Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Council's Counteroffer

At Monday night's informal meeting, after coming out of executive session, the Common Council discussed a proposal from Council president Don Moore to reduce the building permit fee for the $9 million Columbia County Courthouse expansion and renovation from $38,728 to $12,000. Tom Casey has the story in today's Register-Star: "City may reduce $38K fee." 

The County had originally requested that the City waive the fee altogether, and the reduced fee is offered as a compromise. Those in favor of giving the County a 70 percent reduction in the fee seem to think that it will improve or protect relations between the City and the County, but that may be questionable, since the whole idea of requesting a waiver seems to have started when a supervisor from a town in the outlying regions of the county asked, in a committee meeting, why the County should have to pay Hudson $38,000.


  1. All of Columbia County uses the Courthouse -- why shouldn't all of Columbia County pay for it? Daily traffic to and from the Courthouse includes not just Hudsonians, but folks from all over the county. When they're here our fire and police departments protect them, our roads and sidewalks support them. The County claims that it need not use the Hudson CEO to inspect the building -- but this is specious on at least 2 counts: first, the County doesn't have a CEO or other inspector (these are civil service positions and thus take time to fill and are relatively expensive as they are technical positions); second, the Hudson CEO will still be involved as the connections to the City's water and sewer systems must be inspected by the Hudson CEO.

    The County, in the person of Mr. Grattan, promises to maybe do something about the County doing business with Hudson merchants. Well, that's not good enough for me to vote to have my neighbors bear the burden of the County's project (since the County bears no burden of paying for any of the City's projects). I need more for my neighbors than "maybe do something." At best, the County should get a 10% discount (since Hudson's population is roughly 10% of the county's) unless the County brings more to the table.

  2. I agree with John completely. Why should the City of Hudson residents have their taxes pay for reductions in costs for this County project? Our real estate taxes are going up, with school taxes following suit; so all we do is pour money into a City that will now just give it away. Sorry, with the economy as it is, we're in no position to be generous. If I recall, a very good point was made at the last meeting I attended where this was discussed; it was mentoned that it is most likely that all estimates by the contractor/builder already contained the permit fee as an expense in their numbers. If that is the case, then our objection is even more weighted. If not, the former applies as well. Take your pick, this is not a good idea in this economy, period.

    Cheryl Stuart

  3. It would be interesting to know ,how much has been charged for Bldg.Permit Fees to the County ,for any County owned Hudson,say in last 20yrs?From building from scratch, renovation of a building or mechaniclals update ,or addition, or any project,that by LAW requires a Building Permit(~Building Code of NYS ~ Bldg Code of Hudson, can be more strident than NYS Bldg.Code requirements but CANNOT be less than NYS BLDG Code requirements.)How much in the last 20 yrs did the City of Hudson charge the County in Bldg.Permit fees?What will Hudson Bldg.Dept charge the County District Attorney's office for permits to do new plumbing and electrical,for DA's new shower and bathrooms at County Bldg. in Hudson?
    What will Hudson Bldg.Dept charge the County ,when they will eventually have to do 100's of 1,000's of dollars of work, needing permits by LAW at 25 RR Ave .The DSS Mess,here in Hudson.Why do I get the feeling that the County's outrage at having to pay for any Building Permit FEE for County Court House in Hudson,is because they probably never have or a token payment at best..Just a guess.I could be very wrong.

  4. Hudson has always been the dumping ground for the county. It's time to garner respect. Pay the fee and stop whining.