Costs grow for town’s care of village roads

VALATIE–The Kinderhook Town Board approved raising the fee charged to the Village of Valatie for town Highway Department services at their April 1 meeting.

Since 1991 the village has contracted with the town for Highway Department services. The village dissolved its Department of Public Works and now has only a Water and Sewer Department. The state maintains the three state routes that run through the village.

In 2018, the village paid $117,400 for the town’s highway services in two installments. That was a $10,000 increase over the previous year. But the amounts are confusing because the village and town have different fiscal years–the village budget runs from June through May and the town fiscal year runs from January through December. Village Mayor Diane Argyle said in a phone interview after the April 1 town meeting that the village has been paying $117,400 since June 2018. Read more…

Firefighters make a call: ‘We Need Help’

CHATHAM–Four local fire departments might be tackling the problem in different ways but they share the same issue–a lack of volunteers coupled with an aging membership. And their message is the same: “We need help.”

“We need volunteers. We have some older firefighters, they are going to age out,” said David Levow, a firefighter and recruitment coordinator with the Chatham Fire Department. “We need younger ones going through the pipeline. We need officers. We always need the young coming in. We want to keep the pipeline full.”

This year’s recruitment in Chatham has been boosted by Mr. Levow’s neighbor, Doug Welch, of Chatham, a retired creative director at an ad agency in New York City. “I told him when he retires he needs to come help with our recruitment efforts,” Mr. Levow recalled. “This past fall he said he was ready. He said what we really needed was to personalize the campaign. He came up with the idea. The theme being ‘We Need Help.’” Read more…

H’dale accepts small plot for safer turn

HILLSDALE–At the urging of Town Attorney Matthew Cabral, the Hillsdale Town Board voted unanimously at its regular monthly meeting to accept an Irrevocable Offer of Cession from the Tory Hills Associates on a .93-acre parcel. The land being transferred to town ownership is located southwest of Whippoorwill Road near the intersection with state Route 22. Area residents have complained that the intersection is a traffic hazard due to limited visibility for vehicles entering 22 from Whippoorwill.

Mr. Cabral noted that the parcel is valued at $500 and that removing it from the town’s tax base would be “negligible.” He said, “It makes sense for the town to accept this offer now.” The town is considering widening the intersection to improve traffic visibility.

Supervisor Peter Cipkowski expressed concern that the parcel is not large enough to satisfy the state Department of Transportation. Read more…

Hudson brings schools budget in low to ‘give…back’

HUDSON–The 2019-20 budget, course cuts and proposals, Columbus Day and pool parties were among the topics addressed at the Hudson City School District (HCSD) Board of Education meeting April 8.

The board passed a budget proposal that calls for spending $49,792,463 in the 2019-20 school year. This includes a tax levy 2.3% higher than last year’s even though the state tax cap formula would have allowed the district to increase the tax levy by up to 2.5%.

The lower tax increase “give[s] something back to the community,” because this year the district can afford to do so, said Superintendent Maria L. Suttmeier, who presented the budget proposal. This will be the third straight year that the HCSD school tax levy will increase by less than the allowed maximum. Read more…

Livingston gas station plan critics cite local law

LIVINGSTON–The Livingston Planning Board held a second public hearing April 3, 2019 to address the Xtra-Mart gas station/convenience store. Global Partners, the company that owns the Xtra Mart chain, has submitted an application for a gas station and café on the northeast corner of the intersection of US Route 9 and State Routes 9H, 23 and 82.

The proposed station would be a 4,800-square-foot structure including 16 gasoline-dispensing stations with a 4,000 square foot canopy, two diesel dispensing locations and a 1,000-square-foot canopy, two enter/exit curb cuts on Route 9 with 32 parking spaces and a diesel island truck queue.

Like the first public hearing, Planning Board Chairman Phil Schmidt opened the hearing and announced that Global Partners would not be present. He then recused himself from the proceeding. Planning Board member Robert Berlinger stepped in for Mr. Schmidt. Read more…