Local Government

Local Government 08.20.20

Village of East Nassau September Election Information

EAST NASSAU – Village of East Nassau Elections have been Rescheduled for Tuesday, September 15, 2020 from Noon to 9:00 PM at the Tsatsawassa Firehouse on Firehouse Lane, Brainard, NY. Masks and social distancing will be enforced.

These Village Elections, originally scheduled for Wednesday, March 18, 2020 from Noon to 9:00 PM, were postponed by Executive Order Number 202 by the Governor of the State of New York due to the COVID-19 virus.

Candidates running for office are: Adam Acquario for a 2-year term as Village Mayor; Lydia Davis and Michael Lever both for a 2-year term as Village Trustees.

Anyone wishing a Request for an Absentee Ballot should contact the Diane Maguire the Village Clerk no later than September 8, 2020 either by phone 518-766-5811 (leave message) or email clerk@nullvillageofeastnassau.org.

Sand Lake FYI 

SAND LAKE – Happy August to all Sand Lakers!  This has been a hot, difficult summer. 

Our Comprehensive Plan was passed by the Town Board in December 2019.  Our Town has received many compliments about the high quality of the document and what a good job our town does in keeping track of the recommendations and their implementation progress.  This good work is due primarily to our Planning Oversight Committee.  Their work has been instrumental in making our Comprehensive Plan a viable, usable planning tool rather than a bookend on a shelf.  Upon completion of the Plan late last year, the POC was disbanded.  The Town Board has voted to approve the reinstatement of this important committee.  If you are interested in serving on the Committee, please reach out through our Town website to apply.  We will collect names and resumes for a month and be ready to make appointments at our October Town Board business meeting.  

Our 2021 Budget making will begin within the next few weeks.  We are still waiting to see our second quarter revenues from sales tax and mortgage recording tax because they encompass the months of April, May, and June which were our primary COVID months.  Over the past few months, the Town Board has made difficult decisions regarding our expenditures and these decisions will help set the stage for a responsible budget in 2021.  We understand the importance of keeping taxes manageable, especially because many in our town have also been negatively impacted by this pandemic.  

Senator Jordan’s office informed the town that all SAM (State and Municipal Facilities) projects are at a standstill at the present time.  The SAM projects have not been officially cancelled; but until further notice they will not be allowed to receive payments.  We will continue with the engineering and design of the 2nd Dyke Culvert because work is underway at the present time.  However, we all need to be fully aware that unless the State rescinds this order, we may not be able to proceed.  

Town Supervisor, Nancy Perry  

Town of Brunswick – New Water Bill Format

BRUNSWICK – Your next water bill will be printed in a postcard format. Also, you now have the option to pay your water bill online. The instructions will be printed on your bill. Due to the Corona virus, we are encouraging online or mailed in payments. You may also drop off your check in the mailbox located in the front of Town Hall. Please do not leave cash! If you wish to make a payment in person, please call to schedule an appointment at (518) 279-3461 ext. 114. You will be required to have a temperature check, fill out a contact tracing form, and answer some health related questions. Thank you.

Just the Facts – Ambulance Service in Poestenkill

POESTENKILL – On Thursday, September 17th the Poestenkill Town Board will be hosting a public hearing to get input from residents on Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulance service in town. Today, and for the past six years, our town has relied on an existing agreement between Mohawk Ambulance and Rensselaer County to provide ALS service in town.

Our Fire Department provides Basic Life Support (BLS) services, with Mohawk providing ALS and ambulance transport. The ALS service comes at no additional cost to town tax payers.

In several studies of the response time data from 2014 – to today, with April and May of 2020 being the most recent data sets, it takes on average more than 17 minutes for ALS services to respond in Poestenkill.

As a comparison, the average response times in neighboring towns such as Sand Lake and North Greenbush are seven minutes. The difference being that both of these neighboring towns invest in ALS services, in the form of taxes.

The Town Board is considering, whether to call for a referendum for the Poestenkill tax payers to decide for themselves if they want this service, which would come with a price.

Having knocked on countless doors and spoken with hundreds of residents in recent years, I can attest that ALS ambulance service in Poestenkill is an important issue for taxpayers.

There has been, and will be even more, misinformation and scare tactics spread by some. I believe that armed with the facts the residents will make an informed decision for themselves.

The Town Board wants to hear from residents. I hope that you will mark your calendar for Thursday, September 17th for the public hearing held during our regular Town Board Meeting at 7pm at the Sullivan Jones VFW. If you cannot attend please email or mail them to Poestenkill Town Hall – 38 Davis Drive Poestenkill, NY 12140, by September 17th.

In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions – wohlleber.eric@nullgmail.com.

Eric Wohlleber

Poestenkill Town Councilman

August Meeting Report from the Rensselaer County Legislature Majority

RENSSELAER COUNTY – The August meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature was once again held without public participation in compliance with COVID-19 protocols. The meeting was broadcast live on the “Rensselaer County Legislature” Facebook page and also can be found on www.RensselaerCounty.org

The members of the Majority were busy adopting several important pieces of legislation while the Minority members were more interested in arguing over words in a symbolic resolution. Most notably, the Majority adopted a resolution that would authorize an additional $750,000 to be allocated for paving county roads. We are on course to pave a record breaking 30 plus miles of county roads this season but the members of the Minority refused to support this effort, and all six members from Troy voted against additional paving.

The Legislature also adopted a resolution accepting $145,000 of funding to establish the Joseph P. Dwyer Peer to Peer Veterans Resource Center at Hudson Valley Community College. The funding, that was secured by Assemblyman Jake Ashby, will help provide support to the more than 200 students that utilize G.I. benefits to further their education.

Other notable legislation provided funding to continue the fight against the Coronavirus, and the funding for schools to help teach students substance abuse prevention programs. The fight against Opioid abuse continues as Rensselaer County has seen another spike in overdoses and deaths. Our County Health Department continues to provide free Narcan and training. Call 518-270-2767 for information.

Finally, the members of the Majority proposed to adjourn the meeting in honor of Congressman John Lewis. The resolution read in part “the Legislature believes, like the late John Lewis, in individual liberties, civil right, human rights, and voting rights, and defends democracy and opposes all threats to our God given constitutional rights.”

As always, feel free to reach your legislators at (518) 270-2880 with any concerns.

North Greenbush Report from Councilwoman Mary Frances Sabo

NORTH GREENBUSH – As you drive around town this summer, you probably notice roads being paved and other infrastructure work underway. Perhaps the town’s most significant transportation project will begin shortly-the long awaited Route 4 Traffic and Pedestrian Improvement project. The project will improve traffic flow and safety along the town’s most traveled road. At its August meeting, the town board approved a nearly $8 million contract with Rifenberg Construction to perform the work. Sometime in the next several weeks, an announcement will be made about a public meeting for residents and interested individuals to discuss and ask further questions about the project. Please visit the project website, https://route4corridorng.com, the town website, and The Advertiser for an announcement concerning this meeting. As many of you know, I successfully sponsored a resolution at the end of last year which made North Greenbush a “Climate Smart Community.” This year, I have been working with a board appointed committee and staff from Cornell Cooperative Extension and town hall on compiling a comprehensive Climate Smart assessment. Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, we are very close to completing this assessment. A presentation will be made at the October town board meeting. Once the town board has provided feedback, the committee will meet to identify projects to improve the town’s climate readiness.

Finally, some residents have asked about the Sunday summer concerts at town hall which will conclude this Sunday. The concerts have been promoted on the Rensselaer County Tourism page as part of a “Rensselaer County Concert Series” and in at least one instance, the Master of Ceremonies was a county employee. These concerts are entirely paid for by North Greenbush taxpayers with no county funding or participation despite attempts to make them appear to be part of an organized county-wide effort. 

Submitted by Councilwoman Mary Frances Sabo

Schodack Supervisor’s Report

SCHODACK – I look forward to the day when I can write a report for you and not have the specter of COVID-19 looming over it, but we aren’t quite there yet. We continue to see progress made both locally and nationally in pursuit of long lasting solutions, but for the time being we must remain vigilant and disciplined in how we confront this problem.

At the local level, I continue to work very closely with the Rensselaer County health department and our County leaders in developing our reopening plans and ensuring we stay on top of any potential problems. It has not been easy and I’m sure it’s been frustrating for many of you, but we continue to try and provide the best access we can to or Town Hall and necessary services while still protecting the health of our citizens and employees. Through close work with our justice department and their oversight agencies, we have implemented safety protocols and a screening system that has allowed them to resume in person court appearances. This is an important step to getting back to a state of normal, even if it’s a somewhat altered one.

We continue to see some record investment in the Town despite the COVID-19 shutdown. As I write this Amazon is in the process of securing a workforce of up to 1,000 for their distribution center and construction on the new Stewart’s on Sunset/9&20 and Curtis Lumber is coming along nicely. Projects like these and others point to a bright future for our town and will be key to a post-COVID recovery

I hope everyone has had as good a summer as they could given current situations and finds ways to make these remaining weeks as enjoyable as possible. As we approach fall, please give consideration to supporting any of our numerous local farms as they hit their busy harvest season. Our thoughts will soon turn to apples and pumpkins which will quickly be followed by the return of cold weather, so make use of these coming weeks and months to get outside and enjoy all the wonderful things our Town has to offer.

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