State agrees slower is safer, trims Rte. 203 speeds

KINDERHOOK–The state has reduced the speed limit on Route 203 from 55 mph to 50 mph along the route from the Village of Valatie to the Village of Chatham. After the road crosses the town line from Kinderhook to Chatham, the speed is now down to 40 mph.

The Town of Kinderhook received a letter for the state Department of Transportation (NYDOT) right before the November 7 board meeting. The Village of Chatham Board of Trustees also received the letter and discussed it at their meeting November 8.

“I’m so glad that that happened,” said Chatham Village Mayor Tom Curran at the Thursday night meeting.

The letter, dated October 31, says, “Upon consideration of the Towns of Ghent, Chatham and Kinderhook, Village of Chatham and public support for a lower speed limit, and consideration of the results of the study, NYSDOT will reduce the speed limit on Route 203 from the Village of Chatham/Town of Ghent northerly line, to a point just south of the Town of Chatham/Town of Kinderhook line (bridge over Kline Kill) to 40 mph…. and from the Town of Kinderhook/Village of Valatie southerly line to 50 mph.” The state had plans to complete the changes by the end of December, according to the letter, but the letter did not indicate the change would happen so soon. Read more…

Chatham revenues keep lid on taxes in 2019 budget

CHATHAM–The Town Board held a public hearing on a proposed $3-million budget for 2019 at a special meeting November 1. The meeting was short with no comment from the public on the budget.

Councilman Bob Balcom pointed out that the current budget is $3.4 million which means there will be a 5.5% increase from the 2018 budget. Michael Richardson, a budget and labor relations consultant on the town’s Citizens Finance & Planning Committee, said that revenues are up so the board was able to keep the tax increase low.

Budget Clerk Tammy Shaw said that the revenues for 2019 are budgeted at $1.4 million; in 2018 they were set at $1.2 million. Read more…

Cost just one hurdle facing low-income housing

HUDSON–Finding and sometimes keeping a place to live in Columbia County is not easy for people with limited income–with or without assistance, whether in the open market or in income-restricted buildings,

That’s what local activists and service providers told Dale-Ann Brown, state program director for Section 8 Housing at a meeting in Hudson October 16.

“There are more people looking than there are places,” said Fawn Potash, a New York Connects Specialist at the Independent Living Center of the Hudson Valley. She co-hosted the October 16 meeting with Geraldine Adams of Catholic Charities. Read more…

Delgado bests Faso for House Seat

GHENT–The unofficial returns show Democrats did well in Tuesday’s mid-term elections. And though the party’s strength did not ensure victory in districts that include other counties, the party did prevail in the race at the top of the local ballot where Democrat Antonio Delgado unseated Republican Congressman John Faso in the 19th Congressional district.

Mr. Delgado, a lawyer who lives in Rhinebeck in Dutchess County, claimed victory in Kingston, the largest city in the 11-county district, late Tuesday evening. His unofficial vote count from those who voted Tuesday, showed Mr. Delgado ahead by 132,001 to 124,408. The vote in Columbia County was 13,897 for Mr. Delgado to 11,268 for Mr. Faso.

In the only race contested countywide this year, the unofficial count shows Democrat Bernadette Powis winning her race against county Coroner Carmen Martino by a vote of 12,883 to 11,584. Read more…

Dems do well in county vote

GHENT–Early returns show Democrats ahead or tied in several races around Columbia County as well as in the region where all or parts of the county are in larger districts.

All the ballot propositions on town ballots passed and Kinderhook voters upped funding for the Kinderhook Memorial and Valatie libraries and Stuyvesant voters raised their contribution to the Kinderhook Library. Also, Germantown voters approved the Town Board’s plan to abolish the town police force.

In the only contested countywide this year, Democrat Bernadette Powis appears to have won her race against county Coroner Carmen Martino by a vote of 12,883 to 11,584.

Democrat Antonio Delgado, with 54.5% of the vote was leading Representative John Faso, a Republican with 70% of election districts in the county reporting. The Times Union website reports that Mr. Delgado leads throughout the district by a similar margin, with many votes still to be counted.

Assemblymember Didi Barrett, a Democrat, is ahead of her opponent in the 106th Assembly District, Republican William Truitt.

Republican Assemblyman Chris Tague is leading his Democratic challenger Aiden O’Connor Jr. in the 102nd District.

The race between Republican Assemblyman Jake Ashby and Democrat Tistrya Houghtling shows Ms. Houghtling ahead in the county with all districts reporting but narrowly trailing Assemblyman Ashby district-wide.

The county numbers will be posted as all districts report. Read more…