Recycling? County breaks even

ANCRAM—This town is on the forefront in many ways when it comes to environmental issues, being climate savvy and energy efficient.

So imagine what a revelation it was at the January Town Board meeting when right after a comprehensive annual report from the chair of the Town’s Conservation Advisory Council about all the strides made on the environmental front, Councilman David Boice announced that there is no recycling going on at Town Hall.

This building does not recycle,” said the councilman, noting the Town Hall has one dumpster and “everything under the sun goes in it.” Read more…

Shaker Museum purchases building in Chatham

OLD CHATHAM – The Shaker Museum purchased the empty building at 5 Austerlitz Street in the Village of Chatham last month, and received a $1,569,000 grant from Empire State Development through New York State’s Regional Economic Development Councils (REDC) initiative to support a project that will transform the building into a museum and community cultural center.

The grant, which will support construction and soft costs like architect’s fees, was the largest award to a Columbia County organization in 2019. The Shaker Museum has previously received three REDC grants from the New York State Council on the Arts to support programming at the Mount Lebanon historic Shaker site.

“The purchase of the building in Chatham and the support of New York State represent a significant step forward in the Shaker Museum’s efforts to fulfill its strategic plan to make its collection accessible to the public and to establish the museum as a regional resource and destination,” said the museum’s Executive Director Lacy Schutz in a press release. Read more…

Canaan okays salaries and who gets them

CANAAN—Brenda Adams chaired her first annual organizational meeting as town supervisor last month.

But before the meeting a standing-room-only crowd of more than 85 heard about the proposed program at Berkshire Farm for “unaccompanied alien children” funded by the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement. By the time the Berkshire Farm presentation ended, only a few hardy souls remained to observe the Town Board address appointments, salaries and other routine town organization matters.

The board passed a resolution approving salaries for key positions, including: Read more…

New Common Council member voices ambitious agenda

HUDSON–“We have to find ways to make life better in Hudson,” said Rebecca Wolff in a conversation January 14. It’s not idle speculation. Ms. Wolff, a writer and editor, is starting her first term as alderperson on Hudson’s Common Council (First Ward), serving as the council’s minority leader—she’s a registered member of the Working Families Party–and beginning a term as a commissioner on the board of the Hudson Housing Authority.

Ms. Wolff already serves as secretary for the Presbyterian Church, runs a literary magazine she created, publishes books and works as a freelance editor. She acknowledged that her two new positions will necessitate a “rearrangement” of her time but felt it is too early to know how.

Ms. Wolff said her goals on the Common Council include: Read more…

Solar farm plan comes baaaack

CRARYVILLE—Three years ago, Hecate Energy proposed to install a super-sized solar farm in and around the Craryville hamlet.

The 40-megawatt, ground-mounted solar project which was to occupy about 400-acres of the 700-acre Rasweiler farm in Craryville was considerably larger than the 10-acres permitted for utility-scale projects under Copake’s then new law regulating solar installations.

Since its initial introduction in 2017 the project has been in development. Now it’s back and bigger than before. And because of its size and Article 10 of the State Public Service Law, what the town’s solar law allows may not matter. Read more…