Lawmakers brief business on progress, or lack of it

GREENPORT–National and statewide polls say voters don’t much care for the job lawmakers are doing these days. But more than 100 people filled the tables at the annual Chamber of Commerce Legislative Breakfast at Columbia Greene Community College Thursday, April 1, listening politely to six elected officials who discussed how federal, state and county governments intersect with life and commerce here.

Representative Scott Murphy (D-20th), who ran the Glens Falls office of a venture capital firm before winning election last spring, said he was an entrepreneur at heart, and emphasized that small businesses create jobs in this country, not government or large corporations. “Big companies buy small businesses” in order to grow, he said. He called for government to focus its direct job growth on traditional public sector functions like roads, bridges and other infrastructure. Read more…

Foundation program supports affordable housing

GT. BARRINGTON, Mass–The Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation wants to make affordable housing part of the public conversation.

To do that, the foundation, working with Winterhouse Institute, a design firm in Falls Village, Conn., has mounted a public information campaign for HousingUs. Read more…

Chilly reaction greets Kohl’s new tax break plan

GREENPORT–The public had its say Wednesday, March 31, on a tax break for a Kohl’s department store, and the verdict was a firm No.

The Widewaters Group, developers of Greenport Commons, has applied to the Columbia County Industrial Development Agency for a 15-year payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) deal. The latest proposal from the developer would see property taxes on the Kohl’s parcel, currently about $22,500 a year as undeveloped land, increase to $34,375 the first year and grow 2% per year for the life of the PILOT. Read more…

Sen. Saland hosts event Monday on topics for seniors

GREENPORT–State Senator Steve Saland (R-41st) will hold a Senior Seminar on Monday, April 12, at Columbia-Greene Community College, Professional Academic Center (PAC), Room 612, from 10 a.m. to noon. For directions and a campus map, go to www.sunycgcc.edu or call (518) 828-1529.

The free seminar will feature elder law attorneys who will discuss a number of important issues facing seniors such as estate planning, wills and trusts, end-of-life decisions and nursing home care.

The seminar will also feature a representative from The Alzheimer’s Association, who will discuss understanding memory loss and what services are available for persons diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and their caregivers.

A question and answer period will follow each presentation.

Reserved parking will be available and light refreshments will be served. All are welcome.

Track alive with sound of… music?

Lebanon Valley Speedway owner says big concert is in works

NEW LEBANON–Despite the town’s long and sometimes controversial experience with concerts at the Lebanon Valley racetrack, track owner Howard Commander said this week that there are plans afoot for a “multi-day music festival” there.

Mr. Commander, who made the statement after the April 6 meeting of the town Zoning Board of Appeals, said the idea originated with Kenneth Flood, the county planning director and commissioner of economic development. Mr. Flood’s office said he is on vacation and not available for comment.

Read more…