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Friday headlines

Apr 29, 2011 1:20 am
Audits Find Widespread Waste in Spending by State Government
Nicholas Confessore in The New York Times reports some startling statistics from a series of audits of the New York State budget nearing completion under Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo:
* More than a million square feet of state office space, sits empty while some state agencies continue to lease new spaces as recently as December.
* The government data center at 40 North Pearl St. in Albany is one of four centers that back up each other in case of a natural disaster, but all are within a few miles of each other.
* State agencies operate 850 toll-free numbers, almost half of which have not been dialed in months, but cost millions of dollars to operate.
* 1,719 vendors supply New York’s state government with pens, paper and paper clips.
“We’re a $100 billion-plus corporation that has squandered its buying power, has no standardization across business units and does not reward efficiency,” said Howard Glaser, the director of state operations charged by Cuomo to find waste in the state budget, in the story. Read the entire story in The New York Times.

Architect to work with seniors on facility's renovation
Melanie Lekocevic reports in the Greene County News that architects will soon begin meeting with the seniors that use the Coxsackie Senior Center about what they want in a $400,000 renovation paid for by state grants. The Greene County Department for the Aging serves on-site meals, and facilitates Meals on Wheels for homebound seniors in the former Knights of Columbus building. And the Center also hosts other senior activities, and special events such as town meetings with local congressmen. Renovation work should begin this summer, when the food services will be temporarily moved to another location. Read the whole story in the Greene County News.

RISA is open and looking to hire
Gail Heinsohn in the Chatham Courier writes that RISA Management Corp., has moved into the former Ceramaseal building on Route 20 in New Lebanon, and is looking to hire 30 more employees, according to Operations Manager Jeff McCumber at the April 20 Planning Board meeting. The company manufactures large-scale metal projects such as stairs, railings, windscreens, and canopies, for pedestrian shelters, train stations and other applications. "Ceramaseal manufactured adhesives and coatings for use in 'high temperature environments,' according to the website of the company, now known as CeramTec," Heinsohn writes. "While information about the chemicals used in the process was not readily available, according to Town Supervisor Margaret Robertson, there were spills and leakage sufficient that a nearby pond 'didn’t freeze in the winter.' Acting Planning Board Chair Trina Porte asked the company’s representatives whether the water at the facility had been tested. 'We don’t drink the water,' McCumber said. 'We have signs everywhere. We provide bottled water.'" Read the entire story in the Chatham Courier.

Division continues as decision deadline nears in Lexington
Michael Ryan reminds readers that the Town of Lexington loses out on a $9.1 million block grant for infrastructure improvements if they do not act by May 6. The town needs, "to inform the Catskill Watershed Corporation if they wish to enter the pre-construction phase of the controversial sewer project which is being financed by the Department of Environmental Protection," according to Ryan. A landowner was unwilling to sell land needed, as the town believed it needed a large area for the system. But Town supervisor Greg Cross recently discovered Hillsdale utilizes a recirculating textile filtration sewer system, with nearly double the treatment capacity recommended for Lexington with roughly one-third of the annual operation and maintenance expenses. Town board members meet on May 3 to decide how to proceed. Read the entire story in the Windham Journal.

Get rid of expired, unwanted medicines Saturday
Ariel Zangla in The Daily Freeman reports that anyone who wants to dispose of expired or unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs can to do so Saturday as part of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Sheriff's offices in Columbia and Greene counties will accept anonymous drop-offs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. without charge.
Greene County
• Sheriff’s Office, 80 Bridge St., Catskill.
Columbia County
• Sheriff’s Office, 85 Industrial Tract, Hudson.
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