Stimulus funds trickle down

HUDSON–It’s coming, slowly, and though there’s not that much of it, Columbia County is beginning to see funds from the $787 billion federal economic stimulus package called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. So far, it looks like Washington has directed about $15 million this way.

  The issue of stimulus funding and its impact is important enough to attract Vice President Joe Biden to the region. He was scheduled to speak Thursday at a high school in Saratoga County, part of the 20th District represented by recently elected Congressman Scott Murphy (D). The district includes all of Columbia County.

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Unpaid bills? Don’t worry

COPAKE–Delinquent debts are dogging Housing Resources of Columbia County, but the agency’s executive director does not see that as an obstacle to going forward with the controversial housing project adjacent to the hamlet.

  After a two-and-a-half-year hiatus, Housing Resources of Columbia County Executive Director Kevin O’Neill made an unscheduled appearance at the June 4 Planning Board meeting. Housing Resources’ proposal for a 138-unit senior and mixed-income housing development, called Copake Green, was the reason for his appearance, and he told board members that his agency is now ready to pick up where it left off in December 2006.

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Copake freezes but can’t yet cut

COPAKE–After an hour and 40 minutes of sometimes loud, sometimes accusatory and often unproductive talk at a special meeting July 7, the Town Board seemed no closer to figuring out what to do about the town’s $175,000 budget shortfall.

That’s the amount the town may have to borrow to pay its bills this year, but it’s a higher figure than the $160,000 the board was told it needed to borrow at its June 23 meeting. And at Tuesday night’s meeting, the board said that the amount needed might be as much as $200,000, a figure that includes “a cushion.”

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Detours won’t deter Chatham SummerFest Saturday

CHATHAM—The Chatham Business Alliance is hosting SummerFest in the village Saturday, July 11. Organizers plan to have sidewalk sales, information tables staffed by not-for-profit organizations, live music and a photography contest. Events will go on all day, rain or shine.

   The village has been the site of major road and storm drainage work for the past two years. The state and its contractors expect to conclude the project this fall, but construction has definitely been a challenge for stores. Main Street was closed to traffic and completely dug up for much of spring 2008. This summer Main Street is open, but work is being done on both ends of town, causing delays for drivers getting into the village.

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Woman charged with cashing checks meant for her dead sister

NEW YORK CITY—A Columbia County woman is accused of cashing $5,599 in disability checks mailed to her dead sister, according to a press release from the New York State Insurance Department.
Charged with insurance fraud and falsifying business records, Maryann Wagoner, 33, of Niverville was taken into custody by Schodack State Police June 25 following an investigation by John Toucher of the Insurance Department’s Frauds Bureau.
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