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More Tuesday headlines

May 10, 2011 9:13 am
Compost fee will go up five-fold
John Mason has a fascinating story in the Register-Star, tracking the specific costs of the Kinderhook compost system, as the town board voted to raise fees for that service from $10 a year to $50 on Monday, May 9. He traces all the parts of the process: Denbesten Enterprises has a contract to grind materials up at the compost site at Robert Mitchell farm at Merwin Road and Route 203. Van Wie’s slaughterhouse uses the compost to mix with its animal renderings as an aid in decomposition, Mason reports. He outlines how the compost issue divided board members, perhaps along political lines. “The town pays for pickup,” Councilman Glenn Smith said in the story. “Kinderhook village residents pay for the compost site. This is unequitable for the village of Kinderhook.” Kinderhook Supervisor Pat Grattan agreed and added that even with the increased fees, “we’ll still have a $10,000 shortfall [at the site]. I feel the fee should be $50; I feel it’s unfair for people who don’t use it to be charged.” Councilman Peter Bujanow, who has been holding a series of community meetings of his own that seem to indicate he might challenge Grattan for Supervisor, said, “We’re creating less incentive for people to recycle." Mason says that residents Bujanow has spoken with, are “very upset about the $50 charge.” Read Mason's excellent story in the Register-Star.

Library board: We must move
Jamie Larson in the Register-Star writes that the Hudson Library Board of Trustees passed a resolution that the library look for a new home. The current library building at 400 State St., "was built in 1818 and before becoming the library in 1959 it housed the homeless, was a insane asylum, a female academy, a private residence and an orphanage," Larson writes. "In 2004 the city took ownership of the library from the Hudson City School District which was mandated to vacate the structure by the Department of Education. A public debate then raged over whether to stay in the historic building or move to a new home. Inevitably the old building won and since has received numerous private and state grant funds for renovations." UPDATE: Carole Osterink in The Gossips of Rivertown clarifies some of the reporting in the Register-Star:
"The City never took possession of the building, in 2004 or at any other time, and the Department of Education never mandated the Hudson City School District to vacate the building. The Hudson Area Association Library bought the building from the Hudson City School District in 2005 for $300,000, and they did so only after the building had been examined by a structural engineer with particular expertise with historic buildings and determined to be sound. The $300,000 came from HUD grant money which had been returned by two grant recipients who decided, after being awarded the grants, that they didn't want to conform to HUD requirements after all. There is a mortgage on the building held by Hudson Development & Commmunity Planning Agency (HCDPA) which stipulates that the $300,000 never has to be repaid so long as the building continues to be used as a library."
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