Truckers put brakes on Ancram plan for slower speeds

ANCRAM—The Town Board tabled two resolutions related to speed and weight limits in Ancramdale after hearing from several residents who use trucks to make a living.

The two-hour-plus October 18 meeting was preceded by a second public hearing on the 2019 budget in which funding for the Roeliff Jansen Community Library again took center stage.

A wide range of topics were part of the discussion at the regular board meeting that followed. Read more…

A century ago county welcomed armistice ending WWI

John Callan (r) with Francis “Doc” Wildman in front of a Curtiss “F” Boat at Hammondsport, NY, 1914.

ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO, on a Tuesday, November 11, 1918, what President Woodrow Wilson called the war to end all wars came to an end. The U.S. entered that conflict in 1917, when, as it turned out, it was almost two-thirds over. Nevertheless the war had a big impact on this country and on Columbia County. Approximately 1,700 Columbia County men, and a few women, served in the Army, the Navy or ancillary organizations during the war. For that reason, among others, the cessation of hostilities was highly welcomed in the county as it was throughout the US.

Four days previously, Navy Ensign Albert Bristol of Copake married his bride, Gladys. Immediately after the ceremony, bells began to ring all over the town. Some thought that because Gladys’ father was Hudson’s mayor, the couple was being given special treatment. The couple had an unusually long wait at the Copake train station on their way to their honeymoon in New York City. Once there, they found that no public transportation was operating, and they had to walk many blocks to the hotel. On arrival, they found that the reservation had not been kept and they had to look elsewhere; it turned out that everybody was celebrating the war’s end. But they soon found out it was a false alarm. November 7 was a false Armistice born of a misreading of a German wireless message.

Columbia County men from virtually every town served in the war, some as volunteers, others as inductees. In 1924, a home defense Committee of Columbia County published a book entitled “Columbia County in the World War,” containing 1,400 biographies and 1,000 portraits of soldiers, sailors, marines and nurses of the county who served in the war. Read more…

G’town voters back ending town police

GERMANTOWN—Amid the highly charged mid-term election campaigns, the ballot for voters Germantown also included Proposition 1, asking whether the town should adopt Local Law No.2 of 2018 which abolishes the Germantown Police Department.

At a special meeting in August the Town Board unanimously voted to abolish the Police Department, but after the board voted a petition was circulated and enough signatures were collected to require a referendum on the ballot for the November 6 elections. Read more…

Septic upgrade paves way for Queechy garage

CANAAN–The town Zoning Board of Appeals has unanimously approved the application of Tony and Ann Zinzer for a variance to permit construction of a 15’ x 30’ garage by their summer residence at 55 Loop Hill Road on the shore at Queechy Lake. The Zinzers were represented at the ZBA hearing by neighbor, friend and year-round Canaan resident, Sallie Lavalle.

At the October 29 meeting Mrs. Lavalle and ZBA Chairman David Cooper discussed the proposed project, which resulted from construction of an upgraded septic system on an odd shaped lot. That construction necessitated removal of a large storage shed. Mr. Cooper that it “seems rational to do this,” adding that the applicants were replacing what they previously had and that the structure “fits well on the odd-configured property.”

Mrs. Lavalle presented copies of 25 notices that had been mailed to neighbors. Of the 25, just one responded and that person was in favor of the garage project. Read more…

State agrees slower is safer, trims Rte. 203 speeds

KINDERHOOK–The state has reduced the speed limit on Route 203 from 55 mph to 50 mph along the route from the Village of Valatie to the Village of Chatham. After the road crosses the town line from Kinderhook to Chatham, the speed is now down to 40 mph.

The Town of Kinderhook received a letter for the state Department of Transportation (NYDOT) right before the November 7 board meeting. The Village of Chatham Board of Trustees also received the letter and discussed it at their meeting November 8.

“I’m so glad that that happened,” said Chatham Village Mayor Tom Curran at the Thursday night meeting.

The letter, dated October 31, says, “Upon consideration of the Towns of Ghent, Chatham and Kinderhook, Village of Chatham and public support for a lower speed limit, and consideration of the results of the study, NYSDOT will reduce the speed limit on Route 203 from the Village of Chatham/Town of Ghent northerly line, to a point just south of the Town of Chatham/Town of Kinderhook line (bridge over Kline Kill) to 40 mph…. and from the Town of Kinderhook/Village of Valatie southerly line to 50 mph.” The state had plans to complete the changes by the end of December, according to the letter, but the letter did not indicate the change would happen so soon. Read more…