ICC board reviews $39.8M budget prop, hoping for more

KINDERHOOK – The Ichabod Crane School Board reviewed the proposed $38.9 million school budget for 2017-18 last week. The proposed spending plan shows a 2.22% increase from the current budget, but the budget’s proposed tax levy comes in under the state tax property cap, which this year is at 1.47%.

School Superintendent George Zini said that when putting together the budget they used the state aid numbers from the governor since the legislator had not passed a final state budget by the April 4 meeting. The district should receive about $14.8 million in aid. He did say the district could receive more aid after the state budget was finalized.

On April 7 Governor Cuomo announced an agreement on the state budget, and the state Assembly worked into the early morning hours Saturday to approve the plan. The state Senate was not in session over the weekend but is expected to approve the plan in the next few days. Read more…

Ghent hosts the Easter Bunny and breakfast

The Easter Bunny made an appearance at a breakfast where he was the guest of honor Sunday morning, April 1 at the Ghent firehouse. Children and adults alike were fascinated. The breakfast ran from 8 to 11 a.m., and by 9:30, 100 adults and many more children had already been served. Pictured are Emma Rose Van Alstyne and her twin brother Aiden (3-1/2 year olds) as they scrutinized and interrogated the Easter Bunny to try to get the fuzzy one to speak. For their efforts they got colored eggs with candy inside. Photo by David Lee

Taconic Hills now sees its solar savings faster

CRARYVILLE–After several months of discussions with state officials, the Taconic Hills School District will be able to use energy credits resulting from its investment in a solar system applied directly to its electric utility bill account effective as of February 2017.

District Business Manager Cybil Howard had sought this “reconciliation in real time” since the start of the current school year.

School districts purchase electricity through the Questar III BOCES, which negotiates a three-year deal with electricity suppliers for territories served by power companies NYSEG and National Grid. The current deal is in its third year. Taconic Hills participates in the program and is part of a consortium of 170 schools, stretching from the Capital Region west to Rochester. Read more…

We’re losing to the invaders

GHENT—They are like freeloading relatives who invite themselves over for the weekend and never leave.

They are invasive species and the U.S. spends more than $120 billion annually dealing with the havoc they wreak. Worldwide, the invasive-fighting price tag is a staggering $1.4 trillion dollars, nearly 5% of the global economy.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, about 50,000 species of plants and animals have invaded the U.S. causing many different types of damage to managed and natural ecosystems. Read more…

Board member, diving dogs depart G’town

GERMANTOWN—Councilman Matthew Phelan resigned from the Town Board as of March 10. “Due to a recent change in careers,” he wrote in his resignation letter, “I will no longer be able to actively participate and follow up on town activities or attend regularly scheduled workshops and meetings.”

He felt it best, he wrote, to resign so that someone else could be appointed that could actively participate.

And in the same month that Mr. Phelan departed so too did the proposal from Hudson River Air Dogs for dog dock jumping at a site near the Palatine Park. Read more…