on versions of this proposal and heard from several residents about the new regulations on short-term rentals. There are no regulations in the current town zoning law about short-term rentals, like properties offered on Airbnb and other websites. Read more…

K’hook concerned by new toxic site

VALATIE–Councilwoman Patsy Leader told her fellow board members at their meeting Monday night that she attended a community group meeting in the Town of Nassau with a representative from the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about clean-up at a property near the Dewey Loeffel Superfund site.

Ms. Leader said she attended the meeting at the request of Town Supervisor Pat Grattan and because she is familiar with the issue. The Dewey Loeffel landfill was a dumping ground for an estimated 46,000 tons of toxic waste from companies like GE for years in the 1950s and ‘60s. The state took initial steps to contain the chemicals and in 2011, the EPA declared the landfill a federal Superfund Site. A settlement agreement was reached with GE and SI to build a $2.5-million water treatment plant on the site and treated water from the plant has been released into the Valatie Kill since early 2014.

The Valatie Kill flows through parts of the Towns of Chatham and Kinderhook and into Kinderhook Creek, which empties into the Hudson River at Stockport. Read more…