Austerlitz, at 200, has plenty to celebrate

SPENCERTOWN–The Town of Austerlitz marked its 200th birthday starting Saturday, June 9. Perhaps the crowning moment was Town Historian Tom Moreland’s 90-minute talk on the old houses of Austerlitz, including five new historic markers courtesy of the William G. Pomeroy Foundation.

Mr. Moreland‘s six-year labor of love, the book “The Old Houses of Austerlitz: The history and early architecture of a rural New York Town” was available during the weekend courtesy of the Austerlitz Historical Society.

Jere Wrightsman, chairman of the Austerlitz Bicentennial Committee and a member of the Austerlitz Town Board, was on the scene bright and early along with an army of volunteers. The Austerlitz Historical Society led by President Michelle Lagonia, Director Anne Cipkowski, and Secretary Margaret Hover offered copies of Mr. Moreland’s book and bicentennial memorabilia, including t-shirts and coffee cups, for purchase by those attending. Read more…

Chatham sees light at end of zoning tunnel

CHATHAM–The Town Board held a special meeting with Town Planner Nan Stolzenburg June 6 to present a draft of the proposed zoning code. Over 40 people turned out at the Tri-Village Fire House to hear what might change in a law that has been under review for nearly a decade by one committee or another.

Town Supervisor Maria Lull, who spoke before the presentation, said the town has been working on updating the zoning law since the board adopted the Comprehensive Plan in 2009. She said that close to 100 people have devoted time to updating the law. The proposed new zoning law is intended to reflect the goals laid out in the Comprehensive Plan.

Ms. Lull stressed that the meeting was not a public hearing. The board plans to hold that in July. A hearing is required before the board can vote on whether to approve the new zoning. “Tonight is not intended to be a debate or a question and answer period,” Ms. Lull said, reading from a prepared statement. Read more…

G’town dollar store foes say project doesn’t fit

GERMANTOWN—Some 60 people turned out for the Planning Board’s Public Hearing Monday on the parcel subdivision and site plan for the proposed Dollar General retail store on Route 9G.

Twenty-four people spoke during the course of the 90-minute hearing, and to a person they were against Primax Properties’ plan to situate a Dollar General store in town.

Last September the Planning Board had held a Public Hearing on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS), part of the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process that precedes the site plan review. At that time 27 people spoke, five in favor of Dollar General and 21 against (one noncommittal). Read more…

Light’s out at Craryville intersection

COPAKE—Some say the four-way Craryville intersection of State Route 23, County Route 7 and Craryville Road is busy and dangerous, but a new traffic study says a traffic light is not needed there.

GRJH, Inc., has an application before the Copake Planning Board seeking site plan approval for a new gas station/convenience store at the northwest corner of the intersection on the 1.7-acre parcel where the old Craryville supermarket once stood. Craryville is a hamlet in the Town of Copake.

The proposed 3,240 square-foot convenience store will have 12 fueling stations and access to the business is proposed from State Route 23 and Craryville Road. Read more…

Supe says better bus service starts with signs

HUDSON–Making it easier for people to “know how to use the buses” and improving the “bus infrastructure” are two priorities for transportation in Columbia County, said county Supervisor Michael Chameides (D-Hudson, 3rd Ward) by phone June 1. Expanding bus service, he added, could be considered only if people “clamor” for it.

Mr. Chameides is on the Transportation Subcommittee of the County Government Committee of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors, chaired by Supervisor Rick Scalera (D-Hudson, 5th Ward).

In order to “engage with people” about bus service, Mr. Chameides is seeking improvements in the county website’s transportation section, in bus stop signs and in bus maps. At bus stops, “I would like to see something that says: 1. ‘This is a bus stop’; 2. ‘Here is a picture of its bus route(s)’; 3. ‘These are the days and times the bus stops here.’” For this purpose, he said he is working with the board and “other community members.” One possibility is “a trial” of better bus stop signs in “three or four places.” Read more…