As I have been kept busy with Town and County issues, it is now past time for an updated newsletter. Here are some highlights from the last several months of local government.
Last June the town once again hosted “Big Truck Day” which is sponsored by the Kinderhook Library. It was for the second year a great success. The event is scheduled again for this year on June 21st 2014, hope you will all plan to join us.
In June I also attended the rededication of the Swyer Preserve Boardwalk as the boardwalk itself was recently rebuilt following flood damage. If you have not taken the walk I encourage everyone to visit the river via the boardwalk. It is an easy enjoyable hike. For more information, visit:Lews A. Swyer Preserve
In September we heard from Judge O’Hare that she had recently attended the NYS Magistrates Association Conference and was named to the Board of Directors.
Like most towns, October was budget month; here are some highlights from the 2014 budget adopted in November:
- The amount to be raised by taxes will decrease by over $1,000.
- The offset amount from the unexpended fund balance is $70,000 (much lower than in the past)
- Pay raises of 3% for the Highway Department and 2% for everyone else was included.
- There have been minor adjustments to the .4 accounts.
- A proposed increase to the Meals on Wheels amount to help pay for the meals delivered to residents.
- There was an increase request from the VFW. Once again, Tal Rappleyea will donate the requested increase amount.
- There was a slight increase in Refuse and Garbage to do a second clean up day in 2014.
- The Retirement number is predicted to be slightly down.
- The Bond Payment amount has been lowered to reflect the actual cost.
- An increase in franchise fees under Revenues is due to the Hydroelectric Plant’s annual payment for co-licensee.
October also brought us guests from National Grid who presented information to the Board and public regarding how they would attempt to comply with the New York State Energy Solution, which is a request to increase the capacity of electric power from upstate to down state. We continue to collect information regarding this process, and will hear from the Public Service Commission on March 6th 7pm here at the town hall. Join us if can.
An ongoing project here in town is the restoration of the train station. Phase II of the restoration project is funded by a DOT grant as well, and we have finally put the construction portion of Phase II out to bid, bids were received on February 4th and are currently being reviewed by all involved. Hopefully we can look forward to some construction progress in the spring.
I also expect to see some progress on our town’s riverfront access at Ice House Road this year. Amtrak is currently constructing a new at-grade rail crossing that will allow us to pursue the River front development planned by DEC. I have met several times this winter with staff from DEC; they seem committed to getting this project completed this summer.
November saw the construction of a kiosk at the Ken Hummel Park. This is something we have talked about for quite a while. Some materials were donated some time ago, but it took the leadership of Chris Palladino who was looking for an Eagle Scout project. When I suggested this project, he did what good scouts do, and got it done. What we have now surpasses my expectations. Thank you Chris! We are now in the process of getting a map designed by CLC and Stuyvesant Pathways has offered to cover the cost of printing and mounting it. Look for this in the spring!
Our town web site is a little more than year old and we do our best to keep information up to date. The calendar can tell you about upcoming meeting dates, and minutes of past meeting can tell you what you missed. A subscriber feature has been built into the web site for those who wish to be kept informed, check it out and tell your friends.
This is just a brief outline of recent events in town, for more information on any of these subjects feel free to contact myself or any of our Councilpersons. Town Board meetings are held on the second Thursday of the month, all are welcome.
Enjoy the Winter; Spring will be here before we know it.