Wednesday, March 31, 2021
A Preview of This Year's Local Elections
A Long View
[Universal Hill] was a broad, beautiful green, fronting the bay, extending from the old church edifice on Third street, which was the only building upon it, nearly to Second street, Allen street, between these points was then little more than a rough road, known as Federal or Church street. . . .
Universal Hill was the great resort for circuses and shows of every description, with an occasional militia "training." By affording as it did a beautiful outlook upon the broad bay and river, it was especially popular as a play ground for boys, an after tea resort for mothers and children, and as a summer evening resort for scores who seated upon the green grass until a late hour drank in the pure, cool breezes wafted from the bay, with no fear of malaria to molest or make afraid. It was a point, too, which was always crowded to watch the incoming and outgoing whale ships. There was a movement at one time made to preserve this as a city park, but it encountered great discouragement from each end of the city as a central project and never got beyond the period of "talk." Third Street was not yet extended when this hill is remembered as in its best condition. Only a cow path led down to the South bay road.
|Henry Ary (1802-1859), View of South Bay and Mt. Merino|
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Monday, March 29, 2021
The Columbia County Department of Health has released its numbers for today. Since Saturday, there have been 22 new cases of COVID-19. The number of active cases being reported today is fifteen fewer than Saturday, from which it can be inferred that 37 more county residents are now considered to be recovering from the virus. There are 127 fewer county residents in mandatory quarantine today than there were on Saturday, and there is one fewer hospitalized with the virus. However, of those hospitalized, one more is now in the ICU. There has not been a death from COVID-19 in Columbia County since March 15.
Who Was John L. Edwards?
Meetings of Interest in the Week Ahead
- On Monday, March 29, the Tourism Board holds a special meeting at 5:00 p.m. Click here to join the Zoom meeting.
- On Wednesday, March 31, a subcommittee of the Hudson Housing Authority Board of Commissioners meets at 6:00 p.m. The city calendar says it is the Tenant Relations subcommittee that is meeting; Gossips notes, however, indicate it is the Affordable Housing and Development subcommittee. Click here to join the meeting and find out which is right.
Sunday, March 28, 2021
News from the HPC
|Photo: Matt McGhee|
Are you ready to make your upstate NY dream a reality? 107 Union St. will have it all. It's currently undergoing a renovation inside and out and we want YOU to be a part of it. We are keeping beautiful original details like the plaster arch over the front bay of windows and the stunning fireplace that anchors the dining/living space and goes into the bedroom above and updating the space for modern living. We are working with the Historical Committee to bring the exterior back to its former glory, too! If you're interested in picking your finishes and making this spectacular home on coveted Union St. yours, then please reach out. . . . If you want to create a unique, historical space without the headache of getting bids, permits, etc. this is the home for you!
Friday, March 26, 2021
"Not Really a Big Deal"
Thursday, March 25, 2021
Ear to the Ground
Discontinuing a Street
The Council Common will decide about discontinuing the street at its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, April 20. The notice goes on: "If the Common Council discontinues the street it is the intention of the City to sell the discontinued street to the adjoining property owner at fair market value." That adjoining property owner is no doubt South Front Street Holding LLC, that is, Ben Fain et al, who own Kitty's, are soon to open a restaurant at that location, and are rebuilding the red barns to be shops and event space. The notice indicates: "The Common Council will hear verbal comments at the informal Council Meeting on April 12, 2021, and will accept written comments until April 16, 2021." Written comments should be addressed to Tracy Delaney, the city clerk: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another Truck Route Survey
|Photo: Bill Huston|
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
Explaining the COVID Spike
Director Mabb said Wednesday that the recent rise in the county's infection rate can be primarily attributed to a pair of family clusters and an outbreak at the Brookwood Secure Center in Claverack. "This is not the result of a wide community spread," he said.
The Council President and the HDC
. . . the City is seeking solutions to the [fiscal] crisis by exploring sales of its real estate holdings. At the first meeting of the Council’s ad hoc committee for this purpose, Chairman DiPietro suggested a sale of One North Front Street as one of the options. The Committee’s discussions noted that the entire building is encumbered by two leases, to our organization and the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce.
As you are aware, one project ahead of the HDC this year is a completion of the review and updating of our by-laws by our committee Paul Barrett and Martha Lane.
Today you will be asked to discuss one topic being considered by this committee, Conflict of Interest . . . to wit:
• Is it a conflict of interest for elected officials to serve as voting members of our Board?
• Is it a conflict of interest for our lessor to serve as a voting member of our Board?
• AND is it a conflict of interest for a voting member of our Board to seek ways to terminate the lease we hold with the City by searching for violations on the part of HDC over the entire term of the lease?
This will not be an easy discussion, but it needs to be undertaken.
- HDC's financials for 2010 and 2011
- Minutes for 2016 (they appear to be missing from the website)
- How much did the HDC spend on improvements to Washington Hose?
- What exactly were the improvements?
- How does HDC currently account for these improvements on its balance sheet, and at what value?
- Over the past ten years, has the HDC used their office for any job training, and if so, what are the details?
- Does the HDC carry the insurance required by paragraph 13(a) of the lease ($1,000,000/general commercial liability insurance for claims of injury or property damage and naming the city as an additional insured)?
There was no actual discussion about changing HDC bylaws to exclude the two ex officio members of the board--the mayor and the Common Council president. Jeff Baker, counsel to the Council, however, reminded the board that "as an LDC [local development corporation], it is expected that you have a close relationship with the municipality." At one time, there were four elected officials serving ex officio on the HDC board: the mayor, the Common Council president, and the majority and minority leaders of the Common Council. At the end of 2015, the board voted to amend its bylaws to limit the elected officials on the board to just two: the mayor and the Council president.
There's not much here that hasn't already been reported by Gossips, except that the deal was unanimously approved by the Hudson City School District Board of Education yesterday: "Affordable housing developer eyes John L. Edwards site."
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Ear to the Ground
Hiring a Project Manager
Monday, March 22, 2021
Ear to the Ground
Adirondack is focused on working together with local community partners to help solve our nation's affordable housing crisis and specializes in the development of high-quality affordable and workforce housing on a nationwide basis.
The partners of Adirondack understand that only through an investment in its staff, residents, partners and communities can it ultimately achieve its goals to create a first class organization and a lasting development platform for success.
Through a focus on innovation, training, education, career development and empowerment programs, Adirondack promotes the advancement of people throughout its organizations and neighborhoods--because only by precipitating achievement for everyone will we all experience prosperity together.