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Tuesday headlines

Mar 15, 2011 5:33 am
Village elections in Columbia and Greene counties
Four Columbia County and five Greene County villages hold elections today, from 11:00 am or noon to 8:00 or 9:00 p.m. Most races have no challengers, but look for action as candidates face off in Chatham, Philmont and Tannersville.

Replacement for Frey could be named
The Daily Mail's Colin DeVries reports that Greene County Legislature Chairman Wayne Speenburgh is saying that a new Greene County legislator for Durham could be appointed at the legislature's meeting on Wednesday, March 16. The county legislature’s District 9 seat has been vacant since former legislator Sean Frey resigned effective Jan 31. Any appointment is contingent on approval by the full legislature, which currently holds an 8-5 Republican majority after Frey's resignation, and will be up for a special election in November.

In wake of Japanese nuclear crisis, Riverkeeper calls for shut down of Indian Point
Mid Hudson News Network writes that Hudson Riverkeeper Paul Gallay told a special session of the Westchester County Legislature’s Environment and Energy Committee on March 14 that the Indian Point nuclear power plant should be shut down until it can be scientifically proven that it could withstand a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. The session was called in the wake of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear power plant explosions in Japan that began last Friday. Gallay said more study must be done immediately into the “what if’s” at Indian Point.

Gibson maintains support of nuclear power
The Register-Star is running a story about a conference call on March 14 where Congressman Chris Gibson, R-Kinderhook, told reporters that he remains a big promoter of nuclear energy, even as Japan struggles with radiation releases from plants crippled by last week’s earthquake and tsunami. “I want this done and I want it done safely,” Gibson said of his push to build more nuclear facilities in the United States. “We’re not looking at building your father’s nuclear power plant.” Gibson is proposing two new nuclear plants for the Hudson Valley, one north of Albany and the other in Greene County south of Catskill.

Schools bank, spend more of reserves
Jimmy Vielkind of the Times Union reports that Capital Region schools districts, including those in Columbia and Greene Counties, have more money in their reserve accounts than the state average, but more of them are raiding their reserve funds than other districts in the state. The comptroller's survey found Capital Region schools -- in Albany, Columbia, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Columbia, Greene, Warren and Washington counties -- have an average of 11.7 percent of their overall budget in reserve. The statewide average was 10.8 percent, the report found. But Capital Region schools tapped their reserves last year at a higher-than-average rate. The reserve figure went down in 23.2 percent of local districts, compared with 20.5 percent statewide. DiNapoli's report concluded that, examining 22 indicators of fiscal health, Capital Region schools fared better than others around the state. Because of a more precipitous decline in property tax values, districts on Long Island and in the mid-Hudson Valley were hit hardest.

Greene lawmakers consider delinquent tax installment plan
Ariel Zangla Girard of the Daily FReeman reports that Greene County lawmakers are considering a proposal allowing eligible property owners to pay their delinquent taxes in installments over a two-year period, but only after signing an installment agreement to avoid foreclosure. Under the agreement, taxpyers would be required to pay 25 percent of the total bill up front and make quarterly payments on the balance of the delinquent amount. Additionally, property owners would be required to remain current on all new taxes assessed on the property or the county would begin the foreclosure process again. Interest charges would also be included...