State unveils $1.4M in Conservation Partnership Program grants at local farm
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens on Thursday, April 24, announced the annual conservation grant awardees, which included 50 nonprofit land trusts statewide. The announcement was held at Indian Ladder Farms, with the property used as an example for conservation efforts statewide.
Village spending plan totals $2.047M; fund balance usage decreases
The Voorheesville Village Board of Trustees approved a 2014-15 village budget exceeding its state mandated property levy tax cap, which totals slightly more than $2.047 million. The property tax levy is increasing 4.5 percent.
Guilderland girl’s bluebird nesting houses supporting Tour de Cure team
Many have taken part in fundraisers before, but one local sixth-grade girl is going the extra mile and helping two causes with each birdhouse.
Guilderland zoning board to rule on resident’s fowl request
Uncertainty still looms over a Guilderland man’s proposal to keep chickens behind his house, but it’s clear opinions on both sides haven’t swayed.
Town Board sends Wolanin project to Planning Board for site plan review
Several years after Wolanin Companies proposed rezoning property off Western Avenue for a luxury apartment complex, the request has been granted, conditionally. The contentious project still faces more hurdles before final approval.
Committee formed to tackle review commission recommendations
Albany County legislators have formed a committee to evaluate what recommendations from the Charter Review Commission’s report should be implemented.
Village Board finalizes $2.05M budget, 4.5 percent tax levy hike
No residents on Monday, April 7, spoke during a low-key public hearing on Voorheesville proposed budget. Local officials, while not advertising the move, are looking to exceed the tax cap.
Cause of blaze remains under investigation, limited damage to area
More than two-dozen first responders were at the scene of a small fire near the edge of the Farnsworth Middle School’s baseball field. The fire started around 5 p.m. Monday, April 21, and was extinguished approximately a half-hour later.
Company estimates photovoltaic system would be $93.6K savings over 20 years
Sunny days could be ahead for New Scotland if energy savings from a photovoltaic system are as much as an area company forecasts. The system would also provide more reliable energy costs.
Weeklong campaign will also focus on aggressive and distracted driving
State Police will hold a “Speed Week” campaign from Thursday, April 17, through the following Thursday, which focuses on increased enforcement of speeding and aggressive driving violations. The campaign seeks to reduce speed-related crashes and improve traffic safety.
Spending plan within tax cap, largely unchanged from superintendent’s initial proposal
The Guilderland Board of Education on Tuesday, April 8, unanimously adopted a 2014-15 budget totaling slightly more than $92.13 million, which increases spending around $1.1 million, or 1.22 percent. The budget holds a property tax levy increase of 1.94 percent.
Ravena facility renovation will replace kilns and cut emissions, retain jobs
Federal, state, and local officials and business leaders gathered on Friday, April 11, for Lafarge North America’s groundbreaking ceremony at its Ravena plant. The project will replace the more than 50-year-old equipment with “state-of-the-art” technology.
Village board adopts 2014-15 totaling $2.14M, taps reserves
The Altamont Board of Trustees adopted a $2.14 million 2014-15 budget at the beginning of the month, which increases spending almost 1.65 percent or around $34,650. More general fund reserves are tapped to help ease the tax burden.
Overall state aid increases to $5.15M for district, contested cuts restored
Voorheesville Central School District will see an additional $144,000 of state aid, which was included in the recently approved state budget. The additional funding decreases its budget gap to around $176,500.
Guilderland Library's ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ tutoring policy; neighboring libraries see less impact
Private tutors over the past several years have increasingly relied on public libraries as a space to meet up with students, according to some local library directors. How that use has affected libraries appears to vary depending on the amount of space available and the demand for it.
Additional state aid will be used to cover increasing BOCES costs, gap nearly unchanged
Additional state aid was included in the recently adopted state budget, but the Guilderland Central School District budget will remain essentially unchanged.
Village officials eye state grants for Rail Trail enhancements, railroad museum
Voorheesville officials are looking to enhance its end of the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail and possibly build a museum to honor local railroad history, which has fittingly characterized the community.
Overflow parking tears up FMS field; repairs estimated to cost $6k
Athletic fields at Farnsworth Middle School were torn up after more than 1,000 people turned out for a state civil service exam and parking overflowed onto the grass.
Parents express concerns over proposed cuts, increasing classroom size
More than 100 people turned out to the Voorheesville school district’s budget forum on Monday, March 24, and several parents expressed an overarching fear the community was losing its distinguishing characteristics.
District places middle school math teacher on paid administrative leave
A math teacher at Farnsworth Middle School allegedly stole more than $100,000 from the Guilderland Teachers’ Association, according to police. Guilderland school district has placed the teacher on paid administrative leave.
Guilderland school board hears presentation, more collaboration promised
Tech Valley High School Principal Dan Liebert on Tuesday, March 18, gave a presentation to the Guilderland Board of Education after some members had requested more information on the regional school. Some Guilderland board members had previously voiced concern over continuing to tap funds to send students.
School plays offer entertainment, showcase talent
This weekend, prepare to take a journey with a mischievous cat, cheer for a take on America’s favorite pastime, witness a man’s morally questionable rise in business, and groove to a royal exploration of popular music.
Protestors occupy Nurses Association building, clash over nursing law
Around a dozen disabled people, with some leaving and others joining, have been living in the lobby of the New York State Nurses Association in Latham after the union and activists clashed over a proposed amendment to the Nurse Practice Act.
Annual studies show area’s commercial climate positive despite challenges
Capital District businesses fear how much health care could hemorrhage its bottom line, according to recent surveys, but the overall outlook foresees a bright future.
State of the County lists accomplishments and continues goals
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy delivered his State of the County address Monday, March 10, with several county legislators and leaders, local officials and community leaders, listing a recap of accomplishments while laying out his agenda for this year.
New Scotland zoning regulations reform could help growth; affordable housing
New Scotland officials will soon release a request for individuals interested in joining the new Economic Development Advisory Committee, but there is some debate over the process.
Police investigate alleged pilfering, union member suspected
Around $100,000 appears to be missing from the Guilderland Teachers Association’s funds, but no arrests have been made as police continue to investigate the incident.
Republican hopeful attacks big government and ACA
Jim Fischer, R-Ballston Spa, kicked off his campaign against incumbent Paul Tonko, D-Amsterdam, on Tuesday, March 11, at The Desmond Hotel in Albany.
Property owner and town agree on barn relocation timeline, 18 homes to be built
The New Scotland Planning Board on Tuesday, March 4, unanimously approved the final plans for an 18-lot residential subdivision on a 22.4-acre property located in an agricultural district off Maple Road. Country Club Partners and the town also agreed to conditions allowing local officials more time to secure funding to relocate the LeVie barn.
District would bond nearly $1M for vehicles, face voter approval
The Guilderland Board of Education on Tuesday, March 4, heard a proposal from district administrators to purchase eight school buses and a maintenance truck for almost $1 million, with state aid covering about 50 percent of the cost.
Region’s Patriot Flight program embraces 70th anniversary of D-Day
After a couple years of relative inactivity, the area’s Patriot Flight program is readying to take World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., and commemorate D-Day’s 70th anniversary.
Guilderland man seeks OK for chicken coop; zoning code revisions expected
Guilderland’s zoning law may be silent on whether chickens are allowed in residential areas, but neighbors of one man requesting to raise the birds weren’t.
Limited funding scales back Guilderland Center sidewalk proposal to pedestrian pathway
Hamlet residents were surprised to hear the sidewalk slated for Guilderland Center, which took several years from conception to construction, was technically going to be a pathway. The difference between the two comes down to a curb.
Uncontested races the norm locally, some use paper ballots to keep costs down
Locally this month, there are elections in both the Village of Colonie and Voorheesville, with only the Colonie race seeing a contest. There is also a contested race in the Village of Ravena. Most village elections, however, don’t inspire the same political discourse of town, county or state races and the county Board of Elections often isn't involved.
Superintendent proposes $1.8M of cuts, with middle school bolstered for boom
Superintendent Marie Wiles presented her proposed spending plan for next school year Thursday, Feb. 27, which totals nearly $91.5 million and stays within the district's maximum allowable tax levy increase of 2.17 percent.
Village officials say little progress made with county on accessing grant
Around three months ago, Albany County legislators unanimously awarded Voorheesville $27,500 to complete an engineering study outlining the installation of a quad gate at its railroad crossing. Village officials, though, are still waiting to get their hands on the money.
Expert estimates moving building as-is could cost around $500K, smaller scale options possible
Raising the LeVie barn was a townwide effort 115 years ago, and relocating the building will likely take a similar effort.
Public hears about $4.1M plan for Albany-Bethlehem pathway portion
The Albany County Department of Public works held an open house Thursday, Feb. 20, on the third phase of the Helderberg Hudson Rail Trail at Bethlehem Town Hall. The project as proposed is estimated to cost $4.18 million, with county officials needing to cut around $40,000 to stay within budget.
Thacher Nature Center to host annual environment-inspired art exhibit, offering art classes
Artistic inspiration comes from a variety of sources, but one local art show is rooted in Mother Nature’s visual appeal.
Albany County gets $656k grant for Counsel at First Appearance program
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy announced the county was awarded $656,000 of state grant funding for the Counsel at First Appearance Project on Wednesday, Feb. 19. The three-year grant will be used to provide legal representation during arraignment to those who cannot afford an attorney.
Third bay will be added for town paramedic vehicle, construction bids sought
The Guilderland Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday, Feb. 19, gave the final approval needed for Altamont Rescue Squad to start soliciting bids for an expansion. The squad’s building project required a special use permit and variances from the town.
Forum focuses on Common Core problems facing special education
Senators Cecilia Tkaczyk and Neil Breslin and Assembly members John McDonald and Phil Steck listened to comments from several speakers Tuesday, Feb. 11, discussing how implementation of the Common Core curriculum has exacerbated challenges for students with special needs.
Village waited several years for state funding after purchasing vehicle
Seniors had cheered years ago at an Altamont Board of Trustees meeting upon hearing a new van would be bought, but the mayor recently was the one cheering after state funds for the purchase finally arrived at Village Hall.
Board members surprised by lack of timecard system, retroactive fix being implemented
New Scotland is tweaking the pay system for its recently created position of public works commissioner, but a resident questioned how hours were being maintained and some board members were surprised to find the system lacking.
Some supporters weary of shifting operations, McCoy wishes board selected sooner
The Albany County Legislature approved creating the nursing home LDC by 27-10 at its meeting on Monday, Feb. 10, with votes split across party lines, and appointed its board of directors.
Benedict steps down, but returns as deputy to ease party's transition
Albany County Legislature Minority Leader Lee Carman announced Monday, Feb. 3, that Christine Benedict was appointed as deputy minority leader, along with two new positions within GOP caucus.
Guilderland to hold public hearing on development, feedback scaled back proposal
The Guilderland Town Board approved holding a public hearing Tuesday, March 4, on the proposed rezoning of more than 20 acres behind Seventeen Hundred Designer Residences located off Western Ave. The rezoning would make way for 210 apartment units.
Developers appear agreeable to allowing time for LeVie Barn relocation
The New Scotland Planning Board on Tuesday, Feb. 4, returned to Country Club Partners’ application seeking an 18-lot residential subdivision for a 22.4-acre property, which holds the 115-year-old barn town officials are trying to relocate locally.
McCoy signs executive order citing health concerns, lack of regulation
The growing popularity of electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigs, has not gone unnoticed by Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, who signed an executive order Thursday, Feb. 6, banning the use of the devices to match restrictions placed on tobacco smoking on county property.
Mayor expects agreement signed this month, hiccup over reserve account
Voorheesville officials have not reached an agreement with its local ambulance service provider for this year, but negotiations are progressing without the contentious debates of prior years.