Murphy posts appropriation requests online

U.S. Representative Scott Murphy (D, NY20), who represents Greene and Columbia counties, has posted his appropriations requests online. The projects from Greene and Columbia, and nearby, include:

Preservation of Manufacturing Jobs through Renewable Energy and Creation of a Center for Sustainable Manufacturing, Hudson, New York
Amount: $1,000,000
On behalf of the Columbia Economic Development Corporation, I requested that the FY 2011 Energy and Water Appropriations bill contain $1,000,000 to establish an investment fund for environmental sustainability projects focused on alternative energy. This project would also provide technical assistance to manufacturers increasing their facility energy efficiencies. This is a valuable use of taxpayer funds because this investment will increase the use of alternative energy sources among manufacturing companies and small businesses, spurring job growth and technology innovation.
Recipient: Columbia Economic Development Corporation
4303 Route 9
Hudson, NY 12534

New York State Solar Electric Incentive Programs, Copake, New York
Amount: $35,100
On behalf of the Town of Copake, I requested that the FY 2011 Energy and Water Appropriations bill contain $35,100 to procure and install solar panels on the roof of the Copake Town Hall, adding rows of photovoltaic modules equating to a total rated power of 24.0kw (240v). This is a valuable use of taxpayer funds because this investment grows the solar industry, an important sustainable energy source, and stimulates our economy by creating jobs in solar manufacturing and installation.
Recipient: Town of Copake
230 Mountain View Road
Copake, NY 12516

Generator for Emergency Shelter, Livingston, New York
Amount: $19,000
On behalf of the Town of Livingston, Columbia County, I requested that the FY 2011 Homeland Security Appropriations bill contain $19,000 to procure equipment needed to provide electricity and heat to the Livingston Town Emergency Shelter during emergency conditions. This is a valuable use of taxpayer funds because this investment assures public safety and shelter to citizens during times of emergency.
Recipient: Town of Livingston
119 County Route 19
Livingston, NY 12541

The Village of Red Hook Water Project, Red Hook, New York
Amount: $1,000,000
On behalf of the Town of Red Hook, I requested that the FY 2011 Interior & Environment appropriations bill contain $1,000,000 for the installation of an alternative well field and controls. This is the first step in a plan to rehabilitate the Village’s water infrastructure and provide the Village of Red Hook with a reliable source of drinking water. This is a valuable use of taxpayer funds because it will ensure that the people of Red Hook have access to reliable and safe drinking water.
Recipient: The Village of Red Hook
7467 South Broadway
Red Hook, NY 128571

Remediation of Vanderburgh Cove Wastewater Project, Rhinebeck, New York
Amount: $233,750
On behalf of the Town of Rhinebeck, I requested that the FY 2011 Interior & Environment appropriations bill contain $233,750 for the engineering and replacement of two Bioclere units at the existing water treatment facility. The project will ensure that residents can continue to enjoy affordable, environmentally safe wastewater collection and treatment services. Failure of the system threatens the Hudson River Estuary, as well as several local drinking water systems. This is a valuable use of tax payer funds because the project will ensure continued wastewater treatment services and will ensure the safety of the area’s drinking water.
Recipient: Town of Rhinebeck
80 E. Market St.
Rhinebeck, NY 12572

Camphill Ghent Elder Care Initiative, Copake, New York
Amount: $250,000
On behalf of Camphill Village, I requested that the FY 2011 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill contain $250,000 for initial construction of building an elder care community in Ghent to provide care for seniors of all levels of income and ability. This is an appropriate use of taxpayer funds because community care best addresses the needs of seniors who require specialized care at dramatically less cost to the individual and the healthcare system.
Recipient: Camphill Village USA
84 Camphill Road
Copake, NY 12516

Ambulance Replacement, Copake, New York
Amount: $123,895
On behalf of the Clausson-Raught Community Rescue Squad, I requested that the FY 2011 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill contain $123,895 to purchase a new ambulance to replace the current outdated unit that is no longer functional. This is an appropriate use of taxpayer funds because it will provide critical and prompt emergency medical service to the more than 15,000 people served in the community where those services are currently unavailable.
Recipient: Clausson-Raught Community Rescue Squad
283 Mountain View Road
PO Box 327
Copake, NY 12516

Columbia Memorial Hospital Technology Advancement and Electronic Health Record Program, Hudson, New York
Amount: $1,000,000
On behalf of Columbia Memorial Hospital, I requested that the FY 2011 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill contain $1,000,000 to help develop the hospital’s electronic health record system. This is an appropriate use of taxpayer funds because electronic medical records improve patient access to critical health information, reduce medical errors, and drive higher-quality and lower-cost care through the health care system.
Recipient: Columbia Memorial Hospital
71 Prospect Street
Hudson, NY 12534

Northern Dutchess Hospital: Master Facility Plan, Rhinebeck, New York
Amount: $1,000,000
On behalf of Northern Dutchess Hospital, I requested that the FY 2011 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill contain $1,000,000 for construction of a medical and surgical addition as well as renovation of the oldest in-patient area in the hospital. This is an appropriate use of taxpayer funds because it will ensure continued safe access to health care for the surrounding rural communities.
Recipient: Northern Dutchess Hospital
6511 Springbrook Avenue
Rhinebeck, NY 12572

New Cairo Library Construction Project, Cairo, New York
Amount: $400,000
On behalf of the Cairo Public Library, I requested that the FY 2011 T-HUD Appropriations bill contain $400,000 for the planning, design, and construction of a new library in Cairo, New York. The current library facility serves as a central location for library resources, community programming, tax forms, internet, etc. However, the facility is inadequate to meet the growing demand. This is a valuable use of taxpayer dollars because the library serves as an important resource for this rural community and will increase quality of life in Cairo.
Recipient: Cairo Library
512 Main St.
Cairo, NY 12413

The Claverack Free Library and Reading Room Project, Claverack, New York
Amount: $200,000
On behalf of the Claverack Free Library and Reading Room, I requested the FY 2011 T-HUD bill contain $200,000 to remodel the existing Claverack Firehouse into the Claverack Free Library and Reading Room. Funds would be used for design, engineering, hazardous material remediation, and construction. This is a valuable use of taxpayer funds because the new facility will allow for the expansion of traditional library services, including internet access, to the local community, as well as serve as an anchor public facility within the town’s commercial core.
Recipient: Claverack Free Library
629 State Route 23
Claverack, NY 12513

Columbia Economic Development Corporation Broadband Consortium Project, Hudson, New York
Amount: $100,000
On behalf of the Columbia Economic Development Corporation, I requested that the FY 2011 T-HUD Appropriations bill contain $100,000 to develop a Broadband Improvement Plan in order to attract new businesses to Columbia County. This is a valuable use of taxpayer funds because the development of broadband infrastructure is critical the economic development of the entire region.
Recipient: Columbia Economic Development Corporation
4303 Route 9
Hudson, NY 12534

Washington Hose Fire Company Renovation Project, Hudson, New York
Amount: $500,000
On behalf of the City of Hudson, I requested that the FY 2011 T-HUD Appropriations bill contain $500,000 for the planning, design, and renovation of a 150 year-old vacant firehouse. The renovated building would be used as a tourism center and house offices for the Chamber of Commerce and local economic development organizations. This is a valuable use of taxpayer funds because it will rehabilitate a vacant, historically significant building while attracting new economic development in downtown Hudson.
Recipient: City of Hudson
520 Warren Street
Hudson, NY 12534

The Mellenville Grange Hall Restoration Project, Mellenville, New York
Amount: $83,160
On behalf of the Mellenville Grange, I requested that the FY 2011 T-HUD Appropriations bill contain $83,160 to restore and repair the leaking slate roof of the historic Grange Hall building. This project is a valuable use of taxpayer funds because it will allow the Grange to preserve its historic structure, as well as continue its community service work in this rural community.
Recipient: Mellenville Grange #1255
803 Gahbauer Rd.
Mellenville, NY 12544

See the complete list of requested appropriations here.

Pay raises for Columbia County employees

The Register-Star reports that the Columbia County Board of Supervisors voted for a two percent pay raise for county employees Wednesday night. Supervisors voting “yes” on the pay raise were: Chairman Roy Brown, R-Germantown; Jeffrey Braley, R-Austerlitz; Reggie Crowley, R-Copake; Deputy Chairman Larry Andrews, R-Ghent; Art Baer, R-Hillsdale; Ed Cross, D-Hudson2; William Hallenbeck Jr., R-Hudson3; Deputy Chairman Bart Delaney, R-Hudson5; Pat Grattan, R-Kinderhook; Kevin McDonald, R-Livingston; Leo Pulcher, R-Stockport; and Valerie Bertram, R-Stuyvesant. Voting against: Art Bassin, D-Ancram; Robin Andrews, D-Claverack; Ray Staats, D-Clermont; Minority Leader Jesse DeGroodt, D-Chatham; Lynda Scheer, R-Gallatin; Ed Nabozny, I-Greenport; John Musall, D-Hudson1; William Hughes, D-Hudson4; and Margaret Robertson, D-New Lebanon.

Officials stressing One City Centre purchase

Check out that headline in The Register-Star by the usually smarter writer Francesca Olsen. If you read deep down in her story you see why the officials are stressing a future building purchase: they don’t want you to think about the tax increase they just passed. Five paragraphs in Olsen mentions “Local laws renewing an additional half-percent of mortgage tax and an additional $2 per $1,000 of additional transfer tax on real property were also enacted.” Finally, seven paragraphs in, Olsen quotes Rick Rielly, president of the Columbia-Greene Board of Realtors, saying, “These are taxes, any way you look at it.” Olsen doesn’t even dare to say who voted for the tax, only that, “The renewal of taxes passed, with Supervisor John Musall, D-Hudson 1, abstaining, Supervisor William Hughes, D-Hudson 4, voting no on the additional transfer tax, and Supervisor Ed Cross, D-Hudson 2, voting no on the renewal.” Cross voted no on both taxes.

UPDATE:
Here is who voted for the mortgage tax:
Ancram’s Thomas Dias; Canaan’s Richard Keaveney; Chatham’s Jesse DeGroodt; Claverack’s James Keegan; Clermont’s Raymond Staats; Copake’s Reginald Crowley; Gallatin’s Lynda Scheer; Germantown’s Roy Brown; Ghent’s Lawrence Andrews; Greenport’s John Rutkey Sr.; Hillsdale’s Arthur Baer; Hudson’s 4th Ward-William Hughes, 5th Ward -Bart Delaney; Kinderhook’s Douglas McGivney; Livingston’s Philip Williams; New Lebanon’s Margaret Robertson; Stockport’s Leo Pulcher; Stuyvesant’s Valerie Bertram; Taghkanic’s Elizabeth Young. The same group voted for the transfer tax, except for Hudson’s William Hughes, who voted against.

Today’s local headlines

Register-Star reporter Jamie Larson claims Columbia County Board of Supervisor Chairman Art Baer, “asked the Register-Star to get [Hudson Mayor Rick Scalera] to sit down with him today to reopen the discussion about [using the] Charles Williams [School] or other sites as possibilities.” The story begins with the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce holding an emergency economic forum Thursday at Hudson’s Stageworks Theater. Larson gets Baer on the phone to comment on all the outrage from the Hudson business community about his plan to move the homeless into the city’s St. Charles Hotel. “Baer said St. Charles wouldn’t be on the table if Hudson Mayor Rick Scalera hadn’t ‘stiff-armed’ talks two years ago to use the old Charles Williams School as a homeless shelter,” the story says. Scalera, reached by the reporter, agrees to meet Baer anytime. Scalera says talks to use the Charles Williams School for the homeless broke down when Baer began pushing for the Department of Social Services to move out of Hudson to the Ockawamick school in Claverack. Baer then calls this typical political dealing “blackmail,” clearly raising an even bigger fight instead of trying to solve an issue. Linda Mussmann from TSL and the Bottom Line Party says Baer’s actions are, “the dismantling of Hudson as the county seat.”… Baer also visited Washington D.C., according to the Register-Star, to lobby New York representatives for federal stimulus funding for $4 million in improvements to the museum and visitor center at the Olana State Historic Site; $3 million for an emergency communications system; $9 million for the Greenport water and sewer system; $200,000 to study a countywide broadband initiative; and $1 million to extend wastewater and sewer systems to Hudson Park on Route 23 in Livingston…. U.S. Rep. Scott Murphy put in a $15 million federal funding request on behalf of the Greene County Industrial Development Agency for “transportation infrastructure improvements to State Route 9W” and an “expansion of Exit 21B/New York State Thruway, a flyover Bridge connecting 9W, and an internal public road system connecting the flyover bridge and Kalkberg Commerce Park,” according to the Daily Mail…. The Kinderhook Republicans endorsed Patrick Grattan as town supervisor, Patsy Leader and Glenn Smith for seats on the Town Board, and Lisa Mills for town justice and cross-endorsed Democrat incumbent Highway Superintendent John Ruchel Jr. for a second term in office, according to the Register-Star….While the New York State Senate Republicans and Democrats can’t agree on anything else to start working, they can agree to keep taking your money. From the Albany Times-Union’s Capitol Confidential blog, Marissa Shorenstein, spokeswoman to Gov. David Paterson is quoted:

“The Governor’s office earlier today looked into the question of whether or not members of the Senate are eligible to receive their salaries with no presiding officer agreed upon to authorize payment. It turns out that both conferences have come together and signed appropriate documentation to continue receiving their salaries. So there is a power sharing agreement — but it only includes getting paid. If the leadership of the Senate can agree on a way to keep getting paid, they can reach an agreement to get back to work for the people of New York.”

LIVE TONIGHT:

Multimedia work by Fawn Potash and Pat Horner at Oriole 9, 17 Tinker Street, Woodstock, 5-7 p.m.

Today’s local headlines

Town meetings to air on public access channel
CAIRO – The Cairo Town Board extended Mid-Hudson Cable’s contract at their regular board meeting last night. At the public hearing about renewing the company’s franchise agreement before the board meeting, Cairo Supervisor John M. Coyne and council member Janet Schwarzenegger both advocated recording town meetings for Mid-Hudson’s public access channel. Schwarzenegger said Mid-Hudson recently gave the town a camera to record any meetings, and Coyne said, “We would like to have somebody volunteer to run that camera so that these meetings can be videotaped and can be played on their public-access channel” and a man in the audience volunteered.

Columbia County Conservative Party backs candidates
http://www.registerstar.com/articles/2009/06/18/news/news03.txt

County-wide — Sheriff, David W. Harrison Jr.; Coroner, Angelo M. Nero.
Ancram — Supervisor, Thomas R. Dias.
Austerlitz — Supervisor, Jeffrey Braley Sr.; Town Council, Matthew Verenazi and Carol Pinto; Clerk, Sue Haag; Highway Superintendent, Robert Meehan, Jr.
Canaan — Supervisor, Richard Keaveny; Town Council, David Patzwahl; Clerk/Tax Collector, Charlotte L. Cowan; Highway Superintendent, Bernhard Meyer.
Town of Chatham — Highway Superintendent, Joseph M. Rickert.
Claverack — Supervisor, James Keegan; Town Council, James S. Folz and Michael S. Johnston; Clerk/Tax Collector, Mary J. Hoose.
Clermont — Highway Superintendent, James Potts Jr.’ Clerk, Mary Helen Shannon.
Gallatin — Supervisor, Peter Arnone
Ghent — Supervisor, Larry Andrews; Town Council, Larry Van Brunt and Linda Schlegel-Hess; Clerk, Rose Elliot; Highway Superintendent, Michael E. Losa; Town Justice, David W. Harrison Sr.
Germantown — Highway Superintendent, Richard Jennings.
Greenport — Supervisor, Edward Nabozny; Town Council, Glen Graziano; Town Justice, Robert Brenzel; Highway Superintendent, Richard Otty; Clerk, Sharon Zempko.
Town of Kinderhook — Supervisor, Patrick Grattan; Town Council, Patrice Leader; Town Justice, Lisa Mills.
Hudson — Mayor, Richard Scalera; Supervisor (1st Ward), John Musall; Supervisor (2nd Ward), Tracy Decker; Supervisor (3rd Ward), William Hallenbeck Jr.; Supervisor (4th Ward), Samuel Santiago; Supervisor (5th Ward), Bart F. Delaney Jr.; Alderman (1st Ward), Geeta Cheddie; Alderman (5th Ward), Richard Goetz
Livingston — Supervisor, David Fingar; Town Council, James Guzzi and Joseph Leto; Town Justice, Robert Moore; Highway Superintendent, David Lyons.
Stockport — Town Council, Joseph Salvatore.
Stuyvesant — Supervisor, Valerie Bertram; Town Council, Brian Chittenden and Edward Scott; Clerk, Melissa Naegeli; Town Justice, Joseph Bruno; Town Justice, Carrie O’Hare; Highway Superintendent, Bernie Kowalski.
Taghkanic — Supervisor, Elizabeth Young; Clerk, Cheryl Rogers; Highway Superintendent, Edward Waldron.

Regional Economics Better Than Most
http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=810991

A new study released today by the Brookings Institution says this region is faring better than most of the nation’s metropolitan areas during the downturn. Foreclosures? We barely have them. The Brookings report says the Capital Region has the second-lowest percentage (0.58 percent) of homes owned by banks. Only Syracuse is better, among the nation’s 100 largest metros. Dramatic job cuts? Not here. Brookings says the Capital Region lost 0.5 percent of its employment base during the first three months of 2009. That doesn’t sound great, but it’s 14th best. (Detroit, by contrast, lost 3 percent of its jobs, the worst rate.)