G’town’s streetlights will glow as flowers grow

GERMANTOWN—Streetlights are scheduled for the hamlet as early as this spring. At its meeting on January 17, the Town Board authorized Supervisor Joel Craig to request bids for the lights. On Tuesday Mr. Craig said he expected the notice to go out this week.

Bases for the streetlights were installed during the sidewalk project completed late last year, and now the town is ready to install the lights. Residents Martin Overington, who lives on Main Street, and Norman Mintz, who chairs the Comprehensive Plan Review Committee, helped choose the lighting style. Read more…

Hillsdale readies for warm weather roadwork

HILLSDALE–The Hillsdale Town Board has unanimously approved the spending of a little less than $217,000 for road paving and an additional $165,000 for general road repairs and maintenance. Board member Carmen Barbato was not in attendance at the January 17 meeting.

Roads scheduled for paving include: West End Road from state Route 23 to the town line; Craryville Road from West End Road to the town line; Lockwood Road from Route 23 to the start of the dirt section; and Harder Road from Harlemville Road to the town line. Read more…

Ticket surge bolsters Ancram’s bottom line

ANCRAM—The total number of cases in Town Court was up 36% in 2016 over the year before and the revenue those cases generated for the town was up nearly as much.

Ruth Wittlinger, Ancram court clerk since 2000, presented the year end 2016 Town Court report to the Town Board at its January 19 meeting. Three hundred eighty-three cases came before Town Justices George Wittlinger and Robert Wilcox last year as compared to 282, 101 less, in 2015.

The total money generated by court cases and reported to the state Comptroller’s Office last year was $41,582. In 2015, that amount was $28,285. Read more…

Chatham re-staffs town planning, zoning boards

CHATHAM – The Town Board passed a local law last week, reducing the number of members on the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) from seven to five. The Town Board had planned to reduce the number of ZBA members over two years–six members are in the 2017 budget. But after several resignations, the five-member board will begin work this year following the appointment by the Town Board of three new members to fill the vacant seats.

At the January 19 meeting the board also appointed two new Planning Board members and a volunteer town historian. Before the regular meeting, there was a public hearing on the proposed law to change the number of ZBA members. There were no comments from the public. Read more…

DSS needs caseworkers and people to train them

HUDSON–Caseworkers and transportation received attention at the Columbia County Board of Supervisors Health and Human Services Committee meeting Tuesday, January 17. This was the Committee’s first meeting after the committees underwent reorganization with the New Year. The Health and Human Services Committee, according to the County website, now concerns itself with Public Health, Human Services, the Department of Social Services (DSS), the Youth Bureau, and the Office for the Aging.

Michelle Ublacker, deputy commissioner of social services, reported that the DSS had reduced the time between when it gets and when it processes cases.

She also said that one DSS goal for 2017 will be aggressive staff training to increase caseworker retention. “We have a high turnover rate,” she acknowledged. But Miss Ublacker added, “We don’t want to pull case workers away” from helping clients to become trainers. Read more…