ICC board adopts $38M spending plan, new bus proposal

KINDERHOOK–The Ichabod Crane School board adopted a $37.7-million budget proposal at Tuesday night’s regular board meeting. This proposed budget includes programs originally cut and will set the increase in the tax levy at 2.74%. The annual vote will be May 18 in the high school gym from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

In addition to the budget voters will be asked at the May election whether the district should spend $428,000 for new buses. At the school board meeting Tuesday, April 13, board members adopted the proposal to buy four new buses. School district Business Administrator Gregory Giammarco told the board that state aid would cover about 65% of the cost of the buses. The remaining 35%–roughly $150,000 in principal–would be picked up by taxpayers over a five-year period, he said. Read more…

Tenants, experts ponder fate of Bliss Towers

HUDSON–”Are you saying you are going to knock it down?” someone asked at a meeting held this week to discuss the future of Bliss Towers, the 36-year-old public housing complex.

“We’re entertaining the idea of replacement. Maintenance has become a headache,” said Jeffrey First, who manages the building as executive director of the Hudson Housing Authority, a program associated with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development. Read more…

IDA denies KOHL’s tax break request

GREENPORT–In a unanimous vote Tuesday, April 13, the Columbia County Industrial Development Agency denied a request by Widewaters Group, the developer of the Greenport Commons plaza on Route 9, for a tax reduction agreement aimed at attracting a Kohl’s department store to the site.

“The denial of the project for tax incentive was based on the IDA policy, adopted a couple of years ago, that said they would not provide IDA financing to retail projects unless they provide goods and services not already available in the community,” said IDA member Ken Flood, the county planning director and executive director of Columbia  Hudson Partnership. “Kohl’s and/or Widewaters would not commit to a permanent minimum number of jobs in exchange for the tax breaks,” said Mr. Flood. Read more…

UPDATED: Same guy, new dump

Cascino indicted for Clermont dumping, tests show asbestos in Copake

HUDSON–For years environmental officials and local residents have intensely scrutinized Salvatore Cascino’s Copake Valley Farm on the eastern edge of Columbia County. But new charges leveled by the state this week against the Bronx-based waste hauler allege that his illegal waste disposal operations involve another site on the western side of the county in the Town of Clermont.

Mr. Cascino and his Bronx County waste-hauling business were criminally indicted April 12 on two violations of state Environmental Conservation Law for illegally dumping solid waste at property off Route 9G in Clermont.

Read more…

Ancram puts on a coat to celebrate spring

ANCRAM–Some people in Ancram are working on their own version of “painting the town red”; they are painting Town Hall white.

Under the guidance of local painting contractor Jane Moore a volunteer crew power washed the building with a bleach solution to get rid of the mildew April 1 and began applying a coat of primer April 3. They were back on the job April 7, when a supply of the solid flat white acrylic stain arrived. Read more…