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Weekend in review

Oct 27, 2014 6:40 am
Some of the stories that made the news Fri., Oct. 24 through Mon., Oct. 27:

Ariel Zangla reported in the Daily Freeman Greene County’s proposed $105 million budget for the coming year would increase the tax levy by 3.55 percent, but remain within the cap set by the state. The proposed 2015 budget will increases spending by more than $2 million, or 2.16 percent. Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden called the plan a "status quo budget." No layoffs are called for, and the county would utilize $1.5 million of its unappropriated fund balance to offset expenses. Groden wrote in a budget letter, “...for the fourth consecutive year, the development of the operating budget for Greene County meets the required formulas as dictated by the governor.” The spending plan has now been submitted to legislators. Grodin said a public hearing is expected to be held Nov. 17 at Catskill High School.

John Mason reported in the Register Star the controversy over the development of a four-season resort at the Catamount Ski Area in Copake continues to grow. A conversation about the Berkshire Mountain Club's planned expansion was the subject of a conversation at a meeting of the Copake Zoning Board of Appeals held last week. That discussion ended in a stalemate between the board's chairwoman and attorney. On Sept. 25, the four-person board deadlocked 2-2 on the developer's application for a special use permit. Attorney Ken Down advised the board on Thursday the tie meant the case would remain open for a 62-day period. Others have opined the tie was equivalent to a denial. Board Chairwoman Hilarie Thomas said she wanted Dow replaced by an independent counsel due to what she alleged was a conflict of interest.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens has appointed Keith D. Goertz Director of the department's Region 4 office, located in Rotterdam. Goertz, from Schenectady, has served as Acting Region 4 Director since mid-May. As director he will oversee DEC activities in Albany, Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Montgomery, Otsego, Rensselaer, Schoharie, and Schenectady counties, with more than 200 employees. Goertz has been employed by the DEC for more than 20 years. Before becoming Acting Region 4 Director, he supervised long-term projects, as well as emergency responses and subsurface investigations and cleanup activities.

Matthew Hamilton and Keshia Clukey are reporting in the Times Union Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Sun., Oct. 26, defended the state's new mandatory quarantine for health care workers who had contact with Ebola patients in West Africa, Cuomo said the policy is legally enforceable. As of Friday, all travelers arriving at Kennedy or Newark airports from West Africa who have had direct contact with Ebola patients must be quarantined for 21 days. At a news conference in Manhattan Sunday night, Cuomo said people can spent the 21-day quarantine in their homes instead of a medical facility. A quarantined person would receive two unannounced visits per day from health officials.

The Greene County Emergency Services Dept. announced last week it will conduct a test of the county's CodeRed System on Wed., Oct. 29. According to information provided by the department, the group test will go to all seniors who use Greene Co. senior services, only. Those seniors will receive a brief telephone message, but no action is required unless the message is received in error.
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