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Thursday headlines

Apr 21, 2011 6:33 am
Lawmakers OK delinquent tax installment plan
Colin DeVries reports in the Daily Mail that an installment payment plan for delinquent taxpayers has been approved by county lawmakers after several months of discussion. The payment option, which would allow property owners to pay off delinquent taxes over a period of one or two years, was approved by the Greene County Legislature on April 20 and will hopefully relieve taxpayer burden while recapturing delinquent funds, says Greene County Treasurer Peter Markou. Terms of the installment agreement include only one installment plan per person or business, a 25 percent down payment on owed taxes, quarterly payments over a two- or one-year period, interest and fees calculated into payment plan from date of down payment, and no late additions of parcels or tax years after entering into installment agreement. If a taxpayer defaults on the agreement they are not eligible for other installment plans for two years. County lawmakers unanimously approved the measure.

Will selling Ockawamick nix town hall plans?
Francesca Olsen of the Register-Star asks what's up with plans to build a new Claverack Town Hall on county property adjacent to the former Ockawamick School in Philmont, which Columbia County purchased in 2008. "Now that the idea of selling Ockawamick has been put on the table by BOS Chairman Roy Brown, R-Germantown, as part of a new all-encompassing office consolidation that includes buying the old Walmart property on Fairview Avenue in Greenport, will Claverack still get those two acres?" Olsen asks. "To date, no one knows for sure." And while Claverack town supervisor Robin Andrews agrees a new town hall is needed, she said her heart’s not set on building one right away, nor is it set on the Ockawamick property as a location.

A lot of ZIP codes on chip fab resumes
Larry Rulison of the Times Union has a story that punctures some of the job hopes around the region's new nano future. He writes that managers at the massive GlobalFoundries computer chip factory being built in Saratoga County is holding job fairs around the country and overseas as it seeks skilled workers for the manufacturing facility and is targeting cities that have loads of semiconductor-industry expertise already for its so-called "Opportunity Summits." GlobalFoundries spokesman Travis Bullard described the influx of new people into the region for new jobs as a good thing and talked about how he himself was moved by GlobalFoundries from Austin. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company plans to hire roughly 1,400 people to work in Malta. It's constructing a second administrative building on the site where another 500 people will work -- with room for 1,000 more. Hudson Valley Community College, which has a two-year semiconductor manufacturing program to train chip fab workers, built a training facility next to the Fab 8 site. Salaries will range from $140,000 for management to $30,000 for wafer fab operators. Technicians will earn $60,000, engineers $95,000. And GlobalFoundries has room on the 223-acre site it owns for two additional factories that could create thousands of additional jobs for the area.

What's it worth? Assessors to fan out over city
Debora Gilbert reports in the Columbia Paper about the Hudson assessment update being undertaken by GAR Associates Inc. on all residential and commercial properties. Letters went out to every property owner this week that explain the phases of the project and the goal, which is: “to create fair and equitable property assessments at 100% of full market value.” GAR and the City of Hudson expect to complete the process by the summer of 2012. “We promised we would do a reassessment,” Common Council President Don Moore said. “The state requires one on a regular basis. We had planned to do it with our own staff but we determined we couldn't complete it by 2011. The state Office of Real Property Tax Services said we would have to extend it for another year.” In May, GAR employees will conduct an exterior visual inspection of each property to check other information on file. Property owners who do not want GAR to inspect their properties should call GAR before April 29. The company will use satellite maps to gather information about properties whose owners restrict access. The assessors do not enter houses except when an owner requests such a visit.

Man nearly run down by ex-lover

The Register-Star reports on a spat between ex-lovers that ended with the arrest of a 22-year-old woman after she allegedly tried to run a former boyfriend down with her vehicle in the Walmart parking lot in Greenport earlier this week. According to police, Brittany Gillis of Hudson waited in her SUV in the parking lot of Walmart, located off of Fairview Avenue, for her former boyfriend to leave the store just after 10 p.m. on Monday. “When she saw him coming out she put her vehicle in gear,” said Greenport Police Chief Kevin Marchetto, who added that she drove at the man and stopped just short of where he stood. Gillis then allegedly tried to back into the man’s car as he attempted to get in.