Local Government

Local Government 07.22.21

Celebration Postponed, Not Forgotten

DEFREESTVILLE – The Defreestville Fire Department (DFD) decided to postpone its 75th anniversary related events until 2022. DFD turned 75 in 2020 but the onslaught of COVID-19 put these events on hold. Although it looks as if the pandemic is in our rear-view mirror, half of 2021 has passed and we want to make sure the entire community will be able to join us in the various events being planned. Among these are a late spring open house and picnic for the entire community; a summer “old-timers” night to acknowledge previous members who helped advance DFD’s professionalism; and a formal dinner in the fall to recognize the service of current members.

Despite the pandemic, DFD’s dedicated, all-volunteer staff responded to 622 emergency calls encompassing the pandemic period and we continue to answer all calls for assistance just as we have since our founding in 1945.

These extraordinary times require extraordinary effort from ordinary people. Is there a fire in you? If so, please visit our website www.defreestvillefire.org or our Facebook page www.facebook.com/defreestvillefd to inquire about joining the long history of the volunteer fire service.

In addition to the personal rewards of special service to the community, volunteer firefighters enjoy several tangible benefits. Tax breaks, tuition reimbursement and health checkups are only a start. You also enter an environment where you receive invaluable training, experience working with a team and leadership opportunities. You become a part of a centuries-old legacy that you can be proud of.

Thank you for your ongoing support. We look forward to 75 more years of service to the community!

Pools Need Town Building Permits

SCHODACK – The Town of Schodack Building Department reminds residents permits are needed for swimming pools.  Permits are required for any structure intended for swimming, bathing or wading that contains over 24 inches of water.  This includes in-ground, above ground and on-ground pools, hot tubs, spas and fixed wading pools.  Fences are also required for any pool with sides or walls less than 48 inches in height, per the New York State Building Code.  

Furthermore, the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code states that any “residential or commercial swimming pool constructed or substantially modified after December 2006 shall be equipped with an acceptable pool alarm capable of detecting a child entering the water and of giving an audible alarm.”

For information on pool requirements call the Town of Schodack Building Department weekdays at 518-477-7940.

Free Shredding Day

SCHODACK – Schodack residents please note that in conjunction with the Town of East Greenbush and City of Rensselaer, the Town of Schodack is sponsoring a Free Shredding event on Saturday July 24, 2021 from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Schodack Town Hall parking lot. All residents from The Town of Schodack, Town of East Greenbush and the City of Rensselaer are welcome. Documents will be shredded in a secured mobile truck. There is a limit of 3 boxes per customer (cubic foot size). Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and rid yourself of those outdated checks, bank statements, and other personal information.

The Town of Sand Lake is Sponsoring an Electronics Recyclying Program

SAND LAKE – Sat & Sun, Aug 14 & 15, 2021 8:00am – 4pm in the Town Hall Parking Lot, 8428 Miller Hill Road. 

We will be accepting anything with a Board or a Cord and any Scrap Metal

The following items are FREE:  Computers, Docking Stations, Tablets, MP3Players, Servers, Cable/Wiring, Office Equipment, Projectors, Computer Speakers, Radios, Routers, Cell Phones, SD cards, lead acid & lithium ion batteries (no ni-cds please).  TV’s WILL BE ACCEPTED FOR $15.  No appointment or registration required.  

This service is being provided by Capital Region Electronics Recycling.  Any questions, please call Barbara Hansen, Sand Lake Town Clerk at 518-674-2026 Ext. 122 or visit:  crerecycling.com 

Message from the Nassau Town Clerk’s Office

NASSAU – The Nassau Town Clerk, Sandra L. Rings, would like to inform the residents of Nassau that the Town Clerk’s Office will be closed on Fridays starting July 23, 2021 and running through the month of August. Please plan to come in anytime Monday through Thursday between the hours of 9:00AM and 12:00 noon. If you have any questions please call the office at 518-766-2343, ext.1 or email me at sandra.rings@nulltownofnassau.org.

Attention all sportsmen and women, we will be selling hunting licenses which go on sale starting August 2, 2021.This also includes doe permits. Hope to see you all soon!

Thank you and have a wonderful summer!


Sandra L. Rings, RMC

Nassau Town Clerk

Rensselaer County of the Minority – July 2021 Meeting Highlights

RENSSELAER COUNTY – Animal Abuse Registry – After a decade of pushing for this legislation by the Minority Office, the full legislature unanimously voted to pass a local law that will establish the Rensselaer County Animal Abuse Registry. All offenders convicted of abusing cats and/or dogs will now be forced to register with the county registry. Animal cruelty is a serious and growing problem with thousands of animals abused every year, and it is a fact that people who have abused pets in the past are likely to do it again. Those who abuse dogs and cats are often abusers in other aspects of their lives, and the establishment of this registry is very likely to assist in the prevention of domestic and interpersonal violence.

Safe Disposal of Prescription Opioids – The legislature unanimously voted to pass a local law that will require distributors of prescription opioids to provide their patients with a personal portable pharmaceutical disposal system with each opioid prescription. This is a step in combating the long-running opioid epidemic present in Rensselaer County.

School Bus Photo Monitoring – The legislature unanimously voted to pass a local law that will allow Rensselaer County to install and operate school bus photo monitoring systems in order to impose owner liability on drivers that illegally pass stopped school buses. The safety of our children is a major priority, and we are sure that this law will only improve their safety going to and from school.

Ballistic Vests for Mental Health Dept. – The legislature authorized the purchase of protective ballistic vests for the field workers in the Department of Mental Health, following a similar purchase made in June by the Department of Social Services. This is another huge step in ensuring that our social workers are able to do their jobs safely and therefore effectively.

NEXT MEETING – Tuesday, August 10, 2021 in the Rensselaer County Chambers located on the 3rd floor of the Ned Pattison Government Center.

Rensselaer County Legislature Adopts Resolution Opposing Cuomo’s Latest Executive Order

RENSSELAER COUNTY – At its July 13th meeting, the Rensselaer County Legislature adopted a resolution that was drafted in response to Governor Cuomo’s latest Executive Order that declares a “Gun Violence Disaster Emergency” and treats gun violence like a public health crisis.

Since the Governor’s emergency declaration, critics on both sides of the political aisle have roundly criticized the declaration, calling it a public relations stunt that ignores the real reasons for the spike in violence.

“Governor Cuomo created another Executive Order to give himself the power to spend over $137 million any way he wants to. He ignores the fact that his policies have let career criminals out of jail by dismantling the criminal justice system in New York”, said Legislator Bruce Patire.

The resolution also opposed the recently adopted NYS law that seeks to hold gun manufacturers responsible for crimes committed with guns that may have been stolen or obtained illegally.

“Governor Cuomo is now looking to blame gun manufacturers for crimes committed by career criminals that have been arrested by the men and women of our law enforcement, only to be released hours later to commit more crimes. The policies that he signed into law, after they were passed by the State Legislature, are not keeping our neighborhoods safe. They need to be revisited and fixed”, said Legislature Chair of Finance- Bob Loveridge

Members of the Legislature Majority support funding police officers in their fight against crime and the illegal use of guns.

“Gun violence is really a law enforcement issue, not a health department issue. Common sense will tell you that any additional money should be spent on law enforcement, not funding a new office in the NYS Health Department”, said Majority Leader Ken Herrington

“The governor’s failed policies are noticed by all, regardless of political parties, and the safety of our residents is paramount, I urge the governor to reconsider these ill-conceived reforms”, Scott Bendett

Harry Tutunjian

Vice Chair of the Legislature Kelly Hoffman Announces Passage of County Animal Abuse Registry

RENSSELAER COUNTY – After several months of reviewing the language of an Animal Abuse Registry proposed by District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly, the Rensselaer County Legislature has adopted their own version of the law.

That law, proposed in February, had several flaws that have been discussed during several meetings of the Legislature. Members of the Legislature have also met with District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly to seek clarification of language included in the law, and how it would be enforced and implemented by her office.

Vice Chair of the Legislature Kelly Hoffman lead a group of legislators who worked together to craft a law that was appropriate for Rensselaer County and its animal farming communities. Legislators Chuck Peter, Ken Herrington, Tom Grant, and Todd Tesman all joined Hoffman and DA Donnelly at a meeting of the County Farm Bureau earlier in the year.

“I am pleased to sponsor this local law legislation. When we see an abuse case involving a cat or dog on the news, we understand the community outcry because these are helpless animals and the acts against them are quite violent. Now, we can do something about this and hopefully prevent this abuse from happening”, said Vice Chair Kelly Hoffman.

The Majority’s version of the Local Law was sponsored by Vice Chair Hoffman, and Legislators Tom Grant and Carole Weaver, and passed unanimously at the July 13th meeting.

“I hope this law will serve as a model for other counties but most importantly at the state level. We hope this registry never has any names on it, however this law will prevent those who are convicted of abusing animals from owning them in the future and serve as a deterrent to others”, added Vice Chair Kelly Hoffman.

Harry Tutunjian

North Greenbush Report by Councilwoman Mary Frances Sabo

NORTH GREENBUSH – A week of constant rain followed by a few hours of torrential downpours on July 14 resulted in severe flooding in Wynantskill. Residents living on Brookside Avenue and nearby streets were evacuated, some with the help of first responders and others with good hearted neighbors. The town hall annex was available for shelter for those who needed it. Extreme weather events such as the July 14 flooding are becoming more common due to climate change. So called 100 year storms have become 5 year storms. Last year, the North Greenbush Climate Smart Communities Committee did a vulnerability and resiliency assessment and determined the town demonstrated vulnerabilities in evacuation. After speaking with local first responders, it is clear that the town public safety committee should look to update evacuation plans and possibly develop resources for shelter. In more positive news, the town’s Open Space committee that I chair has learned that its application for technical assistance to prepare a Natural Resources Inventory has been accepted by the Capital District Transportation Committee. The CDTC will provide free GIS mapping of the town’s natural and historic resources as well as transportation related mapping for traffic volume, sidewalk and paved share use trail locations, and CDTA routes and stops.

Finally, I was honored to participate in a ceremony attended by Bishop Scharfenberger, executives and staff from Catholic Charities and community leaders to commemorate the 100th year anniversary of Camp Scully. Although it started in Albany, the camp moved to Snyder’s Lake in 1934. Since its beginning, the camp has focused its attention on the underserved and those who did not have access to outdoor recreational programs. I am proud to recognize Camp Scully for its long history of offering quality and accessible summertime recreation in North Greenbush.

Submitted by Councilwoman Mary Frances Sabo

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