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Friday headlines PM

Mar 18, 2011 3:45 pm
Library buys new building
John Mason of the Register Star reports on The Valatie Library trustees' announcement this week that they have purchased the former Hummingbird Gardens at 1036 Kinderhook St., a few doors south of Valatie Medical Arts, to provide another 1,900 square feet beyond their current 660-square-foot library building on Church Street. "Library Board President Erica Balon said the library has recently expanded its staff; the goal now is to expand the collection, and have space for meetings, computer use and reading, she said<" Mason writes. The building was purchased for $125,000.

Is rent control request Cuomo’s tax cap opening?
Rich Karlin of the Times Union writes about the sudden emergence of New York City rent control issues into the Albany budget negotiations now underway, and suggests that they may be now a bargaining element in Gov. Andrew's Cuomo push to implement a property tax cap, as well as discussions regarding a number of unpopular budget cuts.

Hearing set on credit-card tax payment plan
Remember that issue involving Greene County's proposal to set up payment plans and credit card options for paying taxes? Colin Devries of the Daily Mail reports that the measure designed to allow people to cover their delinquent taxes will be the subject of a public hearing on April 20 at 6:15 p.m. in the legislative meeting room on the fourth floor of the Greene County Office Building, 411 Main St. in Catskill. "Proposed 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," according to Devries.

Ghent 'landfill' proposal unmoved
Mike McCagg of CCScoop reports that a plan to create a transfer station in West Ghent – which opponents had derided as a landfill – has apparently been dropped. According to McCagg, "Town Planning Board Chairman Jonathan Walters said the proposal by County Waste to create the station on a wooded area off Falls Road, just behind the BAC Sales/Amanda’s Fireplace building, has 'disappeared.'”

Rep pushes for Medicare rural advanced ambulance corps coverage

Mid Hudson News Network Has a piece up about how Congressman Maurice Hinchey of neighboring Ulster County is pushing new efforts to mollify the fact that Medicare beneficiaries are not covered if their residences are serviced by local volunteer ambulance corps and advanced life support services are warranted and called in. Hinchey has asked the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services Director Donald Berwick to change the policy to cover seniors in rural areas.

Martens: SGEIS might be a tad after June
Jimmy Vielkind of the Times Union reports that Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens appeared this morning on The Capitol Pressroom and said the DEC plans to release its Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement on horizontal hydraulic fracturing in the Marcellus Shale…this summer. A moratorium on drilling is in place until June, when the SGEIS — which will measure the cumulative impacts of the process, often called hydrofracking, and suggest mitigation — was supposed to be finalized. “We don’t know how long it’s going to take, number one, for EPA to complete its study. I have a lot of confidence that DEC has the resources – not just at DEC, but the state of New York – we’re taking advantages of the resources of other states, other state agencies, to look at all of these issues,” Martens told Susan Arbetter. “We’re going to do a very thorough job…I’m confident we are going to have all the information we need to complete the supplemental generic environmental impact statement.”

State open burning restrictions back in effect
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has announced that open burning is prohibited from March 15 to May 15. That means yard waste, brush, etc. cannot be burned. Violations of this section of law are misdemeanors... Upon conviction in a local court a fine of not less than $350, and not more than $15,000, can/will be levied at the discretion of the court. Enforcement can be by Environmental Conservation Police, Forest Rangers, State Police, Sheriff or local police agencies.

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