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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 5 Report from Legislators Brownell and Goodermote

January 2016

As legislative representatives of District 5, including the towns of Hoosick, Petersburgh, Grafton, Berlin and Stephentown, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the January 12, 2016 legislative meeting.

The Legislature has made it a priority to save taxpayer money whenever possible. We are happy to report that in 2015, the Legislature saved approximately $200,000. The savings is thanks to efficiencies in legislative offices, including a reduction in personnel costs and benefits, fewer supply purchases, and use of new technology and other methods. A recent switch to electronic tablets has also reduced costs for paper and copying.

Thanks to these efficiencies, the cost for operating legislative offices is comparable to the early 1990s. A comprehensive rebid of the county’s insurance policy also recently led to a savings, which brought insurance costs below what was paid by the county in the early 1990s.

Hoosick Falls have unfortunately been in the news due to reported problems with the public water supply in the community. Legislators have been in close contact or monitoring communications with federal, state, county and local officials involved in the issue. We recognize the concerns of residents and those living in the community, and are working with others in government to ensure the health and safety of those affected by this issue. We are also seeking financial assistance to ensure there is a comprehensive fix of the water issue that does not cause undue financial stress for the community.

Along with the savings, the Legislature voted on January 12 on authorizing appropriations included in the 2016 county budget. The 2016 budget is the fifth consecutive budget to remain under the state tax cap, while also protecting needed services and the strong financial ratings earned in recent years by the county.

The Legislature also designated The Record and The Times Union as official newspapers for 2016. We also adopted a resolution supporting a series of reforms authored by the New York State Association of Counties that would reduce mandates on county government and help save taxpayer money and protect needed services.

The Legislature 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.

A schedule of meetings for 2016 is listed on the 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 5 Report from Legislators Brownell and Goodermote
February 2016

As legislative representatives of District 5, including the towns of Hoosick, Petersburgh, Grafton, Berlin and Stephentown, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the February 9, 2016 legislative meeting.

We were very happy to learn that Regeneron Pharmaceuticals is planning another expansion in East Greenbush. This new expansion follows an expansion by Regeneron two years ago that was made possible by an extension of sewer lines at direction of Legislature. The expansion two years ago helped create nearly 300 new jobs, and it is expected the new round of expansion will bring about significant job growth.

Investments made in our sewer system have helped create new jobs and improve service. Unfortunately, there is still a shortage of funding by state and federal governments to assist infrastructure development at the local level. We approved a resolution requesting additional infrastructure investment to help improve roads, bridges, sewer and water systems.

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

Highway superintendents and highway officials from around Rensselaer County joined the Rensselaer County Legislature at the February 9 legislative meeting to mourn the passing of Maxine Hasbrouck and show support for her husband, Grafton Highway Superintendent Sandy Hasbrouck. The Hasbrouck family was joined by Petersburgh Highway Superintendent Robert Cottrell, Schodack Highway Superintendent Ken Holmes, Wayne Bonesteel and Scott Gallerie of the county Highway Department, Nassau Highway Superintendent Fred McCagg, and Brunswick Highway Superintendent Doug Eddy, in mourning Maxine’s passing.

Legislators also mourned the passing of Irving T. Mason of Grafton. Irv was a Korean War veteran, longtime volunteer fireman in Grafton, former Highway Superintendent and Town Council member. Our condolences to the Habrouck and Mason families, and we thank them each for their service and contribution to our county.

Legislators also passed a resolution opposing the issuance of permits for the proposed high-pressure natural gas pipeline that is being proposed for areas of the county by Kinder Morgan. Legislators also asked for a review of the federal agency supervising the pipeline permitting process.

Along with the meeting and other events, members of the Legislature have regularly been updated regarding the water situations in Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh. We are working to ensure there is a comprehensive solution to this issue that ensures residents have a clean, safe and ready supply of water for drinking and household use.

The Legislature also coordinated a donation to the Mohawk and Hudson Humane Society animal shelter of nearly $600 from the collection of redeemable cans and bottles at the County Office Building and a memorial gift. This follows holiday donations of toys, treats, towels and food coordinated by the legislative office.

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 5 Report from Legislators Brownell and Goodermote
March 2016

As legislative representatives of District 5, including the towns of Hoosick, Petersburgh, Grafton, Berlin and Stephentown, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the March 8, 2016 legislative meeting.

The March meeting includes the annual State of the County address by the County Executive. County Executive Kathleen Jimino discussed the county’s success 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. She also discussed how the county has been able to maintain needed services during a difficult economy.

The Legislature has been able to do our part 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 legislative meeting, the Legislature approved the transfer of $93,000 in savings in 2015 to the Tax Stabilization Fund.

During her State of the County address, County Executive Jimino discussed the response to the serious water quality issues in Hoosick Falls and Petersburgh and the county’s efforts to work with state and federal agencies and departments responding to the situation. We have kept a close watch on this situation, and have attended numerous meetings and briefings in the past several weeks, in an effort to ensure resident concerns are addressed and that a clean and safe supply of water is ensured.

Stan joined County Executive Jimino at the annual St. Patrick’s Parade on March 12 and enjoyed another great community parade in Hoosick Falls.

At the March 8 meeting, the Legislature approved a resolution approving a collaborative solar initiative that will enable the county, and eleven municipalities and organizations to save an estimated $22.5 million over the coming 25 years. The project with Monolith Solar will help reduce power costs while utilizing clean sources of energy.

The Legislature also approved snowmobile trail grant agreements at the March 8 meeting. We also approved a resolution supporting a State Senate bill to provide free fishing and hunting licenses for members of volunteer fire and ambulance companies.

The Legislature also voted to reappoint Joseph Kapp, a resident of North Greenbush, to the Hudson Valley Board of Trustees.

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 and is a great opportunity to safely and conveniently dispose of unwanted electronics and appliances.

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 5 Report from Legislators Brownell and Goodermote
April 2016

As legislative representatives of District 5, including the towns of Hoosick, Petersburgh, Grafton, Berlin and Stephentown, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the April 12, 2016 legislative meeting.

Along with the meeting, thanks to the many residents who came out for the Electronics Recycling event sponsored by the Legislature on April 23. Many residents, including a number from District 2, safely disposed on unwanted electronics, appliances, computers and other items during the collection.

The Legislature has made it a priority to improve infrastructure to maintain needed quality of life services and boost job creation efforts. We approved a resolution supporting a request for grant funding by the county sewer district to continue to make improvements at the district. Work continues to improve pump stations in the district and other upgrades that have won praise from federal, state and regional leaders.

The Legislature also approved resolutions for the repair and improvement of county roads, including roads in District 5. We are working to ensure adequate funding is provided to maintain our county roads.

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.

Rensselaer County is home to many outstanding young people. Among those great kids is Luke Gillis, a seven-year-old from Hoosick Falls who was recognized at the April 13 legislative meeting as a Rensselaer County Young Outstanding Leader of the Month. While participating in a youth wrestling tournament, Luke saw other kids without proper protective gear and shoes. Luke has set up a fundraising effort to help those kids. To learn more about Luke’s effort, visit his Facebook page, Luke’s Project Wrestling Shoes.

We were also happy to welcome new Eagle Scouts Trevar Hall and Michael Zlotnick from Troop 222 at the April 6 public forum. Stan was also proud to participate in a Court of Honor for new Eagle Scout Bernard Davock of Troop 6063 on April 23. Congratulations to these outstanding young men and their families.

We also welcomed the family of Omer Brenenstuhl, who gave decades of service to his hometown of Hoosick and the agricultural community at the April 12 meeting. Omer was remembered as a kind, dedicated and hard-working member of our community who will be missed. We also welcomed the family of Virginia Lavin, who recently passed away, and recognized her years of service to the community.

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 5 Report from Legislators Brownell and Goodermote
May 2016

As legislative representatives of District 5, including the towns of Hoosick, Petersburgh, Grafton, Berlin and Stephentown, 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.

Along with the meeting, we are 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.

 At the May 10 meeting, legislators approved distribution of revenues for mortgages filed in the county. Under the resolution, Hoosick receives $22,313, Village of Hoosick Falls $4,525, Berlin $11,338, Grafton $30,206, Petersburgh $6,428, and Stephentown $26,812.

 Legislators also voted to accept grants for public safety services and for maintenance of county roads, and purchase of backup equipment for the county emergency communications system.

 We also approved a resolution recognizing May as National Military Appreciation Month. Rensselaer County has vowed to never forget the service and sacrifice of our military and their families in securing and defending our freedom.

 We were proud to participate in the 62 commencement exercises at Hudson Valley Community College on May 14, and extend best wishes to the graduates, parents, family and friends. Stan was among those making remarks to the graduates. The groundbreaking at the college’s new outdoor athletic center on May 10 also included remarks by Stan.

 We welcomed news of four new farmland protection projects receiving state funding in May. The farmland protection effort was started by Majority Leader Ken Herrington, and approximately 5000 acres have been protected. Two of the four new projects, the Tilldale Farm and the Mapledale Farm, are located in District 5.

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 5 Report from Legislators Brownell and Goodermote
June 2016

As legislative representatives of District 5, including the towns of Hoosick, Petersburgh, Grafton, Berlin and Stephentown, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the June 14, 2016 legislative meeting.

 A quality county road system is important, along well-maintained state and local roads. Legislators continued efforts to maintain roads, at the June meeting approving resolutions for purchase of materials and services for repair of county roads.

 During the June 8 open public forum, legislators received an update by state Department of Transportation Region 1 Director Sam Zhou on efforts to improve state roads. The state plans on improving sections of state Routes 150, 151, 2, 351, 355, 915, and 7 during 2017 and 2018. We appreciate the update by state DOT. We appreciate the recent effort by the state to repair sections of State Route 22, and look forward to future work to improve this important service.

 We also approved a resolution joining efforts by other counties to seek reimbursement for state-ordered raises in the court system. The Legislature also approved modifications for Agricultural District 8, which includes Hoosick.

We authorized improved lighting in the legislative chambers. The new lighting replaces an out of date and potentially unsafe system, and will be more efficient and less expensive. Stan initiated the improvement work, which was supported unanimously by legislators.

 Congratulations 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.

The Legislature and county have been proud to support and sponsor Hudson Valley Community College since the college was founded more than 60 years. We are proud to continue our support for the college, and look forward to working with Dr. Matonak during the coming two years.

 Stan also extends thanks and best wishes to the many residents who expressed condolences on the passing of his mother in late spring.

 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 5 Report from Legislators Brownell and Goodermote
July 2016

As legislative representatives of District 5, including the towns of Hoosick, Petersburgh, Grafton, Berlin and Stephentown, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the July 12, 2016 legislative meeting.

For more than 60 years, Rensselaer County has been proud to sponsor Hudson Valley Community College. Hudson Valley has grown into one of the top two-year colleges in the nation, and has been a positive force in the lives of thousands of county and area residents. We have worked to ensure education is kept affordable and excellent at HVCC.

The July 12 meeting included a public hearing on the proposed 2016-2017 and consideration of the annual budget. Following a presentation by HVCC President Dr. Andrew Matonak, legislators gave unanimous approval to the budget.

 Dr. Matonak recently announced he would be retiring in two years, after helping expand educational programs and resources at HVCC. Legislators thanked him for his service to date.

 The Legislature also 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.

 A resolution for purchase of a handicap accessible wheelchair bus for use in transporting county veterans was approved. Legislators also supported resolutions accepting state funds for upgrade of public safety technology and equipment.

 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. Stan was happy to participate in both announcements.

 We were happy to see the reopening of the County Route 111 bridge in Johnsonville, which should be good news to pedestrians and motorists. Work continues on improving other county roads, and motorists are reminded to exercise caution when traveling through work zones.

 The Fourth of July parade in Berlin was very well attended by residents and community organizations, and Stan was happy to join and participate in the event. Stan also presented funding assistance in support of the parade and community event.

 Stan was also happy to participate in the annual ROUSE senior picnic at Grafton Lakes State Park. The picnic was attended by about 300 residents and was supported by many county employees and elected officials, including Stan.

Congratulations also to Randy Hall, who retired as Commissioner of the county Department of Social Services following a 42 year career with the county. Stan attended a retirement party for Randy. County Executive Kathleen Jimino has nominated DSS Deputy Theresa Beaudoin to succeed Randy following confirmation.

 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 5 Report from Legislators Brownell and Goodermote
August 2016

As legislative representatives of District 5, including the towns of Hoosick, Petersburgh, Grafton, Berlin and Stephentown, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the August 9, 2016 legislative meeting.

Our veterans and their families have given us tremendous service in protecting our freedom and security. The Big Moose Deli recognizes that service, with owner Emil Baker employing veterans at the busy store on Route 7. Stan was honored to be invited to an event on August 22 where Emil honored three combat veterans who are employed at the store. Employees Shane Hatlee, Justin Byrnes and Michael Poore were recognized at the ceremony, which also included presentations by a representative of Congressman Chris Gibson and former Congressman Michael McNulty.

The Rensselaer County Sewer District provides important health and quality of life services. The Sewer District has also spurred important job creation projects, including the expansion of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. The Legislature helps oversee operation of the Sewer District, including recent efforts to improve and expand District services and capabilities.

We received some good news in August, as the Sewer District was selected to receive a $2.1 million state grant to support improvements at the District. The improvements include upgrades to pump stations in Troy and one in Wynantskill, helping make these pump stations operate more cleanly and efficiently.

The Legislature is also proud to have sponsored Hudson Valley Community College since the college was founded over 60 years ago. At the August meeting, we appointed two new members to the HVCC Board of Trustees, including District 2 resident and businessman Wayne Pratt, and Legislator Judith Breselor.

We were proud to support confirmation of Theresa Beaudoin as Department of Social Services Commissioner. Theresa is a longtime DSS employee, East Greenbush resident, and is qualified and experienced for the job. Her father, John, also a District 2 resident, guided DSS for decades, and was a highly regarded DSS commissioner. We look forward to working with Theresa in her new role.

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

Stan was proud to join with Majority Leader Ken Herrington and Legislator Todd Tesman to be among the first customers at Cornell’s Farm Stand at the intersection of Route 7 and Tamarac Road. Cornell’s is one of many locations offering farm fresh products grown here in Rensselaer County.

Legislators joined with other elected officials past and present, residents and family to add former Majority Leader Ralph Vartigian to the Legislature’s Memorial Wall. Ralph served from 1989 to 2001, and was a great legislator and legendary broadcaster, sadly passing away last year. 

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 5 Report from Legislators Brownell and Goodermote
September 2016

As legislative representatives of District 5, including the towns of Hoosick, Petersburgh, Grafton, Berlin and Stephentown, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the September 14, 2016 legislative meeting.

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. It is believed the website would be particularly useful in updating residents on new testing, maintenance information, research of the PFOA issue, and related news and information in the coming months.

We appreciate the unanimous support of legislators as efforts to deal with the PFOA issue continue. There were a number of hearings and community meetings during late August and September on the PFOA issue. Stan attended the day-long Senate hearing on August 31 at Hoosick Falls High School. On September 6, Stan also attended the Concerned C8 Citizens forum in Petersburgh. Legislative staff also attended the joint Senate and Assembly hearing at the State Capitol in Albany on September 7.

The hearings allowed for a useful exchange of information, but demonstrate more needs to be done to address this health and quality of life issue. There have been a number of county employees who have worked particularly hard to address these issues in recent months. Thanks also to the residents and advocates who have helped raise awareness of this issue and the need for attention for those affected.

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 at the urging of Majority Leader Ken Herrington, the county has protected 5,000 acres. Recently, the county received funding for four protection projects in the county, and we look forward to further progress on preservation efforts.

Legislators also designated the week of October 2 through 8 as Cornell Cooperative Extension Week and National 4-H.

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. Improvement of these pump stations will maintain important quality of life services and help encourage job creation, such as the expansion of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals in East Greenbush.

On September 2, Stan was proud to be part of a civic leader flight staged by the 109th Airlift Wing of the Air National Guard in Glenville. Stan was able to fly with other representatives in the area on the 109th’s C-130 transport planes. The flight was a great reminder of the outstanding service provided every day by our brave men and women in our military.

On September 11, Stan was proud to be among the speakers at the Hoosick Emergency Services parade and ceremony to remember the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the brave first responders and emergency services workers who came to the aid of many that day.

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 5 Report from Legislators Brownell and Goodermote
October 2016

As legislative representatives of District 5, including the towns of Hoosick, Petersburgh, Grafton, Berlin and Stephentown, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the October 11, 2016 legislative meeting.

Legislators also met October 14 for presentation of the proposed 2017 county budget by County Executive Jimino. The budget is a solid spending plan, with the budget the sixth consecutive county budget to stay under the state tax cap. The proposed budget also protects needed county services, and will safeguard the strong financial position, including a series of positive independent audits and bond ratings, earned by the county in recent years.  The budget will also help encourage further investment and job creation in our county.

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

The Legislature also approved purchase of road salt in preparation for the coming winter. Legislators approved resolutions related to maintenance and improvement of county roads. Winter came early during October, with a snowstorm in some areas of the county. The Legislature also approved a resolution for acceptance of a grant to allow for improvement of the county’s emergency services communications network.

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 became the latest municipality to adopt a resolution supporting the Think Differently initiative. Think Differently was formulated by Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and seeks to integrate families and individuals with autism and other special needs. The initiative is supported by the New York State Association of Counties.

The Legislature also voted to appoint Stan as a representative to the county Jury Board. As representative of the Legislature, Stan helps decide issues regarding maintenance of a jury pool for trials in the county.

Rensselaer County is fortunate to be served by many dedicated emergency services volunteers. Stan 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.

Also, on October 24, Stan attended a joint town and village meeting on plans by the federal government to clean-up the St. Gobain property in Hoosick Falls. Stan has introduced a number of resolutions seeking progress on the issue.

Stan also visited the Spirits of Fall event in support of the Grafton Historical Society. At the October 6 public forum, legislators saw a presentation by Berlin Central School District's TRAC (Together Reducing Alcohol and Drugs in Our Communities). We thank the students and faculty for making this important presentation to the Legislature.

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 5 Report from Legislators Brownell and Goodermote
November 2016

As legislative representatives of District 5, including the towns of Hoosick, Petersburgh, Grafton, Berlin and Stephentown, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the November 9, 2016 legislative meeting.

The Legislature approved the distribution of revenues from the filing of mortgages with the county, including $19,145 for Hoosick, $6,536 for Hoosick Falls, $5,342 for Petersburgh, $13,219 for Berlin, $30,074 for Grafton, and $26,972 for Stephentown.

The Legislature also approved a resolution we sponsored seeking priority attention to the St. Gobain/McAffrey Street site. We supported inclusion of the property on the federal Superfund list, and asked that a timeline of the clean-up be provided, along with adequate funding for completion of the project. There have been delays in other Superfund projects both locally and nationally, and we want to avoid such delays.

This is an important property in Hoosick Falls, and inclusion on the federal National Priorities List will help restore the property and resolve some of the concerns residents have regarding the PFOA situation. We also have asked the federal government to provide a specific timeline for this important remediation work. A clear and direct line of communication with residents on this project, and continued progress toward completion, are needed to restore confidence and trust.

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 Stan and other legislators were honored to participate.

On November 5, Stan was also honored to participate in the Veterans Day observance by the Stephentown Veterans at the town’s veteran memorial. There was a great turnout from town veterans and their families, and we also thank them for their service.

On November 2, legislators also received a presentation from Hudson Valley Community College officials regarding the planned Gene Haas Center for study of advanced manufacturing techniques. Efforts are underway to secure funding for this project, which would expand HVCC’s curriculum.

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 5 Report from Legislators Brownell and Goodermote
December 2016

As legislative representatives of District 5, including the towns of Hoosick, Petersburgh, Grafton, Berlin and Stephentown, we are happy to provide our constituents with a report on actions taken at the December 13, 2016 legislative meeting.

December is one of our busiest months. Along with the December 13 meeting, legislators met December 1 to adopt the 2017 county budget. We are proud the budget is the sixth consecutive budget to remain under the tax cap. Rensselaer County is in select company, with county budgets under the tax cap each year the tax cap has been in place.

Along with remaining under the tax cap, the 2017 budget maintains needed services, and protects the county’s solid bond rating and 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.

At the December 13 meeting, we appointed Robert Loveridge as a representative of District 4. Bob served for years as Superintendent of the county correctional facility, and has been active in Kiwanis.

Legislators also met December 20 for a brief clean-up meeting to end 2016.

We were very excited to see the county qualify for three more Farmland Protection programs. The program was started over a decade ago by Ken Herrington and has protected a total of 6,000 acres. In 2016, the county received funding to protect seven farms. The three new projects include the Copses Farm in Pittstown and Schaghticoke, Wager Farms in Poestenkill and Brunswick, and Schmidt Farm in Schaghticoke and Pittstown.

We joined other legislators in donating personal funds to purchase a new refrigerator in the resident’s kitchen at the Van Rensselaer Manor. Donation of the refrigerator follows our donation of a stove in 2015 and a TV in 2014. We also donated legislative funds to help the Youth Department purchase toys for Christmas. Thank you to those who supported the Legislature’s collection of food, treats, toys and blankets for animals at the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society.

Stan also spoke at the installation of officers lunch for resident’s at the Van Rensselaer Manor. Stan spoke about the great level of care provided by employees and volunteers at the VRM.

Stan also participated in the Honor a Deceased Veteran ceremony on December 12 to recognize the life and service of Alexander Murphy, a veteran of World War II. The ceremony was the last to be attended by Chris Gibson while he is a member of Congress, and Stan and legislators thanked Chris for his service to our county and country. John Faso, who will succeed Chris, was also on hand at the ceremony.

Representatives of the Alzheimer’s Association made a presentation at the December 7 open forum on the fight against this tragic diseaser. The representatives recognized Rensselaer County as the only county to invite the AA to make such a presentation.

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.