State funds expand public housing as rules tighten

HUDSON–New construction, smoking, apartment inspections, police protection and late rents dominated the Hudson Housing Authority (HHA) Board of Commissioners meeting Wednesday, July 11. Hudson Mayor Rick Rector, who attended the meeting with Common Council President Tom DiPietro, said, “I hear the word on the street that things [at Bliss Tower] are getting better and better and better.”

The HHA controls Bliss Tower and the low rise Columbia Apartments on the same grounds in Hudson. Both are public housing of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

At the meeting HHA Executive Director Tim Mattice outlined construction envisioned for a site across State Street from the HHA complex: 60 to 80 units atop a ground floor with retail space. The units will be “affordable” and for “mixed income” tenants. The state grant of $800,000 to the HHA as part of the Downtown Redevelopment Initiative (DRI) will be only for that development. Mr. Mattice said the HHA and its co-developer hope to break ground in 18 to 20 months. Read more…

Ancramdale Neighbors provides education grants

ANCRAMDALE – For the past five years, the Ancramdale Neighbors Helping Neighbors Association has provided higher education grants to help Town of Ancram students who graduate from high school and then attend an accredited college, community college, or vocational school. These grants are intended to help students pay for food, clothing, books, or transportation during the academic year, and they are based on need. To date, Neighbors has awarded 30 grants.

As a not-for-profit 501(c)3 corporation and state-accredited food bank serving Ancram, Ancramdale, and Boston Corner, the Neighbors organization relies on community contributions to fund its various activities, including providing area families with food on a weekly basis, holiday baskets, school supplies for area students and schools, and help during family emergencies, such as a job loss or health crisis.

This year, thanks to continuing community financial support, Neighbors was able to increase the grant amounts. Read more…

Chatham sets hearing on zoning changes, but which ones?

CHATHAM–In addition to getting letters and emails from the public, three town residents attended to the July 18 Town Board meeting to voice their concerns over the proposed overhaul of the town’s zoning law. The board posted the proposed updates to the zoning law on the town website and held an informational meeting in June. The board plans to hold a public hearing on the proposed law Thursday, August 2.

The residents were concerned about the regulations on short-term rentals, like Airbnb, as well as the zoning map, the sections on wedding receptions/parties and agri-tourism.

Resident Wendy Carroll had several issues with the proposed changes especially a section about gravel roads that must be accessible from state or county highway. She was also concerned with the section on wedding receptions and talked about the zoning map saying, “a potential priority for the next phase might be to consider the fiscal and environmental impact of the zoning map, initially conceived in 1972.” Read more…

EPA plans stream cleanup at Superfund site

NASSAU–The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held an information session earlier this month with residents of southern Rensselaer County over concerns that contamination is continuing to spread from the 19-acre federal Superfund toxic waste site known as the Dewey Loeffel Landfill.

The primary goal of the meeting was to address what the EPA dubbed phase one of a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study, which began in the fall of 2015. EPA officials will soon begin work on the removal of contaminated soil and sediment in a 1,900-foot stream located near the landfill, titled Tributary 11A. The tributary contains elevated levels of PCBs and flows into the Valatie Kill, and eventually empties into the Hudson River.

When asked by a member of the community where the contaminated soil and sediment would be removed to, Joseph Battipaglia, the Remedial Project Manager answered, “We don’t know yet.” Read more…

In Ancram, beautification starts with Town Board

ANCRAM—The Town Board spends a lot of time talking about what should be done about all the dilapidated buildings around town.

But, guess what? The town itself owns one of these falling-down properties and so far, has not succeeded in dealing with it.

The July 19 Town Board meeting again took up the continuing conundrum of “unsafe buildings.” Read more…