Thursday, August 26, 2021

News from the Ad Hoc Committees

Two Common Council ad hoc committees met last night--the one dealing with City-owned property, the other pursuing a solar farm on City-owned land. Michelle Tullo, the City's Housing Justice Director, appears now to be part of the "property committee," along with aldermen Rebecca Wolff and Jane Trombley and Council president Tom DePietro. 

At its last meeting, the property committee seemed set to move ahead with the sale of 429 Warren Street as soon as the Code Enforcement Office was relocated to 751 Warren Street, but there seems to have been no progress on either the move or the sale. Last night, Wolff suggested that the City should keep the building and renovate it to provide offices for Code Enforcement and the Housing Justice Director as well as rental apartments. That notion was rejected by DePietro, who pointed out that an elevator would have to be installed in the building to make it ADA compliant. It was more or less decided that the committee would move forward on the sale of five buildings: 429 Warren Street, the cemetery house, the house near the water treatment plant, 1 North Front Street, and 10-12 Warren Street, now the Hudson Daycare Center.

DePietro said it was time to "go to the Council" for funds to do title searches on all five buildings in preparation for selling them.

One interesting bit of information that emerged from the meeting is that the City is applying for a $75,000 grant to go toward paying for a new comprehensive plan which is estimated will cost $200,000.

The meeting of the ad hoc committee pursuing the solar farm was mostly taken up with Peter Bujanow, Commissioner for Public Works, presenting a draft request for expressions of interest (REI) in partnering with the City to construct a solar array on City-owned land along North Second Street. In his presentation, Bujanow said the City was seeking "somebody who is looking for a challenge" and stressed that the REI was a means to "get ideas" which can be used to develop a request for proposals (RFP). Although at one point Bujanow had suggested that the capped landfill be considered as a possible site, the REI specifies just two parcels, neither of which involves the landfill.

It appears that the larger parcel, which extends on both sides on North Second Street, abuts the Hudson Dog Park. 

Bujanow noted that, although the larger parcel is 60 acres, all but 5 acres is wetland and hence not a possibility for a solar farm. 

The REI will be reviewed by the Conservation Advisory Council at its meeting on Thursday, September 2, and will be presented to the Common Council at its September meetings, with the goal of issuing the REI on Wednesday, September 22. The REI will also be available for public review on the City of Hudson website, but that hasn't happened yet.


  1. Council President DiPietro apparently does not recall that 1 North Front Street, the historic Washington Hose Company building is subject to two long term leases with the City, extending to 2035? This past spring the HDC responded to a FOIL request by Mr. DiPietro, providing all details of the lease and the HDC's role in financing rehabilitation of the building. When Mr. DiPietro brought up sale of 1 North Front at the fist ad hoc Property Committee he had not spoken with either tenant, the Hudson Development Corporation or the Chamber of Commerce in this regard. Such a conversation should not have been difficult, as he sits on the HDC Board and is a regular attendee. The City and the HDC Board deserve better leadership than the Council President is exhibiting. Trying to sell a property that is 1) Encumbered by long term leases, and 2) has had a title search in previous years, seems to indicate he has not read the materials he ask for in his FOIL. Perhaps he will once again turn to the City Attorney and ask what could be done to force the tenants out.
    Hudson... we could be so much better than this.

    Robert Rasner,
    Hudson Development Corporation.

  2. Do like the rest of the landlords are doing.RAISE THE RENT

  3. I suppose if the city is broke from fiscal mismanagement (another "plan" for $200,000? do we really need another $200,000 "plan"? what kind of investment is that?) selling a building or two might be a good idea for a quick infusion of cash, but aside from balancing a budget, what does it accomplish in the long run? Once you sell it, it is gone forever and long term it may be more prudent to manage the property to generate ongoing income. But you get what you vote for, sell and spend.

    A solar farm partnership seems like yet another way to use taxpayer money to contribute to a utility business and the ongoing corporate control of utilities. Why not invest in the community? Partner with property owners to install solar panels on every building in Hudson? Then at least the taxpayer investment is going back to the taxpayer, rather than contributing to a private business that will control and sell electricity.

  4. Really, we are going to update the 20-plus year (?) old comprehensive plan for 200 grand? We are going to pay someone to tell us what we already know we need to do? And repeat what the original plan said about repairing our sidewalks that we have done absolutely nothing about all these years later? That sounds like money well spent. How about we spend some or all of that money on new parking meters that don't allow rain to get inside and make the meters often impossible to read, and that won't look like the city is stuck in the 1980s. Catskill has meters that were most definitely manufactured in the 21st century. Imagine that!

  5. Selling the City-owned properties, with no plan to reinvest the funds besides to pay current expenses, is the wrong decision. It is tatamount to a spendthrift trustafarian tapping into the trust principal. It is a clear signal — if any is still needed — that the current Council and especially its “leadership” is bereft of ideas after 3+ years of clownish bumbling. Having failed to even envision any method to increase municipal revenues while handing out over $500k to cronies for mindless “tourist” attractions (which attracted no tourists) they now seek to sell the patrimony to fund their lack of ideas and ability.

    1. Excellent description and I believe you 100 per cent

  6. Better to argue for years about a way to allow people not to fix their sidewalk, than to tell them to fix the sidewalk.

    Hudson has become a gravy train for consultants. Maybe we should hire a consultant to analyze why so much money is being spent on consultants.

  7. It's a rare occasion when the commentators are in unison and correct in every way. Now what!

    1. Now What?

      Make a clean sweep and hold an emergency re-election for every post !