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Friday headlines

Aug 05, 2011 1:45 am
A giant leap for Prattsville — Cell tower up and running for some customers
Michael Ryan in the Windham Journal writes that Prattsville's new cell tower is up, and AT&T customers now have better service in western Greene County. “It’s great to finally have this tower,” Town Supervisor Kory O’Hara told Ryan. “I’ve been told the coverage is good on Main Street, up County Route 7 [toward the Gilboa Dam] and out on Washington Street and County Route 10, so it works on just about every road." Independent Tower Holdings, the company that built the 195’ tower on a ridge west of Cozy Hollow Road, got a 40-year lease with the landowner and AT&T, but manager Dan Schweigard, said, so far, Verizon and other carriers are not interested in adding an antenna there. Read the entire story in The Windham Journal.

Chatham Village faces $70,000 budget shortfall
Lisa D. Connell in the Chatham Courier writes that Chatham Village needs to close a $70,000 budget deficit. “We don’t really have a plan yet; this is just bringing it out, talking about it, raising the awareness issue, for the short term, to come up with some solutions,” Mayor Tom Curran said to nearly 25 people attending a budget workshop July 28 at Tracy Memorial Village Hall, Connell reports, “before the end of this fiscal year, on Aug. 31.” Some of the meeting concerned the 30 percent of town properties that do not pay any taxes, held by non-profit groups. The need for a police department in the village was also discussed. “I’m a little concerned about discussions about cutting services or cutting people’s jobs,” said Tim Vallee, the union representative for the Civil Service Employees Association. And Connell adds their is other misery for the town's taxpayers: "Already, the 744 households that comprise Chatham can expect to see higher water and sewer rates. To make repairs to these systems, a 30-year bond between $2.3 and $2.7 million must be secured. That means the average water and sewer bill will rise about $300 a year, [Deputy Mayor Joanne] DelRossi said," Connell writes. Read the full story in the Chatham Courier.

Bad service
Sam Pratt reports at sampratt.com that Rensselaer County Judge Christian Hummel on Thu., Aug. 4 upheld the Columbia County Board of Elections' ruling that the Hudson Democrats' petitions were valid to put Nick Haddad on a write-in ballot for Hudson mayor in the primary election in September. But the judge also gave the Republicans challenging Haddad's petitions, a second chance to file their objections. Hudson GOP chair George DeJesus and Republican Mayoral candidate Bill Hallenbeck have filed objections to the petition, after Hudson Democrats Chairman Victor Mendolia and Haddad first failed to properly fill out paperwork that would have included Haddad on the primary ballot. Pratt reports that, "Democrats Sarah Sterling, Victor Mendolia, and Virginia Martin were represented by attorneys Ed Reisner, John Friedman, and former BOE Commissioner Ken Dow, respectively. Another Democrat cited in the papers, Bill Hughes, is said to be on vacation in Florida." Read the full story at sampratt.com.

UPDATE: Audra Jornov in the Register-Star reveals the split between the two election commissioners, Democrat Virgina Martin and Republican Jason Natske. Predicatably, they take partisan sides in the dispute, forcing the Board of Elections towards a decision Monday. Jornov also gets a quote from Republican Mayoral candidate Bill Hallenbeck, who is challenging the Haddad petitions. “I am a person who agrees that rules and laws should apply to everyone,” Hallenbeck said, “When it is brought to my attention by the Republican chairman that there could be deficiencies on the petitions under election law, based on the signatures, I am almost obligated to make sure everybody is playing by the same rules and that the law applies to everyone who is running for election.” Read the full story in the Register-Star.
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