Smell that solar power?

HUDSON—A new revenue stream may be in Columbia County’s future—generated by sunshine and the seven county-owned dumps.

More delicately known as landfills, these sites are located in six towns around the county as well as the City of Hudson. The closed landfill area (as opposed to non-landfill area) of these properties totals about 74 acres.

These are places basically unsuitable for most uses. Before the current system of solid waste convenience/recycling/transfer stations was instituted, residents made weekly trips to dump their garbage and anything else they wanted to get rid of in a big stinky pile. These closed sites are now covered by geomembrane caps and vegetation with an occasional candy cane-shaped plastic pipe jutting up to vent the gasses of decomposing waste. The land is just sitting there costing the county money to maintain in terms of grass mowing and gas vent monitoring. None of the sites have leachate collection systems in place. The state Department of Environmental Conservation requires quarterly and/or annual monitoring according to approved closure plans and solid waste management facility regulations. Read more…

Cuomo tells Hudson it’s won $10M

HUDSON–The city learned this week that it had won a state government contest and will receive $10 million for development of its waterfront. Hudson is one of only 10 cities in the state that will receive that level of funding.

Hudson was also the first of the cities statewide to be identified as winning the Downtown Redevelopment Initiative. The announcement was made by Governor Andrew Cuomo at a noontime event Tuesday, August 1 at the newly renovated and renamed Henry Hudson Hall on the second floor of the Hudson Opera House. About 200 people attended, many of them Hudson or county officials.

The application for the funding was a joint effort by the Hudson Development Corporation (HDC) in partnership with the Columbia Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) and included public meetings and planning sessions to gather ideas for what projects might be funded. Read more…

G’town looks to trees to measure human history

GERMANTOWN—Reviewing the proceedings of the July 18 Town Board meeting might expand some readers’ vocabulary.

The board approved the spending of up to $3,500 from the Parsonage Account (not from the town budget) for a dendrochronology report. Dendrochronology is the scientific dating of tree rings (growth rings).

The First Reformed Church Parsonage at 52 Maple Avenue dates to “around 1743,” according to the town’s website (germantownny.org). It is the town’s oldest building. Parts of the parsonage appear to have been constructed during different periods, Supervisor Joel Craig said after the meeting; ascertaining the exact age of nearby trees will help date the building. Read more…

Hudson pleased by students’ progress but not by U.S. cuts

HUDSON–A new associate principal, new teachers, robocalls, the Warren Street Academy and a federal grant reduction highlighted the Hudson City School District (HCSD) Board of Education meeting Monday, July 24.

Alyssa Sabbatino was welcomed as the new associate principal of Hudson Junior High School. She will work with Principal Derek Reardon. “Student engagement is my main priority,” Ms. Sabbatino said.

Her additional objectives include that: discipline be “restorative”; instruction be differentiated; individualized be based on students’ needs; and teachers be “empowered.” Read more…

Claverack lighting district plans move forward

PHILMONT–At its July meeting the Claverack Town Board approved a letter to residents in the town lighting district informing them of changes scheduled to take effect next year that will correct billing errors in the district.

The letter and the lighting district changes result from a report that Councilwoman Maryanne Lee and a representative of power company National Grid presented to the Town Board at its March 2017 meeting. The report identified properties currently charged a lighting district tax and also compiled a list of all the streetlights within the district. It was explained at the meeting in March that the cost of lights and their installation would be covered by National Grid but the electricity to operate them is paid for by the town. Property owners in the district are taxed to cover the cost of the electricity.

Town Attorney Robert Fitzsimmons Jr. said that a property in the district can be taxed for the service even if there is no streetlight on the road where the property is located. If there is a light at the end of a road intersecting a highway or another road, complaints of being taxed without having a nearby light would not be valid. Read more…