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January 2016 May 2016 September 2016
February 2016 June 2016 October 2016
March 2016 July 2016 November 2016
April 2016 August 2016 December 2016

The District 4 Report from Legislators Reid, Breselor & Shannon
January 2016

 

As legislative representatives of District 4, including the towns of Schodack, Sand Lake and Nassau, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the January 12, 2016 legislative meeting.
 

During these challenging economic times, we have worked to protect taxpayers and needed services. At the January 12 meeting, we approved an appropriations resolution to implement the 2016 county budget, which is the fifth consecutive budget to remain under the tax cap. The budget also protects the county’s strong financial position.
 

Along with the solid budget, the Legislature also generated a significant savings during 2015. Thanks to reductions in personnel, spending, benefits and other efficiencies, we were able to save $194,000 in operation of the legislative offices during last year. Much of the money will be assigned to the Taxpayer Protection Fund, which has been used to reduce the amount of tax increases and protect needed services.
The Legislature also approved a resolution to name The Record and The Times Union newspapers as official newspapers for the county for 2016.
Legislators also approved resolutions for various repairs and staff training at the Van Rensselaer Manor county nursing home. Legislators also pooled personal funds during the holidays to purchase a new stove for use by residents at the Manor. We also supported an effort to collect food, toys, treats and towels for animals housed at the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, a project started by former legislative staffer Linda Golden of Schodack.

The Legislature passed a resolution seeking additional resources to help combat opiate addiction locally. We also supported a resolution supporting reform of unfunded mandates formulated by the New York Association of Counties.

We also passed a resolution in memory of Joseph Sukup of Schodack Landing.

A schedule of meetings for 2016 is on our legislative website. The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, February 9, 2016. Residents are welcome to contact us at the legislative offices by writing to the Rensselaer County Legislature, 1600 7th Avenue, Troy NY 12180 or by e-mailing us via the official legislative website at www.rensselaercounty.org.

The District 4 Report from Legislators Reid, Breselor & Shannon
February 2016

As legislative representatives of District 4, including the towns of Schodack, Sand Lake and Nassau, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the February 9, 2016 legislative meeting.

We were happy to see 2016 start with some positive economic news. The former Hamilton Printing building in Castleton is set to be a location for Cell-nique, a Connecticut-based manufacturer of superfoods and natural foods. We are excited to see the Hamilton location ready to return to active use.

 Three years ago, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals expanded in East Greenbush, creating nearly 300 new jobs. The expansion was made possible by the extension of sewer service by the Legislature. Regeneron recently announced a second round of expansion is planned near the company campus in East Greenbush, continuing the company’s rise to international prominence.

 Because infrastructure investments help create new jobs, legislators approved a resolution asking for increased infrastructure investment by federal and state governments at the local level. There have been a number of recent breaks in service with local water and sewer infrastructure, and we hope there is an increase in state and federal assistance to make repairs and improvements.

The Legislature approved resolutions for the purchase of materials and services for the repair and maintenance of county roads.

The Legislature also recognized National Agriculture Week. The county is also continuing efforts to protect farmland and open space, with nearly 4000 acres preserved by the county under the program.

This year marks the 225th anniversary of the founding of Rensselaer County. The Legislature adopted a resolution recognizing the anniversary, with events and observances to be announced.

 The Legislature also passed a resolution urging that state permits not be issued for the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline, and for a review of the federal agency overseeing the permitting process.

 The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, March 8, 2016. Residents are welcome to contact us at the legislative offices by writing to the Rensselaer County Legislature, 1600 7th Avenue, Troy NY 12180 or by e-mailing us via the official legislative website at www.rensselaercounty.org.

 

The District 4 Report from Legislators Reid, Breselor & Shannon
March 2016

As legislative representatives of District 4, including the towns of Schodack, Sand Lake and Nassau, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the March 8, 2016 legislative meeting.

We joined to sponsor a resolution seeking a new round of hearings on the N.E.D. pipeline and compressor station project proposed to be routed in Schodack, Nassau and Stephentown. Residents and local elected officials have joined to protest the proposed pipeline project, and we were glad to see U.S. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand recently join that opposition.

The March meeting includes the annual State of the County from County Executive Kathy Jimino, who discussed the county’s record in staying under the state tax cap each of the past five years, a series of positive financial reviews and a recent upgrade in the county’s bond rating.

The Legislature has helped by reducing costs in legislative offices, and assigning those savings to a Tax Stabilization Fund to help maintain needed services and ensure tax stability. The Legislature also oversaw a comprehensive re-bid of the county insurance coverage, bringing costs below what was spent in the early 1990s.

At the March 8 meeting, the Legislature approved a resolution approving a collaborative solar initiative with Monolith Solar that will enable the county, and eleven municipalities and organizations to save an estimated $22.5 million over the coming 25 years.

We welcomed the family of Joseph Sukup of Schodack Landing, who was well-known in the auto racing community and recently passed away.

The Rensselaer County Legislature is teaming up with Pro-Tek to sponsor a spring Electronics Recycling event on Saturday, April 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the parking lot of the County Office Building, 1600 7th Avenue, downtown Troy. The event is open to county residents.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, April 12, 2016. Residents are welcome to contact us at the legislative offices by writing to the Rensselaer County Legislature, 1600 7th Avenue, Troy NY 12180 or by e-mailing us via the official legislative website at www.rensselaercounty.org.

 

The District 4 Report from Legislators Reid, Breselor & Shannon
April 2016

As legislative representatives of District 4, including the towns of Schodack, Sand Lake and Nassau, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the April 12, 2016 legislative meeting.

Like many, we were very happy to hear news that the proposed Kinder Morgan Northeast Energy Direct project has been suspended. The project has been very controversial, with neighbors and local elected officials very concerned about the impact of the pipeline and large compressor station proposed to be routed through the towns of Schodack, Nassau and Stephentown. We shared those concerns, recognizing the potential negative impacts to health, safety, quality of life, property values and economic vitality.

At the April 12 meeting, prior to the announcement of the project’s suspension, we renewed a request to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to cancel the project based on the potential negative impacts, overwhelming opposition, and failure by Kinder Morgan to answer reasonable questions regarding the project. We recognize the project is now suspended, and will remain vigilant and responsive if there are new developments. Thank you to the many residents who have contacted us with kind words following the suspension of the project.

We also approved a resolution commending the Columbia High School Girls Bowling team for winning the 2016 New York State championship. Congratulations to the players, coaches, fans and parents on this terrific accomplishment.

The Legislature also approved resolutions for the repair, maintenance and improvement of county roads during the spring and summer.

Thank you to the many residents who participated in the electronics recycling event sponsored by the County Legislature on April 23 at the County Office Building. It was great to see many of our neighbors and see so many unwanted electronics, computers and appliances recycled in a safe and convenient manner.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, May 10, 2016. Residents are welcome to contact us at the legislative offices by writing to the Rensselaer County Legislature, 1600 7th Avenue, Troy NY 12180 or by e-mailing us via the official legislative website at www.rensselaercounty.org.

 

The District 4 Report from Legislators Reid, Breselor & Shannon
May 2016

As legislative representatives of District 4, including the towns of Schodack, Sand Lake and Nassau, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the May 10, 2016 legislative meeting.

Like many residents, we welcomed news the Kinder Morgan pipeline and compressor station project had been suspended. On May 23, the project was officially withdrawn by the applicant. We had passed dozens of resolutions opposing the project, and had worked with residents and citizen advocates to defend our quality of life, environment, health and safety. We greatly appreciate the efforts of residents who worked to protect their community.

We are also pleased to report Rensselaer County received the latest in a series of positive independent audits. The audit for 2015 follows five consecutive budgets that have remained under the state tax cap, and an upgrade in the county’s bond rating. The 2015 audit shows Rensselaer County remains a solid investment choice for new business and homeowners, and that county finances are being managed in an effective and efficient manner.

On May 14, we were proud to participate in the 62 commencement exercises at Hudson Valley Community College, and extend best wishes to the graduates, parents, family and friends. The groundbreaking at the college’s new outdoor athletic center on May 10 was attended by legislators.

We were also happy to welcome the opening of the Hometown Lofts, a project that repurposed a former elementary school on Route 43 to lofts and apartments.

The popular Rensselaer County Officials and Services Directory is a handy guide to the people, places and things that make our county such a great place to live and work. The 2016 version of the Directory is now available, and can be obtained by calling the legislative offices at 270-2880 or email at renscoleg@rensco.com.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, June 14, 2016. Residents are welcome to contact us at the legislative offices by writing to the Rensselaer County Legislature, 1600 7th Avenue, Troy NY 12180 or by e-mailing us via the official legislative website at www.rensselaercounty.org.

 

The District 4 Report from Legislators Reid, Breselor & Shannon
June 2016

As legislative representatives of District 4, including the towns of Schodack, Sand Lake and Nassau, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the June 14, 2016 legislative meeting.

On June 18, we were honored to participate in a ceremony at the Nassau Baseball Association to dedicate a scoreboard in memory of Derek Farley, who was killed while serving with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan in 2010. We were proud to contribute funds for this important effort to remember Derek on ballfields he played on as a youth, with Stewart’s Shops also contributing. We have resolved to never forget the service of our veterans and their families, and were impressed by the attendance at the ceremony.

At the June meeting, we also authorized improved lighting in the legislative chambers. The new lighting replaces a potentially unsafe system that was forty years old, and will be more efficient, less expensive and offer a better appearance.

Legislators approved resolutions for repair of county roads, and work for sewer system upgrades.

Congratulations to graduates of the Class of 2016, and their family and friends. We also learned of the decision of Hudson Valley Community College President Dr. Drew Matonak to retire in two years. We recognize Dr. Matonak’s efforts, and HVCC’s stand as one of the top two-year colleges in the country.

Alex was happy to participate in the Rebuilding Warriors event at the Nassau Sportsmen Club on June 12 to support veteran programs.

 The popular Rensselaer County Officials and Services Directory is a handy guide to the people, places and things that make our county such a great place to live and work. The 2016 version of the Directory is now available, and can be obtained by calling the legislative offices at 270-2880 or email at renscoleg@rensco.com.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, July 12, 2016. Residents are welcome to contact us at the legislative offices by writing to the Rensselaer County Legislature, 1600 7th Avenue, Troy NY 12180 or by e-mailing us via the official legislative website at www.rensselaercounty.org.

 

The District 4 Report from Legislators Reid, Breselor & Shannon
July 2016

As legislative representatives of District 4, including the towns of Schodack, Sand Lake and Nassau, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the July 12, 2016 legislative meeting.

We were sorry to learn of the passing of Schodack Central School District Superintendent Robert Horan. Bob was a bright and energetic part of the community and the school district, and touched many lives during his time here.

Bob devoted his professional life to education. Education is an important service, and Rensselaer County has been proud to sponsor Hudson Valley Community College for more than 60 years. At the July 12 meeting, legislators heard from HVCC President Dr. Andrew Matonak regarding the 2016-2017 budget. The budget was approved unanimously, and ensures an HVCC education is kept excellent and accessible.

Legislators approved the purchase of a handicap accessible wheelchair bus to transport veterans. Legislators supported resolutions accepting state funds for upgrade of public safety technology and equipment.

Legislators voted to use $900,000 received from casino licensing fees for tax stability and road improvements. The funds are assigned to neighboring counties as part of the siting of a casino in Schenectady County.

We were happy to see an announcement by State Senator Kathy Marchione of state funding to help fire companies in the county purchase new emergency pagers. Sheriff Pat Russo also announced the county Project Lifesaver program to help provide monitoring devices to families with loved ones dealing with Alzheimer’s or other wandering conditions. To learn more about Project Lifesaver, call 266-1952.

Alex and Judy were invited to tour the Jesus is Lord Ministries and Heaven Sent Kitchen food pantry that is being located on Route 66 in East Schodack. Free meals will be served on Tuesdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the church.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, August 9, 2016. Residents are welcome to contact us at the legislative offices by writing to the Rensselaer County Legislature, 1600 7th Avenue, Troy NY 12180 or by e-mailing us via the official legislative website at www.rensselaercounty.org.

 

The District 4 Report from Legislators Reid, Breselor & Shannon
August 2016

As legislative representatives of District 4, including the towns of Schodack, Nassau and Sand Lake, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the August 9, 2016 legislative meeting.

Rensselaer County has been proud to sponsor and support Hudson Valley Community College since the college was founded in 1953. Since that time, the college has grown into one of the premier community colleges in the nation, and continues to provide excellent and affordable education.

The Board of Trustees plays an important role in guiding the college, and we were proud to support Legislator Judith Breselor as a member of the Board of Trustees. Judy has important public service and planning experience, along with service as a past college employee, that will benefit HVCC. Judy was appointed with Wayne Pratt, a businessman active in a number of community and educational organizations.

Legislators voted to confirm Theresa Beaudoin as Department of Social Services Commissioner. Theresa is a longtime DSS employee, and is qualified and experienced for the job. Her father John guided DSS for decades, and was a highly regarded DSS commissioner. We look forward to working with Theresa in her new role.

We were happy to learn the Rensselaer County Sewer District was chosen to receive a $2.1 million state grant. The grant supports a project to improve three Sewer District pump stations, which have supported important job creation projects at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and other companies.

Legislators also supported a resolution seeking consolidation of primaries to reduce costs to taxpayers. In 2016, the state scheduled three primaries along with a general election, which expands costs to the county.

The Legislature supported resolutions for purchase of materials and services for repair and maintenance of county roads.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Wednesday, September 14, 2016. The meeting is moved to a Wednesday because of Primary Day. Residents are welcome to contact us at the legislative offices by writing to the Rensselaer County Legislature, 1600 7th Avenue, Troy NY 12180 or by e-mailing us via the official legislative website at www.rensselaercounty.org.

 

The District 4 Report from Legislators Shannon & Breselor
September 2016

As legislative representatives of District 4, including the towns of Schodack, Sand Lake and Nassau, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the September 14, 2016 legislative meeting.

The Legislature adopted the Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan, which makes the county eligible for funding to protect farmland and open space. Since the founding of the county Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan, the county has protected 5,000 acres. Recently, the county received funding for two protection projects in Schodack, and we look forward to further progress on these efforts.

Legislators supported three resolutions seeking to provide relief to residents of eastern Rensselaer County affected by the PFOA issue. The resolutions introduced by Chair of the Legislature Stan Brownell seek income tax credits for residents, a national PFOA standard, and a dedicated website to inform residents of remediation efforts.

We hope the attention on the PFOA issue in Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh brings about some long overdue progress in Nassau, which is dealing with generations of toxic contamination. Several years ago, the Nassau toxic site was added to the federal Superfund list, and there is still much needed to be done.

We were proud to support a resolution accepting a $2.1 million state grant to help fund a project to improve three sewer district pump stations, including the Wynantskill pump station. Improvement of these pump stations will maintain important quality of life services and help encourage job creation. 

We also supported a resolution commending Rudy Winkler on earning a place on the U.S. Olympic Team which competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. Rudy is a graduate of Averill Park High School and a native of Sand Lake.

We also passed a resolution supporting efforts to maintain banking services in the Village of Nassau.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, October 11, 2016. Residents are welcome to contact us at the legislative offices by writing to the Rensselaer County Legislature, 1600 7th Avenue, Troy NY 12180 or by e-mailing us via the official legislative website at www.rensselaercounty.org.

 

The District 4 Report from Legislators Shannon & Breselor
October 2016

As legislative representatives of District 4, including the towns of Schodack, Sand Lake and Nassau, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the October 11, 2016 legislative meeting.

October is a busy period, as it also includes presentation of the budget. On October 14, County Executive Kathleen Jimino presented the 2017 budget, which is the sixth budget to stay under the tax cap. The budget, following initial reviews, also will protect needed county services, and will also continue policies that have earned the county a series of positive independent audits and an upgrade in the bond rating. The budget will also hopefully encourage more investment and job creation.

The Legislature conduct a review of the proposed 2017 budget during November, with consideration of the budget in early December. Visit the legislative website at www.rensselaercounty.org for schedule of meetings and public hearings on the budget proposal.

The Legislature also approved a resolution for the repair of the ramp and stairs at the County Court House. The Legislature also approved a resolution for construction of a ramp to ensure the legislative chambers are compliant with ADA regulations.

The Legislature also approved purchase of road salt in preparation for the coming winter. Winter came early to Taborton with snow falling on October 22.

Rensselaer County is fortunate to be served by many dedicated emergency services volunteers. Alex was honored to take part in the county Emergency Services Memorial Service on October 2 at Hudson Valley Community College to recognize those emergency services personnel who passed away during the previous year.

Judy attended a drug take back event at the West Sand Lake Fire House in late October along with Sheriff Pat Russo. Alex also attended the Renewable Energy Fair at Maple Hill High School on October 29.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Wednesday, November 9, 2016. Residents are welcome to contact us at the legislative offices by writing to the Rensselaer County Legislature, 1600 7th Avenue, Troy NY 12180 or by e-mailing us via the official legislative website at www.rensselaercounty.org.

 

The District 4 Report from Legislators Shannon & Breselor
November 2016

As legislative representatives of District 4, including the towns of Schodack, Sand Lake and Nassau, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the November 9, 2016 legislative meeting.

At the November 9 meeting, the Legislature approved the distribution of revenues from the filing of mortgages with the county, including $163,058 for Schodack, $88,796 for Sand Lake, $34,932 for Nassau, $5,982 for the Village of Nassau, $7,220 for the Village of Castleton and $3,512 for the Village of East Nassau.

The Legislature also voted to continue agreements with several municipalities for removal of snow and ice at a reduced rate. The agreement has been in place for years and is an example of the many cost-sharing agreements in place between the county and other municipalities.

Along with the meeting, legislators continued to review the proposed 2017 county budget. The budget is the sixth consecutive budget to stay under the tax cap, and protects needed county services and the county’s fiscal position. We intend to continue to work with the County Executive to protect taxpayers and hopefully increase funding for road improvements next year.

Congratulations and thank you to the veterans who received medals at the annual county Medal Breakfast on November 6. Rensselaer County has vowed to never forget the service and sacrifice of our veterans and their families, and Alex and other legislators were honored to participate.

Also on November 6, we recognized Gerald Middleton for 50 years of service to the Best Luther Fire Department.

We were saddened to learn of the passing of John Beaudoin, who served for decades as commissioner of the county Department of Social Services. John helped many people during his career, and his legacy is carried on by his daughter, Theresa, who today is our current DSS commissioner.

The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, December 13, 2016. Residents are welcome to contact us at the legislative offices by writing to the Rensselaer County Legislature, 1600 7th Avenue, Troy NY 12180 or by e-mailing us via the official legislative website at www.rensselaercounty.org.

 

The District 4 Report from Legislators Shannon, Breselor & Loveridge
December 2016

As legislative representatives of District 4, including the towns of Schodack, Sand Lake and Nassau, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the December 13, 2016 legislative meeting.

At the December 13 meeting, we welcomed Robert Loveridge as a new member of the County Legislature, and representative of District 4. We look forward to working with Bob during the coming months to represent residents of Schodack, Nassau and Sand Lake.

Bob is very familiar with county government, having served as superintendent of the county Correctional Facility with distinction. A resident of Schodack, Bob has served in leadership roles with Kiwanis and other community organizations.

Legislators also met on December 1 to adopt the 2017 county budget. We are proud the 2017 budget is the sixth consecutive county budget to come in under the state tax cap, and protects needed services and the county’s strong fiscal position.

As legislators, we supported using $300,000 in legislative savings to reduce a very modest, small tax increase, and to increase funding for road repair and improvement.

We were very excited to see the county qualify for three more Farmland Protection programs. The program was started over a decade ago by Majority Leader Ken Herrington and has protected a total of 6,000 acres. In 2016, the county received funding to protect seven farms, including two projects in Schodack.

We joined other legislators in donating personal funds to purchase a new refrigerator in the resident’s kitchen at the Van Rensselaer Manor. We also donated legislative funds to help the Youth Department purchase toys for Christmas.

Legislators met December 20 for a brief clean-up meeting to end 2016, including appropriations for the 2017 budget that is under the tax cap.

Our best wishes for a happy, safe and prosperous New Year. The next regular monthly meeting of the Rensselaer County Legislature is Tuesday, January 10, 2017. Residents are welcome to contact us at the legislative offices by writing to the Rensselaer County Legislature, 1600 7th Avenue, Troy NY 12180 or by e-mailing us via the official legislative website at www.rensselaercounty.org.