Welcome to Accord-Kerhonkson On-Line
This unofficial guide to Accord and Kerhonkson -- the two principal hamlets in the Town of Rochester in Ulster County, New York -- provides news and opinion, listings of businesses and organizations, calendar events and other information on Rochester and the surrounding community.
Last Updated: April 20, 2013
For a listing of registered historic properties in town, please click here.
Proposed Tax Roll as of May 1, 2011
Tentative 2011 Tax Roll as of March 21, 2011
Property Tax Roll As of August 2010 - Final
Property Tax Roll as of January 2010
Time Warner Cable Survey
For information on our effort to bring better broadband and internet service to Rochester, click here.
News & Opinion Business Organizations Government Tourism
Activities History Free Ads Calendar Links E-Mail Directory Weather
Local Photographs Local Artists
Link to the Rochester Residents Association, Inc Homepage.
Voter Registration Form
Click here to receive the Town Crier, a free periodic news digest about the Town of Rochester
2006 Property Tax Reassessment
Assessor's Report - 12/10/07
Link to preliminary assessments and other resources.
Mombaccus Excavating Mining Plans
Mombaccus Excavating Correspondence
Rochester Residents Association Scholarship Program
Order a reflective Address Marker from Kerhonkson-Accord First Aid Squad
Absentee Ballot Application for Rondout Valley Central School District Budget Vote and School Board Election Only (Click Here for form)
Property Tax Assessment Grievance Day (4/20/13)
Earth Day Clean Up (4/20/13)
Town Government News (4/20/13)
Rondout Valley Schools Adopt Budget (4/20/13)
Napanoch man accused of illegal burning (4/20/13)
Police Blotter (4/20/13)
Town Government News (3/8/13)
exemption Filing Deadline Nears
Rochester Residents Association is again offering scholarships for Rondout
Valley High School graduating seniors.
$1,000 Rochester Residents Association CommunityS cholarship will be awarded
to graduating high school seniors from the Town of Rochester who demonstrate
leadership and academic promise.
scholarships will be awarded under the auspices of a Scholarship Committee
appointed by the RRA and is funded by the RRA's members.
For further information, including an application visit: www.accord-kerhonkson.com/scholarships.htm
Town of Rochester's Board of Assessment Review will conduct its annual
property tax Grievance Day on Tuesday, May 28th from 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm at
Office will maintain an appointment schedule for taxpayers' convenience,
however, appointments are not required for the May 28th session of Grievance
who wish to file an assessment complaint may obtain complaint forms from the
Assessor's Office or download them from:
with associated instructions at:
is not necessary for taxpayers to present their complaints in person.
Completed complaint forms may be mailed to the Assessors Office, Town
of Rochester, PO Box 65, Accord, NY 12404, however, correctly completed
complaint forms must be received by the Assessors Office prior to 8:30
p.m. on May 28, 2013.
For more information, property owners may contact the Assessor's
Office at 626-0920.
"Interpreting the Landscape" Ethereal Hillsides & Color-Saturated Fractal Shapes . Oil paintings by Sara Harris at the Stone Ridge Library, Now through the end if April. A portion of the sales will be donated to the Stone Ridge building fund.
of Rochester residents are invited to join in a community effort to clean up
their town for Earth Day. Take pride in the beauty of our town and join in
the road cleanup effort Saturday April 20 or Saturday April 27, 2013. Pick a
road, get a few folks together and make your neighborhood shine! Pizza and
drinks will be offered at the Community Center, at 2:00 PM, on the April
27th cleanup day as a thank you to those who participate in either cleanup
It is very important that anyone wishing to participate in the road cleanup first contact Carol Dennin, at the Youth Commission office, to register their road. If your road is not registered, the highway department will not know to pick up the full bags after the cleanup. Heavy duty orange garbage bags will be available at the Town Hall and the Community Center in Accord for those who register. If the weather is poor on April 20, all cleanup efforts and pizza party will take place on April 27th. Call (845) 626-2115 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your road and get more information about the Town of Rochester Earth Day Road Cleanup.
The Town Board appointed a ten person committee
to review changes to the Town’s zoning laws proposed by Planning Board
chair Mike Baden and code enforcement officer Jerry Davis and
zoning/planning board staff Rebecca Paddock Stange and Brenda Striano.
The members appointed are: Diana Puglisi-Cilenti, Gerry Fornino, Frnk
Kortright, Martha Tardibuono, Len Bernardo, Troy Dunn, Steven Fornal, Floyd
Lattin and Cliff Mallory. The
committee is chaired by David O’Halloran and has a three month deadline to
make recommendations to the Town Board.
At its April 4 meeting, the Town Board:
Received three bids for the clean up of the site of the former
Rainbow Diner, but was informed that the Dept. of Labor determined that the
bidding process was incorrect as only NYS licensed contractors may bid on
the job. No action was taken.
The owner of the site does not have insurance and the cost of the
cleanup exceeds the value of the property.
The town is also seeking bids on the demolition of the
Giles-Edwards house opposite A&M Hardware, however, that building also
is presumed to have asbestos.
The Town board tabled a resolution supporting the Catskill Mountain
Rail Trail in order to learn more about the status of the Catskill Mountain
Railroad, which has a lease on the rail bed.
The Town Board adopted a resolution in support of Rosendale’s
application for a shared services grant from NYS to support the conversion
of the Rosendale Elementary School to use by town governments in Rosendale,
Marbletown and Rochester.
Members of the Kerhonkson synagogue are seeking help to place the
synagogue on the National Register of Historic Places and in seeking grant
funding to make renovations. They
are looking for information on the Synagogue’s history, including:
When did Jews arrive in Kerhonkson?
Where did they worship before they had the synagogue?
Whose idea was it to build one?
How was the construction funded?
How was the site chosen and purchased?
Who actually built it?
Why and when was the community house built?
What was it used for?
If anyone has any historical information that would help, or knows
of anyone who might have this information, please contact Glenn Pomerantz at
email@example.com or the Kerhonkson
Synagogue, PO Box 587, Kerhonkson, NY 12446 or 845-626-7260.
KYSERIKE, N.Y. — The Rondout
Valley Board of Education has adopted a $58 million budget for 2013-14 that
would increase the property tax levy by just sixth-tenths of a percent.
School board President Chris Kelder offered: “Hats off to the Budget Committee for doing the heavy lifting, hard work and homework” necessary to finalize a budget that provides a “cost-effective and high-quality education for the students of the Rondout Valley district.”
KINGSTON — Ulster County Legislature Chairwoman
Terry Bernardo rejects claims by David O’Halloran that she and her
husband, county Independence Party Chairman Len Bernardo, used their
political clout to block O’Halloran’s plan to bring video lottery
terminals to his business, the Pinegrove Ranch and Family Resort.
In another email, he asked the chairwoman to come
to the Pinegrove so O’Halloran could buy her a cup of coffee and the two
could discuss a strategy “to show our support for each other.”
KINGSTON, N.Y. — David O’Halloran resigned on
Wednesday from the Ulster County Industrial Development Agency, which he has
chaired for three years, and accused county Legislature Chairwoman Terry
Bernardo and her husband, county Independence Party Chairman Len Bernardo,
of using their political clout to curry favors, carry out vendettas and
stifle economic development in the county.
Terry Bernardo declined to comment on
O’Halloran’s allegations of her husband’s political influence, but she
said she has been uninvolved in legislative action on the VLT issue.
ROSENDALE, N.Y. — The Town Board has approved
seeking $393,278 in state aid to carry out renovations that would be needed
to turn the former Rosendale Elementary School into municipal offices.
TOWN OF ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The state Department of
Environmental Conservation has issued tickets to Ronald J. Martinez for
illegal burning at 490 Mill Hook Road in Accord.
KINGSTON, N.Y. — A Kerhonkson man pleaded
guilty in Ulster County Court Friday to vehicular assault, a felony, in
connection with an alcohol-related accident last June that left two people
injured, according to Ulster County District Attorney’s Office.
HURLEY, N.Y. - A
31-year-old Marbletown man has been arrested after leading sheriff’s
deputies on a vehicular chase through Marbletown and Rochester that forced
several off the road and ended with his vehicle striking a tree, police
Shoplifting: Alan Macnary, 22, of Accord, was charged by state police at Wawarsing with misdemeanor petit larceny at 5:43 p.m. Friday in the town of Rochester. Macnary was released with a court appearance ticket. (Freeman 4/13/13)
Drugs: Jason Campbell, 44, of 277 Waterville Road, Norridgewock, Maine, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance by members of the Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team (URGENT) at 5 p.m. Friday on Upper Granite Road in the town of Rochester. Police said Campbell was in possession of hashish, diverted pharmaceuticals, drug paraphernalia and marijuana. He also was charged with the violation of unlawful possession of marijuana and several traffic infractions. Campbell was released with court appearance tickets. (Freeman 4/13/13)
DWI: Aaron S. Demorest, 25, of Accord, was arrested by state police at Wawarsing on Rochester Centre Road at 3:27 a.m. Sunday and charged with two counts of misdemeanor drunken driving. He was issued tickets to appear in Rochester Town Court. (Freeman 4/8/13)
Forgery: Lynn M. Williams, 25, of Kerhonkson, was arrested by state police at Wawarsing at 3:55 a.m. Saturday on U.S. Route 209 and charged with forgery and possession of a forged instrument, both felonies, and obtaining a controlled substance fraudulently, a misdemeanor. Further information was not available. (Freeman 4/8/13)
DWI: Oscar G. Huerta, 36, of Stone Ridge, was charged by state police at Wawarsing with drunken driving and operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content greater than 0.08 percent, both misdemeanors, at 11:58 p.m. Friday on U.S. Route 209 in the town of Rochester. Huerta also was charged with the traffic infractions of driving too slowly, driving without a license and driving left of pavement markings. He was released with court appearance tickets.(Freeman 4/7/13)
Child Support: David B. Reid, 45, of 147 Samsonville Road, lot 4, Kerhonkson, was arrested Wednesday on two active bench warrants issued by the Ulster County Family Court for alleged failure to pay child support in the amount of $24,818.49, according to the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office. Reid was also wanted by the Town of Ulster Court for failure to appear in court stemming from a previous charge of non-support, a misdemeanor. Reid was sent to the Ulster County Jail on $5,000 cash bail and $7,500 bond for the Ulster warrant and $5,000 cash bail for the Family Court warrant. He appeared in the Family Court and town of Ulster Court on Thursday. (Freeman 4/5/13)
u Larceny: Judith R. Vandermark, 29, of Kerhonkson was arrested Wednesday at 6812 State Route 209, town of Rochester, and charged with felony grand larceny and offfering a false instrument, a felony, according to State Police at Kingston. State Police made the arrest following an investigation of an alleged creime reported on Nov. 29, 2011, in Kingston. No further information was available. (Freeman 4/5/13)
u Endangering welfare of child: Thomas R. Spencer, 56, and Annette Spencer, 53, both of 39 Rock Mountain Estates were arrested Tuesday at 3:53 p.m. by Ulster County sheriff’s deputies and charged with misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child. Deputies said they responded to a 911 call reporting a toddler on the side of the road on Queens Highway in Accord. They said a passerby had found the child barefoot and wet, wearing only socks, jeans and a T-shirt, walking in the snow. Deputies said their investigation determined the child had been left in the care of relatives while his parents went shopping. They said the Spencers did not notice the child was missing for a while and, when they noticed the child was missing, failed to notify the police or call 911, endangering the child further. Deputies said the child was returned to its parents after a medical evaluation. Both Spencers were issued tickets to appear in Rochester Town Court. (Freeman 3/21/13)DWI: Charles E. Kelsey, 25, of Kerhonkson was arrested Sunday at 6:42 a.m. by state police at Wawarsing and charged with two counts of misdemeanor drunken driving, both first offenses. He was issued tickets to appear in R
The Planning Board has proposed some changes to the Town’s zoning code. The changes consist primarily of clean up language and clearer definitions such as those for “adaptive re-use, agricultural buildings, auction house or barn, commercial events facility, shared driveway vs. private road, fence vs. agricultural fence and many others. The biggest change is that animal keeping will be considered an accessory use on certain sized parcels. Poultry will be allowed on one-acre. A substantial revision of the Telecommunications Facilities section is proposed to comply with new federal laws.
Town Justice Albert Babcock expressed concern about the possible relocation of the town’s court to the former Rosendal Elementary School. The Town has acquired two used generators for town offices. Supervisor Carl Chipman expressed concern about the cost of asbestos cleanup at the Rainbow Diner, estimated to be about $140,000 (property is assessed at $53,800). Appledorn Farm has been added to the State Register of Historic Places.
March 1st is the deadline for filing all real property tax exemptions applications with the town Assessor. This includes STAR, Enhanced Star, Senior Citizens (limited income), Veterans and Agricultural exemptions. For more information, contact Assessor Cindy Stokes at 845-626-0920.
Did He Kill His Wife?
Kelly says on August 2, 2011, he found his wife of more than five years, Margaret, dead in their bathtub. Police ruled her death an accidental drowning — but Margaret’s friends, Nancy and Christine, say they think she was murdered by Kelly, and they want the investigation into Margaret’s death reopened. Kelly admits his marriage wasn’t perfect but insists he did not murder his wife. What does he claim happened on the day Margaret died? Kelly says Nancy and Christine have been harassing him, and he believes they even hired someone to throw a caustic substance in his face. Sparks fly when the women face Kelly for the first time in nearly two years on Dr. Phil's stage. Do Nancy and Christine have any evidence that Margaret’s death was suspicious? And, hear from homicidal drowning investigator Andrea Zaferes, who was contacted by Margaret’s friends. Does she believe this was an accidental drowning or something more sinister? Plus, Kelly agrees to take a polygraph test. Don’t miss the results! (Friday, Feb 8th at 3pm on CBS).
FUNKY LITTLE SWEET THING - SLOW DANCE FOR FAST TIMES
which has launched today
The video has been launched today
The single is available on CD Baby!
Classroom -- Cafeteria -- Community
RVGA and our fellow sponsors invite you to join national experts, parents, students and community members to School Food Summit 2013: to identify ways to serve more fresh, locally grown food in school meals, and begin to make it happen.
Friday, February 15th
Rondout Valley High School, 122 Kyserike Road, Accord
· 1:30-4:30 Kitchen Camp for food service staff, led by top local chefs
· 5:30-7:00 Local Food Fair: samplings from Kitchen Camp, and tables with farmers, students and organizations
· 7:00 Songs of Farms and Food with Creek Iverson and Lisa Mitten
· 7:30-9:00 "Local Food Goes to School"
Panel Discussion of national and local food experts including:
o Keynote speaker: Chef Ann Cooper, "The Renegade Lunch Lady"
o Chef Tim Cipriano, No Kid Hungry - Share Our Strength
o Farmer Bruce Davenport, President of the RVGA
o Todd Fowler, National Farm to School movement
o Julie Holbrook, Director of Food Services, Keene Cemtral School
o Janet Poppendieck, Free for All: Fixing School Food in America
o Chris Van Damm, Director of Food Service, Rondout Valley Schools
Please save the date; watch for more details in our upcoming RVGA newsletter.
How you can help us make the School Food Summit 2013 a great success:
· volunteer your time now or at Summit;
· set up an info table for your farm or organization at the Local Food Fair;
· farmers and growers, bring samples for RVGA table;
· help us get the word out--post this on your website and Facebook;
· post a flyer--click here for a 2-page flyer for posting; and
· COME OUT with family and friends on Feb. 15th to the Summit!
This School Food Summit 2013 is the brainchild of our own regional school food advocate, Nicci Cagan, who has brought together an All-Star cast of top chefs and school food advocates. RVGA is thrilled to be collaborating on this exciting event.
ACCORD — Respected architect and artist Nancy Copley died peacefully Tuesday night with her husband, Russel Oliver, by her side at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie.
Copley, 85, was best known nationally for her home on Dug Road, which she designed and built by hand over a 37-year period.
A stone tower, which the slight but determined woman built herself, stood 44 feet tall and took seven years to build, using a crane and elevator system to haul the stones skyward.
Her love of organ music led Oliver, a pipe organ restorer, to design a pipe organ for the balcony of the house, which was named one of the country's top 20 houses in 2007 by Architectural Digest.
"As an art piece, it's important to recognize that this house is not an ordinary building and should be preserved, perhaps as (Frank Lloyd Wright's) Fallingwater has been," friend Paul Widerman said.
A retrospective of Copley's paintings and architecture designs was held last summer in Ellenville Regional Hospital's Healing Arts Gallery.
The show included film footage of Copley at work, taken over a 20-year period, which was to form the core of a documentary about her life.
In recent months, the Virginia native, who received her architecture degree in 1956 from Pratt Institute, let friends know she intended to buy an RV and travel to the Southwest to paint, but fatigue and ill health prevented her from realizing that goal.
A memorial, with a selection of works displayed from the retrospective show, is planned for a later date. (TH Record 1-18-13)
By WILLIAM J. KEMBLE
ACCORD, N.Y. — Rochester town Supervisor Carl Chipman is hopeful that 2013 will be the year that the town connects to the rest of the world with wireless Internet service, but noted he’s changed his position on siting a countywide landfill in the town.
Chipman said last week that negotiations with Time Warner have also included demands for more cable service.
“We have been negotiating for almost two years,” he said. “We’re really trying to get cable spread across the town. We’re also part of a grant application with the town of Wawarsing that will hopefully help using a WiFi setup with repeaters on towers.”
Chipman considers Internet service critical in bringing new businesses to the town.
“It’s very, very important for economic development in our town as well as the quality of life,” he said. “All the kids now have to have Internet ... (because) if you can’t use Internet you can’t do a lot of your homework.”
Looking back, Chipman said work in 2012 included finding ways to trim the budget to meet a state property tax levy limit that was enacted at the same time state aid was being reduced.
“We learned how to do more with less, just like every other town has to,” Chipman said.
Rochester officials will be looking at changes in land-use regulations during 2013.
“Early in the year we’re going to be re-examining some changes to our zoning laws,” Chipman said. “It’s not really a complete overhaul because we just did that a few years ago, but when we did it we found some gaps and some places that we can improve and some uses that we never even thought of before that have come up.”
Chipman said town Planning Board applications should be easier to use and cut down the amount of time spent on preliminary discussions.
“We’ve been working on the forms and working on making it so that the person who is coming before the board is better prepared,” he said. “What happens is people don’t know what to expect, then they end up not doing what they need to do, they come to the Planning Board and then get sent back out. So it’s like starting all over again and we want to lead people through the process much better.”
Chipman added that among discussions not expected to take place is whether a countywide landfill should be sited in Rochester.
“Just don’t print that Chipman wants a landfill for next year,” he said.
The concern arose after Chipman in November 2012 said he would be willing to discuss a landfill in the town, but last week amended his position because it was considered as welcoming a landfill. Asked whether he wanted a landfill in 2013, he said, “No, I don’t.” (Freeman 1/1/13)
By Terence P. Ward
KINGSTON – The sign on the door to Terry Bernardo's office says "Chairman," and the first woman to hold the post gave considerable thought to the title she would use.
"I've been chairman of many things," she said, "and I think it's a unisex term."
Small decisions like that have helped define Bernardo's role as head of the Ulster County Legislature, and give insight into what makes the chairman tick. Ultimately, she views herself as someone who is good at organizing systems and people, skills that she believes would allow her to excel at anything from county executive to housewife.
Bernardo says her first foray into politics came in the sixth grade when a new gym teacher planned on canceling a popular student-teacher softball game.
"I had looked forward to that game all my life and a teaching assistant suggested I start a petition," she recalled. "I did, we got to play the game, and they made me team captain."
After that, political action took a sideline for decades as she graduated college, obtained an MBA, and worked in the hotel industry around the country. The closest she came to politics during those years was when the Sheraton in New York City helped host the Democratic National Convention... which she found underwhelming.
"Employees in hotels don't know who these people are, and they don't care," she said.
Not until she met John Bonacic at Skate Time 209, the roller rink she owns with her husband Len, did politics come up again.
"I couldn't have told you I was registered as a Republican — when you're working in Manhattan, all you do is work — but he and Sue Cummings knew, and they asked me to run for county legislature," she recalled.
When she ran the first time, her husband was supportive, but not involved. Bernardo lost that race, in 2007, but succeeded in 2009.
"Len did not want to be involved in politics — that wasn't his thing," she said.
Since then, Len Bernardo took on Mike Hein for Ulster County Executive when that position was created, and became county chairman for the Independence Party, to which he has belonged since shortly after its formation.
Chairman Bernardo notes that she is known for working with people in different parties, most notably New Paltz Town Supervisor Susan Zimet; but she doesn't know if that's bipartisanship or simply cooperation. "One person's bipartisanship is another person's traitor," she said. "I think some people just get along better than others."
She decries the "hyperpartisan" behavior of some legislators, singling out minority leader David Donaldson in particular.
"He's all about politics, and he's nasty," she said. "The way to see if someone is bipartisan is in their rules. The New York State Senate shut down the minority for a long time, and the Assembly still does."
Ulster County gives its minority a voice in governing, Bernardo said.
While she isn't seeking the office of County Executive for herself, "A lot of people have that aspiration for me. I don't know if that's really what they want, though... the executive administers the county, but if he sees a problem, he has to ask the legislature to fix it. From here, I can do that."
However, Bernardo added that she does have concerns about how Mike Hein is handling the executive position's responsibilities.
"A lot of our community board members have come to me with frustrations," she said.
The community advisory board, which according to the charter should have input into the budget — particularly mental health — felt shut out by the process, which concerns her. Other boards have had people leave citing strained relations or overly burdensome ethics requirements.
If nothing else, Bernardo feels that she should have more experience before even considering the top county job. She has been a legislator for three years.
"I only ran for chairman because my opponent goaded me," she explained, noting how her fellow Rochester resident, and former councilwoman Manuela Mihailescu "said that if I won I would run for chairman, and she said it so many times that I decided, 'Fine, if I win I will run.'"
She calls the position, "a bigger tool in my tool box. From here, I can get things done."
Among the things she'd like to see are better alignment of town and county budgets.
"The towns have to have a preliminary budget by the last week of September, but we don't need one until the first week of October," Bernardo noted. "With the tax cap, that means that if we don't come through as expected, a town could be in violation of the cap."
To make things run more smoothly, she would like to see legislative terms that last four years, like town council members, rather than two. She'd also like to see the chairman get elected every term instead of every year.
"To have that election every year is such a distraction," she said.
Bernardo's first year involved massive staff turnover — the legislative clerk died, the deputy went on maternity leave, and another person was terminated. It was chaotic, but it also removed what she calls "we've-always-done-it-that-way" thinking. On the political side, she has instituted strict adherence to Robert's Rules of Order, including a protocol for use of her gavel.
"I was mocked for that, but it's made meetings run more smoothly," she said.
Bernardo admits that she doesn't easily escape politics at home.
"Some husbands and wives hunt together, or play tennis, but our hobby is politics," she explained. "Sometimes, though, I will ask someone to call my husband and tell him what happened in the meeting, just so I don't have to go over it again when I get home." (Shawangunk Journal 1/31/13)
By WILLIAM J. KEMBLE
ROSENDALE, N.Y. — Officials with the towns of Rosendale, Marbletown, and Rochester hope it is only a matter of months before they secure joint municipal use of the vacant former Rosendale Elementary School on Lucas Avenue Extension.
Supervisors for the towns during telephone interviews last week said they are nearing a completion of a deal with the Rondout Valley school district to let the local governments have free use of the building until district bonds expire and then turn it over for a dollar.
“If the district goes to sell it they aren’t going to get fair market value for it at all,” Rochester town Supervisor Carl Chipman said. “So this way we’re taking something that’s been bought and paid for by the taxpayers and still using it for the benefit of the same taxpayers.”
While the school, which closed in June 2012, is within the Rosendale municipal boundaries and a Marbletown town line sign is only 57 feet from the school’s driveway, getting to Rochester takes a few minutes along Lucas Avenue Extension.
“I think it’s about four miles from our boundary,” Chipman said.
“We do realize it would be a little farther for people to drive, but you have to realize that our community center is an old Agway warehouse,” he said. “It’s not an office space. It’s terrible to heat and terrible to cool in the summer time. So we’re looking to garner savings, but if it doesn’t garner savings we’re not going to do it in the first place.”
Chipman sees Rochester making less use of the building than Rosendale and Marbletown.
“If we do this, and it’s still an ‘if,’ we’d have to look and see what our needs are and if we’re really going to get cost savings on it,” he said.
“What would probably play out is to take what’s in our community center, which is code enforcement, planning and zoning, and move that to Rosendale, as well as move the courthouse. That would allow me to close to buildings that I have right now,” Chipman said. “The busiest departments that have the most traffic from people are the town Clerk’s Office, the Assessor’s office, and my office,” he said. “That wouldn’t move.”
Marbletown Supervisor Michael Warren said the current Marbletown Town Hall is out of space and budget limits preclude new construction for new offices.
“Of course there’s 4,500 square feet (in the school) which is too big for Marbletown and too big for Rosendale by itself,” he said. “There is also a critical need right now for a regional court system because none of our three courts meet the codes for the court system.”
The municipalities will use a $10,000 grant from the Dyson Foundation for a study of renovation needs of the school.
Rosendale town Supervisor Jeanne Walsh said most of the Rosendale town offices could be relocated to the new space.
“I’m hoping that in 2013 we will be moving in there,” she said.
“We would move Town Hall,” Walsh said. “We rent space for (the Building Department) and assessors and planning and zoning, so we would move those there. We would move police and we would move court.”
The supervisors also consider having a centrally located building with a gym as a possibility for intermunicipal recreation programs.
“We would be adding a cafeteria and a kitchen that I can’t come anywhere close to matching with what I have right now,” Chipman said. “We’re also getting a gym. All of us would be able to expand our programs for kids and for the seniors and by consolidating this way I think we can save a lot of money.” (Freeman 1/2/13)
Ulster County town supervisors object to giving scrap metal revenue to county
By WILLIAM J. KEMBLE
Town supervisors in Ulster County oppose a proposal to shift revenues from the sale of scrap metal to the county, saying it would further strain their budgets.
Town of Ulster Supervisor James Quigley said the Ulster County Association of Town Supervisors and Mayors will ask the county Legislature to rescind a request that the state Legislature include recyclables in regulations governing the flow of trash in Ulster County.
“These revenue sources, if this legislation were to be adopted, would shift from the town to the (Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency), but from the way it would be collected, the towns would continue to incur the cost to maintain the facility to collect them,” Quigley said.
Quigley said the town of Ulster’s scrap metal revenues amounted to $16,000 in 2011 and $6,000 in 2012; Rochester Supervisor Carl Chipman said his town collected about $10,000 from the sale of scrap metal last year.
There are 20 towns, three villages and one city in Ulster County.
Quigley said his town’s transfer station has probably already seen a reduction in revenue because Millens Recycling, which pays the town for scrap metal, has moved closer to the transfer station.
“We have a piece of land where we tell people to bring in their scrap ... and about every day or two, we push it up into a pile and we call Millens, which bales it up and takes it away,” he said.
County lawmakers voted 17-5 in December to enact flow-control rules that require haulers to bring all solid waste collected in the county to the Resource Recovery Agency. The Legislature also voted, 13-8, to ask the state Legislature to change the law to allow recycling materials to be included in flow control regulations.
Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency Executive Director Tim Rose on Wednesday was unable to provide an estimate of revenue scrap metal sales would bring to the agency. He noted that the agency is not equipped to handle scrap metal and would have to hire an outside company to dispose of it. (Freeman 1/17/13)
By Terence P. Ward
ACCORD – The Rondout Valley Central School District began 2013 much as it did 2012: with stories about police investigating school-related crimes. Last year two incidents on school buses rose to the level of legal proceedings, heightening parental concerns about busing in a reconfigured district. More recently the district, which was already on heightened alert after the horrific shootings in Newtown, CT, received a threatening letter at one school while another building was the scene of a fight serious enough to warrant sheriff department involvement.
In the most recent violence, a sixteen-year-old male student was charged with several crimes as the result of a fight with another male, fifteen years old. The incident occurred on December 20, and the older youth was charged with third-degree assault, as well as second-degree aggravated harassment for making Facebook threats against the younger boy.
Last January, the year started with a male student being arrested for harassing a younger boy regarding his sexual orientation. In an unrelated incident, another student was charged with repeatedly exposing himself on a school bus. The incidents occurred even as plans for reconfiguring the district without Rosendale Elementary School were being formulated, and many parents spoke out against the idea of fourth graders sharing the bus with high school seniors.
Superintendent Rosario Agostaro spoke of rolling out a program called Peaceful School Buses, which works with drivers and passengers to eliminate bus incidents, but the funding for that effort has yet to materialize.
The receipt of threatening "anonymous correspondence" at Marbletown Elementary School during the holiday break came in the wake of schools across the country reacting to the shootings in Connecticut. According to a message from Agostaro on the district web site, the board of education met with administrators the evening of December 28 to plan a course of action.
"A short term plan was developed and a task force will be established to develop a long range plan for our district," says the message.
The short-term steps include having state troopers or sheriff's deputies in all school buildings, and returning personnel to the doors to screen visitors. The last remaining "greeter" positions were eliminated in the 2011-12 budget, and replaced with a variety of security measures including surveillance cameras and remote-release locks. Those cameras, as well as others throughout the district, will now be monitored closely by staff.
There will also be more lockdown and lockout drills in the coming months, preparing for worst-case scenarios.
Agostaro completes his message with, "Once again, please know that we will work diligently to keep our students and staff safe in the weeks to come." (Shawangunk Journal 1/3/13)
Why Do Diner's Remains Remain So Long After Fire?
By Terence P. Ward
KERHONKSON –When the Rainbow Diner went up in flames back in July, it was devastating for owners George Haralabopoulos and his wife Carol, who watched their building get destroyed for want of a tanker truck to put out the flames. But that was only the beginning of the saga of the old diner, which is still a burned-out husk along Route 209 — a single table and two chairs with charred settings in place at their center —despite efforts to clean the mess up.
"George and Carol have no insurance," said Rochester Supervisor Carl Chipman. "They got a friend who is a contractor to do the cleanup in return for whatever he could get for the scrap metal."
Haralabopoulos rented the front loader for the work from Taylor Rentals, and the contractor started the job. And quickly stopped.
Just an hour after the cleanup began an agent from the state Department of Labor showed up with a stop work order, citing the contractor for conducting an asbestos cleanup without a license.
"They almost showed up faster than the fire trucks," joked Deputy Ulster County Legislature Clerk Fawn Tantillo, who has been working to resolve the issues which were uncovered. "They wouldn't even let him turn off the equipment."
DOL rules require a licensed asbestos removal contractor to do the cleanup whenever there's a suspicion of asbestos being present, Tantillo learned.
"The DOL's first response to our request for information was to tell us that they would make a determination on our request — not give us the information, just make a determination — by March 13, 2013. We told them that was unacceptable," she said. "Then they told us they couldn't release the test results because it's an ongoing criminal investigation."
"I raised hell," Chipman recalled. "There are rats as big as dogs there, it's a safety hazard, and it's an eyesore at the gateway to our community."
Finally, Tantillo, who got involved when Chipman contacted Legislature Chair Terry Bernardo, got the test results from the samples the DOL sent out.
"There were fourteen samples and two to three of them showed evidence of asbestos," she noted.
That's sufficient to require an asbestos contractor to do the work, she discovered.
It's also enough to grind the process to a halt, according to Chipman.
"The property is assessed at $53,000, and that kind of cleanup is going to cost as much as $149,000," he said. "They don't have that kind of money. The town could condemn the building and do it, but then it would go onto their tax bill and what are the chances of them paying it?"
State officials have tried to get things moving. Assemblyman Clifford Crouch helped convince the DOL to release the test results, and Senator John Bonacic wrote to the governor asking for requirements to be waived. But no such accommodation has been reached.
"It's kind of ridiculous that we're hung up on a couple of rules while this thing is sitting there, possibly blowing asbestos around," said Crouch.
Bonacic's office released a statement, saying, "We have urged the Department of Labor to be more proactive. We have asked them to see what they can do to be more accommodating. This is a blight on the community..."
In addition to trying to wrest information from the DOL, Tantillo said that Bernardo has been working to find grants to pay for the cleanup.
Calls for comment to the Department of Labor were not returned in time for this story. (Shawangunk Journal 12/20/12)
Kerhonkson man hurt in Rochester car crash
TOWN OF ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The driver of a car that struck a telephone pole on Cherrytown Road Sunday morning was taken to Vassar Brothers Hospital in Poughkeepsie for a minor head injury, the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office said Monday.
Deputies said they responded to a one-car crash at 6:45 a.m. on Cherrytown Road. They said a car driven by Andrew Dougherty, 24, of Kerhonkson, failed to negotiate a turn on Cherrytown Road and struck the pole.
Dougherty was taken by the Kerhonkson-Accord Ambulance Squad to Vassar Brothers for evaluation. (Freeman 1/8/13)
Shoplifting: John E. Warren, 26, of Kerhonkson, was charged by Ulster town police with misdemeanor petit larceny at 4:45 a.m. Monday following a shoplifting complaint from Wal-Mart. Police said Wal-Mart reported that on four separate dates, Warren took merchandise valued in total at $101.54 from the store without paying for it. Warren was issued an appearance ticket for Ulster Town Court. 1/2/13)
Shoplifting: Tiffany K. Barringer, 18, of Kerhonkson, was arrested Tuesday at 3:56 p.m. by Ulster County sheriff’s deputies and charged with misdemeanor petit larceny. Deputies said Walmart security personnel saw Barringer selecting assorted merchandise, valued at $69.45, concealing the items in a bag she was carrying, and leaving the store without paying. She was issued a ticket to appear in Ulster Town Court. (Freeman 1/10/13)
Drugs: Anibal Rodriguez, 50, of 6182 U.S. Route 209, Kerhonkson, was charged by members of the Ulster Regional Gang Enforcement Narcotics Team (URGENT) with criminal sale of a controlled substance and criminal possession of a controlled substance, both felonies, at 5:15 p.m. Friday at Spring and Hickory streets in the village. Police said Rodriguez was arrested after making a crack cocaine transaction. He was sent to the Ulster County Jail without bail. (Freeman 12/23/12)
Shoplifting: Joshua T. DeWoody, 22, of Kerhonkson was arrested Monday at 4:49 p.m. by Ulster County sheriff’s deputies and charged with misdemeanor petit larceny. Deputies said he removed an IPad, valued at $499.99, from Target and left the store without paying for it. He was issued a ticket to appear in Ulster Town Court. (Freeman 12/20/12)
Assault: A 16-year-old Rosendale boy was arrested at 1:30 p.m. Friday on misdemeanor charges of assault and aggravated harassment. Ulster County sheriff’s deputies did not identify the teen because he is eligible for youthful offender status. Deputies said they went to Rondout Valley High School on Friday to investigate an assault of a 15-year-old male student that had occurred the day before. The victim did not require medical attention, deputies said. Deputies said the 16-year-old was arrested following an investigation. The aggravated harassment charge stemmed from the 16-year-old making threats against the victim on his Facebook page, deputies said. The suspect was released with tickets to appear in Rochester Town Court. (Freeman 1/25/12)
Shocked At Local Fitness Trail Costs
In reading the announcement of the new "fitness trail" being installed at the Rondout Valley school, I was shocked by the comment by Superintendent Agostaro, that the district has to raise "a couple thousand dollars" to complete this project.
Possibly "a couple thousand dollars" does not mean anything when dealing in the millions of dollars spent each year at Rondout, but "a couple thousand dollars" can mean the difference in paying your taxes or going to a doctor.
The district received this money from $25,000 in "bullet aid" obtained from the state. Whatever you call it, "bullet aid" grants or taxes, the taxpayers end up paying for it. Be it state, federal or local, the money to fund these projects does not fall out of the sky; it comes from taxpayers.
As a taxpayer, I would like to know exactly how much this silly project is costing us? A couple of thousand here and a couple of thousand there add up to millions.
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