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The weekend in review

May 21, 2012 12:01 am
Stories that made the news from May 17 through May 20 in Columbia and Greene counties.

Nathan Mayberg reported in the Register Star on the details of two proposals for homeless and transitional housing currently under consideration by the Columbia County Board of Supervisors. The joint proposal submitted by the Galvan Foundation and the Mental Health Association of Columbia-Greene Counties, known as Civic Hudson Emergency and Transitional Housing, designated 620 State Street as the shelter site to house 30 homeless individuals at the cost of $611,015. Allowing for reimbursement of expenses, the Galvin/MHA plan would cost the county approximately $434,000 per year. The proposal calls for a live-in resident manager, program director, program assistant and two caseworkers. The plan submitted by Poughkeepsie-based Maranatha Human Services provides for three full-time advocates, a program manager, case manager and part-time housing facility manager, to support 28 housed individuals at the cost of $680,400 per year. The after-expenses cost to the county for that plan would total roughly $483,000, according to Mayberg. Maranatha did not designate a location for its shelter. Columbia County estimated the cost of housing the homeless in motels will cost $490,000 this year. Both plans require a minimum occupancy rate, 24-hour monitoring and may require residents to relinquish their food stamps. Read the full story in the Register Star.

W.T. Eckert reported in The Daily Mail officials in Columbia and Greene counties are awaiting direction from the state following the announcement Thurs., May 17, from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo that New York will end the finger imaging requirement for all food stamp applicants and recipients. The change will simplify the application process and remove a barrier to reducing hunger among the state's children and adults, Cuomo said. More than 1.4 million New Yorkers are eligible for food stamps, but do not claim them, according to the Governor's Office. Nearly 12,000 residents of Columbia and Green counties currently participate in the program. The policy change is not immediate; a notice of rule change will be filed, followed by a 45-day public comment period. Read the full story in The Daily Mail.

Melanie Lekocevic reported in The Daily Mail a decision by the Town of Catskill to terminate the delivery of ambulance services to the Town of Athens, June 15, has been withdrawn, and negotiations between the two towns has resumed. Athens officials agreed to pay two disputed bills for services, two separate invoices totaling $53,000 for 2010 and one for $25,000 for 2011. According to Lekocevic's account, a clash between Athens Town Supervisor Lee Allen Palmateer and a Catskill ambulance administrator two weeks ago led to the now withdrawn decision to terminate services. The major issue during the previous 18-month negotiation focused on how Athens would be charged, per call or flat yearly fee. Read the full story in The Daily Mail.

Nathan Mayberg reported in the Register Star Columbia County is preparing to outsource its home health care services to Buffalo-based WILLCARE for $150,000 a year. Officials told the paper the county Certified Home Health Agency lost nearly three-quarters of a million dollars last year, approximately $111,000 more than the previous year, due to outside competition from Eddy Senior Living. The county program currently serves 50 patients. The decision to outsource the program will affect 15 nurses employed by the county. The decision must be approved by the full Board of Supervisors and the state Department of Health. Read the full story in the Register Star.

Jim Planck reported in The Daily Mail Village of Catskill officials recently approved a $6.4 million budget for the coming year. Of that total, $1.2 million will go into the water fund and more than $900,000 is earmarked for the sewer fund. The tax levy will increase 1.19 percent over the current year. Village President Vincent Seeley told the paper salaries for trustees, judges, DPW workers and non-union employees will not increase. Contract negotiations with the police department are ongoing. Read the full story in The Daily Mail.

Nathan Mayberg reported in The Daily Mail Columbia-Greene Community College conferred more than 300 degrees before a standing room only crowd at the college, Sat., May 19. Mayberg talked to several newly minted grads, including a nursing student preparing for certification, a social science graduate going on to a four-year university and a criminal justice student employed by the village of Millerton Police Dept.  Read Mayberg's full account in The Daily Mail.

Karrie Allen reported in the Register Star on the opening of the Hannaford grocery store in Livingston, Sat., May 19. Shoppers queued up as early as 5:30 a.m. to check out the store, located on Route 82. Cars filled the store's lot and spilled over into a field across the street. Store Manager Mike Forbes greeted each customer as they entered, shaking hands. Hannaford's corporate offices are located in Scarborough, Maine; it has 49 stores in New York. Read the full story in the Register Star.
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