Local Government

Local Government 06.18.20

Councilman Jack Rogers Reports on his First Six Months in Office on the Town of North Greenbush Board

NORTH GREENBUSH – In my first six months the town initiated a local state of emergency and town hall was closed to the public due to the pandemic. Our town employees continued to get the town’s business accomplished. I thank each and every employee for their hard work.

I am proud to have presented the resolution to have meetings live streamed, and the timing could not have been any better. Thanks to the board for passing this resolution and thank you to Mary Frances Sabo for her research help. I can’t forget our Comptroller,Tony Germano, who helped to get this completed. Residents can now stream all public town meetings at townhallstreams.com/towns/northgreenbush.

The board has appointed two police officers, purchased two new police cars, and made a promotion to sergeant. Special thanks to our police department, fire departments, and the ambulance service during this time.

The water district (13A) for Lake Meadows was finally approved.

As a veteran, it was a pleasure to vote to proclaim our town a Purple Heart Community. Though we had to cancel the Memorial Day parade due to the pandemic, the board and community members continued the tradition of laying memorial wreaths throughout the town in order to remember those that sacrificed so much.

It was a tough decision to cancel summer camp this year. I personally felt it was a decision we had to make to keep the kids and camp staff safe.

Lastly my deepest sympathy to the families of those we have lost due to this terrible virus. Hopefully we can all get back to work, and continue to be safe.

Congratulations to all 2020 graduates and Happy Father’s Day to all the dads

out there.

My contact information is on the town’s website, www.townofng.com.

Have a great summer,

Councilman Jack Rogers

North Greenbush Report from Councilwoman Mary Frances Sabo

NORTH GREENBUSH – North Greenbush is beginning to open up. Summer camp has been cancelled, a difficult decision that involved lots of discussion and debate and undoubtedly disappointed many. Nonetheless, there is hope that the town beach at Snyder’s Lake will be opened by the end of June and that as the summer progresses, town sponsored activities for children and adults such as art days and kayaking can be organized. Even though the beach opening is not certain, the Town board approved the hiring of a reduced summer staff and the purchase of kayaks, paddle boards, new sand and mulch and repair supplies at its June meeting. The town has also organized a summer time concert series which will begin Sunday, July 12 with Dealt the Blues, a local band that features several North Greenbush residents. Social distancing will be practiced. Our town historian, Jim Greenfield, is gathering information to chronicle how the COVID-19 virus is affecting the daily lives of town residents. For more information on responding to Mr. Greenfield’s request, please visit the town website. The North Greenbush Public Library has begun a “grab and go” contactless pick up as part of its steps towards re-opening. Library patrons may request items using the online catalog or by calling the main number at 518-283-0303. They may be picked up during pick up hours-Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 to 2 and Tuesday and Thursday from 3 to 7. Please watch the library website for information about re-opening. The Climate Smart Committee held its first meeting( via Zoom) to discuss our work with Cornell Cooperative Extension. The Committee members have a lot of excellent ideas on steps to take to make North Greenbush a Climate Smart Community. Finally, many of you have asked about the Route 4 project. The Request for Proposal has gone out and bids should be received by the middle of next month.

Submitted by Councilwoman Mary Frances Sabo

Town of North Greenbush Update by Supervisor Joe Bott and Deputy Supervisor Kelly Hoffman

NORTH GREENBUSH – We hope this update finds you and your family well. We held a beautiful ceremony at each monument in town for Memorial Day to honor our fallen soldiers. Thank you again to our veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can live free in America. After careful consideration, the town has made the difficult decision to not hold summer camp. After review of the CDC guidelines during this pandemic, we are not able to ensure a camp that is safe for campers, staff and the community. We thank you for your understanding. Look for future news on exciting activities planned for families throughout the summer that will allow for safe social distancing. Brand new paddle boards, kayaks and life jackets will be available to North Greenbush town residents to use at the town beach once we have approval to reopen to provide for additional distancing activities. Our Summer Concert series is planned and we will be rolling out the schedule shortly with an all new lineup of bands and some exciting new additions to the event. The RFP process for the Route 4 Corridor Improvement project is underway. So many of you have participated in the public informational meetings about these improvements and we will keep you updated on our progress. We participated in the County Food Drive held at HVCC which filled a tractor trailer of items for those in need. We want to thank our police officers who worked with neighboring communities to keep everyone safe during the recent protests. With Summer here, we ask that you be vigilant watching the speed limit throughout our town. Children are outside playing now more than ever and our neighbors are out taking walks. Extra care should be given to pedestrians in crosswalks. Finally, we would like to wish our resilient 2020 graduates all the best in the next exciting chapter of your lives. You are triumphant and we are excited to see the amazing things you will do. Just don’t forget your roots here in North Greenbush!

Rensselaer County Legislature Majority’s June Meeting Update.

RENSSELAER COUNTY – The Rensselaer County Legislature held its third virtual meeting on June 9th. Some legislators were in the chambers, and the others joined via the Zoom app. The meeting was closed to the public, but streamed live on the Rensselaer County Legislature Facebook page.

Some of the notable legislation adopted included the acceptance of more grant funding to support the County Health Department’s valiant fight against COVID-19, and funding to aid the Board of Elections effort to adapt to new voting regulations because of the pandemic.

The Legislature also accepted a $10,000 grant from the Community Foundation of the Greater Capital Region to assist the County’s Heroin Coalition in their ongoing efforts to raise awareness and fight addictions.

In addition to other legislation that improves the county infrastructure, the Legislature authorized continued improvements to the Rensselaer County Wastewater Treatment Plant. The plant is managed by the Legislature and has seen millions of dollars of improvements, many of which were mandates by New York State. Our County Wastewater Treatment Plant has slowly become a cutting edge facility that is used as an example across the country.

The Legislature Majority also introduced and adopted a resolution urging New York State to stop infringing on the rights of citizens looking to legally own firearms. State leaders are considering laws that will require $1 million insurance policies and a requirement that those seeking to buy a rifle must apply for a hunting license first, and complete live fire training with 90% proficiency. The resolution also renewed the Legislature’s opposition to the NY SAFE Act. The resolution was adopted 11-6 with all 6 minority legislators from Troy voting in opposition.

As we gradually begin to re-open Rensselaer County, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at 518-270-2880 or visit our website at www.RensselaerCounty.org. Enjoy the summer weather and be safe.

Poestenkill Town Board Meeting Minutes

POESTENKILL – Poestenkill Town Board – Meeting Minutes – Thursday, May 21, 2020

Due to the ongoing issue with COVID-19, the Town Hall remains closed and for this reason the Town hosted a Zoom Conference meeting on May 21st.

Road Dedication Specification – the Town Board members discussed the 2020 “Possible Road Specifications Improvements.” Councilman Van Slyke and Councilwoman Butler had some concerns, which were considered. The Town Attorney will prepare a Resolution and Public Hearing for June’s Town Board Meeting.

Councilman Wohlleber discussed the benefits to live streaming Town Board meetings. Several Town Board members stated their views and it was determined not to incur this expense this year.

Tree Removal/Excavation of Property on Snyder’s Corner Road was discussed with additional information provided by the resident. This matter will be brought up at the June Meeting.

These minutes to be approved at the next town board meeting scheduled for Thursday, June 18th, at 7pm.

For more information go to www.PoestenkillNY.com

Submitted by Councilman Eric Wohlleber

Rensselaer County Legislature Office of the Minority

RENSSELAER COUNTY – June 2020 Meeting Highlights:

STOP-DWI – The legislature unanimously accepted grant funding from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Council (GTSC) to assist with monitoring activities of intoxicated drivers convicted under Leandra’s Law. These funds will offset county expenses associated with the use of the ignition interlock device monitoring program.

Home Ownership XI Program – Rensselaer County was awarded a $200,000 grant from the New York Small Cities Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). This program allows six low or moderate income families to buy a first time home in Rensselaer County, outside of the City of Troy.

Health – The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) awarded the County a Drinking Water Enhancement Program Grant. This grant is essential in assessing and identifying issues affecting the quality of our drinking water.

The legislature also unanimously accepted funding to support the Rensselaer County Heroin Coalition, which was formed to address the opioid crisis.

Hudson Valley Community College – A Public Hearing date was set for July 14, 2020 at 5:30 pm in the Legislative Chambers of the County Office Building to review the college’s 2020-2021 tentative budget.

NEXT MEETING – Tuesday, July 14, 2020 in the Rensselaer County Chambers located on the 3rd floor of the Ned Pattison Government Center, 1600 7th Avenue, Troy.

Residents are welcome to contact our office at 270-2890.

www.rensselaercounty.org & follow us on Facebook: “Rensselaer County Legislature – Democratic Team”

Town Beach To Not Open in 2020

SAND LAKE –  the past few months, I have been closely monitoring the fiscal ramifications of the pandemic on our Town’s 2020 Budget.  I gave a budget address at our May 27th Workshop meeting (it is on our website).  I anticipate that the Town is facing a $400,000 revenue shortfall because of anticipated decreases in sales tax revenue, mortgage recording tax revenue, and state aid.  Our General Fund relies nearly 90% on these three sources.  The $400,00 represents nearly a quarter of our total General Fund budget.  

The town is taking several actions to address the shortfall.  Doing nothing means your taxes would rise next year 2.5 times over this year. If COVID-19 spikes again and/or the economy does not recover, it could get worse.  Therefore, it is imperative we take action now.

The Beach is budgeted for $17,000.  The Town Board knows the importance of the beach for our residents.  We have spent considerable time figuring out what to do.  In addition to the fiscal issues, the beach would only be allowed to operate at 50% of capacity, which is now set at 50.  That means that at any given time, only 25 people would be allowed on the property.  Even if we instituted fees, there is no practical way to recover costs associated with having two lifeguards and a beach aide on duty.  We also worry that people will demand to come in even when we are at capacity, and this could put our staff/other people in harm’s way.  It would be difficult, if not impossible, to require social distancing and keep the restrooms adequately sanitized.  

Therefore, on June 10, the Town Board voted not to open the beach this summer.  It was not an easy decision.  

All is not lost, however.  We are working on ideas for improvements to the beach that would be low-cost and accomplished with volunteers.  The West Sand Lake Fire Department is relocating its hydrant, and we hope to use that construction activity to expand the beach area.  We will keep you informed.

Nancy Perry 

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