Ancram board asks: Is it legal yet?

ANCRAM—Despite being advised by two attorneys that leasing the Mathews’ property for a highway garage was illegal, a majority of Town Board members seemed ready to sign on the dotted line last week.
But in an evening rife with turnarounds, by the end of the November 12 special meeting they had changed their minds.
The series of plot twists began with the public notice about the special Town Board meeting, which was posted at the Town Hall. It stated the purpose of the meeting was “to allow open discussion on leasing the Mathews’ paintball facility located on Roche Lane … as a highway garage…”
A standing-room-only crowd of more than 100 people eager to engage in the discussion showed up, extra chairs were hauled in, the crowd was buzzing.
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Fund set up to replace carillon

HILLSDALE–With a little luck the sound of the carillon that rang out in the town center will ring again on Christmas Eve, according to Hillsdale United Methodist Church member Bette Gallup. The carillon just “quit,” Mrs. Gallup told The Columbia Paper. A repairman called to evaluate it, she said, told church members to “put it out of its misery.”

At the time, the church was in the process of putting on a new roof and not in a position to replace the bells. But a neighbor who missed the noon and 5 p.m. hymns offered to jump start a fund to replace it, she said. When the church set out to collect for the replacement, which is over $5,000, the response was “overwhelming.” One person told her that the carillon was something he “really liked, that made Hillsdale special.”

She hopes to be able to order the replacement in time for it to “ring out on Christmas Eve.”

People can still send donations–“$5 or $10 make people part of it, Mrs. Gallup said– to the church, Routes 22 and 23. 

Copake taxes spike up 27% under new budget

COPAKE–The Town Board adopted a final version of the 2010 budget November 12, but lost the town’s longtime highway superintendent in the process.

Next year’s budget carries with it a 27% hike in both the tax rate per $1,000 assessed value and the amount to be raised by taxes.

The tax rate will jump from $2.03 to $2.58 next year; the amount to be raised by taxes rises from $859,799 to $1,097,044.

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Supermarket eyes new Chatham store

Developer wants to double size of store but village has questions 

CHATHAM–An Capital Region developer wants to replace its existing Price Chopper supermarket with a 45,000-square-foot structure. But the plan raised questions for some village officials when the Village Board met last week with representatives of the developer, Schuyler Companies, to hear some of the details, including a proposal for water and sewer service from the village.

The new Price Chopper would be built adjacent to the current supermarket, the anchor store at the small shopping plaza on Route 66 at the south end of the village. Most of the seven acres south and east of the plaza, where the new building would be built, lie within the Town of Ghent.

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Hungry people strain pantries

Even as more seek help, groups fear many don’t ask

HILLSDALE–Representatives of area food pantries confirmed this week what the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a report released Monday: More Americans lack consistent access to adequate food than at any time since the government began keeping records on hunger.

Area pantries are serving many more families than they have in the past, but their representatives almost universally expressed concern for the people in need who are too embarrassed or too proud to ask for help.

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