Letters To The Editor

Letters To The Editor 05.04.23

Keeping the Warrior Name

To the People of the Averill Park Central School District:

My name is Alessia Valente. I go to Algonquin Middle School, or AMS. I am extremely upset because my district is being forced to change our school name, The Warriors. We have been told that it was rude to indigenous people and must be removed, along with the emblem of the school. However, my understanding is that we have to comply by June 30th, or we will lose state aid. If we say no though, we will lose funding as well, and if we say yes, we will not get funds to remove the name from everything, like schools, equipment, fields, and other things. I find this incredibly unfair for the schools, so I decided to write a letter to Governor Hochul to say my opinions. 

I believe that we should be able to keep our name without losing funds. We should be able to keep our name because “Warrior” is not offensive or rude in any way perceivable. A warrior is basically someone who fights for their beliefs. That is why we are all warriors, all of us. We were warriors to fight to become independent from Great Britain. We were warriors in the Civil and World wars. We were warriors to fight for what was right. We must be warriors now, and fight for our title as the “Warriors.” Who would we be if we weren’t The “Warriors.” 

-Alessia Valente, 6th Grader at Algonquin Middle School, Averill Park

North Greenbush Town Board squanders town money in purchase of Electric Vehicle Chargers

In 2021, the North Greenbush Climate Smart Committee, which I chaired, pursued state and utility funding to finance the installation of two level 2 electric vehicle charging stations at town hall. At the August 2021 board meeting, we unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the supervisor to sign an agreement with Potentia Management Group for this project. At the time, the installation of this charging station was estimated to cost $20,685 and was eligible for $19,145 in rebates from the utility and NYSERDA, a state authority. The total project cost to the town at the time -$1,500. Although it passed the resolution, the GOP leadership did not proceed with this project in 2021 as it was an election year and they did not want to advance any of the Climate Smart committee’s initiatives, including the charging stations. Instead, they turned their attention to churning out sensational and baseless political mailers. While the GOP town board members wasted time on partisan political wrangling, the state program rebate program expired. The price for the charging stations also increased by $1,000 each. Realizing it would look bad to backtrack on its pledge to install the stations, the town board passed yet another resolution at its June 2022 meeting which would allow it to proceed with the original purchase. The new cost to the town-$10,000 instead of $1,500. Town residents won’t hear about these extra costs to taxpayers when the stations are finally installed. Instead, the GOP will put out a press release patting themselves on the back for their “environmentalism”. The town board majority continues to put politics and their own survival ahead of the taxpayers and residents of North Greenbush.

Mary Frances Sabo, North Greenbush

Poestenkill Public Hearing on PFA Water District Scheduled without Known Costs

At the Poestenkill Town Board meeting April 13 the Board was asked to press DEC to release their tests report on PFA’s at area business sites they performed last summer. Supervisor Hammond said the Board and businesses received a DRAFT report but were not allowed to make it public. He stated that the businesses were unhappy with the DRAFT report. This suggests the test numbers were high for DEC to say not-so-nice things about the results. Is there a tested business or businesses who could actually be at fault for the PFA contamination in our area? Should they help pay for WD2? The Town Board went into Executive Session after the Board mtg. to discuss the report and the new EPA PFA MCL guidelines of 4MCL. 

When will the town residents see these PFA results and shouldn’t the results be public before a new water district has a public hearing and is voted on? 

The Town Board has a hearing on the Water District 2 at the Firehouse on May 11. There are still several financial variables to the Water District costs and funding. The Town Board voted to authorize a Bond sale of $950,000 to provide up-front funds to get the Water District 2 started. State and county funds tare: $3.9 million-state, $600,000 -county. Congresswoman Stefanik is working on a $2 million grant to help with the Water District cost but some of that will reduce some of the state contribution. Supervisor Hammond could not tell us what that offset amount will be so there is no way to know what the real Water District resident/taxpayer cost will be. The total project cost is an estimated $5.5 

There are engineering and legal costs to be added to the WD2 costs also. Each WD2 resident must pay their share of these costs whether connecting to the water or not. Each home connection will run around $4-5,000. Algonquin Middle School (Averill Park School taxpayers) will have to contribute to the main line per the Town. 

Let the Town Board know your feelings on this on May 11.

Philip LaRocque, Poestenkill

North Greenbush May 11, 2023 meet – No to variance

I am urging other North Greenbushians to attend the public hearing on May 11, 2023 at 6:45 at North Greenbush town hall. This meeting relates to Local Law #2 of 2022. Local Law #2 established a moratorium on multi-family dwellings.

Section 4 of the law allows for a person to apply for a variance. Section 4 states “…the Town Board may, in its discretion, render a determination that this local law would impose extraordinary hardship upon a landowner or developer and that a variance from this law will not be a detriment to the public health, safety, and welfare or to the residents of the Town or present any significant adverse environmental impacts” [locallaws.dos.ny.gov].

Typically, I am ALL for the project requesting the variance. It is multi-family dwelling building with mixed-use design (retail on the first floor) along Main Ave. However, I am confused how a project of this relatively small size meets the extraordinary hardship definition. 

I am advocating that the town either vote no or table the request and instead rescind Local Law #2 of 2022. I was not supportive of the law (see my November 2022 letter to the editor). We were only 1/3 of the way into 2023 when this public meeting was set. The Town should either give the moratorium a whole year to assess the viability of the moratorium or rescind it if the Town is going to provide variances for projects of possibly any size.

Michael Myer, North Greenbush

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