ANOTHER TAX-CAP COMPLIANT BUDGET
I’m happy to report the passage of another on-time budget that is in full compliance with the State Tax Cap. This means property tax rebates for Claverack homeowners once again! Since taking office in 2014, we’ve worked hard each and every year to ensure budgets are kept tight and that all reasonable measures are employed to keep costs down.
This year, we worked together with Town Highway Superintendent Lou Lamont to create a capital equipment plan. The first phase of this plan has been implemented in the 2017 budget. The plan permits the highway department to purchase and bond for needed equipment through a combination of cost savings and expiring debt. This capital plan will allow for the cost of these assets to be paid for over their respective lives and take advantage of low interest rates.
We also negotiated a cell tower rental agreement on the water tower off Old Lane, which has enabled the Town to generate some revenues to help off-set steep increases by the Town of Greenport for the water district.
TOWN BUILDING INSPECTOR / CODE ENFORCEMENT CONSOLIDATION
We have consolidated the duties and responsibilities of the Town Building Inspector and Town Code Enforcement Officer (CEO) into one position. The new Building Inspector/CEO will work 20 hours a week. This consolidation will improve efficiency and result in a cost savings to the Town.
NEW AED’S AT THE TOWN HALL AND TOWN PARK
We have purchased and installed Automated External Defibrillators (AED) at the Town Hall/Court building and the Town Park. As we all know, seconds count when a person suffers sudden cardiac arrest. These devices will provide the life-saving tools needed to treat cardiac arrest before responders arrive. Many thanks to the Claverack Senior Citizens for their donation to this cause.
We continue to be engaged in the County Board of Supervisor’s effort to expand broadband to all corners of the county. Many areas of the county, including parts of Claverack, remain unserved. Dependable Internet is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity for many homes and small businesses. Progress is being made! For the latest updates, click here.
BUS SHUTTLE UPDATE
The new Town of Claverack Bus Shuttle Service has been a big success. Several residents pick up the shuttle – from Philmont to the Claverack hamlet – each Monday for shopping and other business in Hudson and Greenport. Mike Johnston, who’s company operates the shuttle as part of the Columbia County Public Transportation System, says that the program is working well and that residents have come to depend on the service for grocery shopping, banking, and other essential needs.
We’d like to reestablish and invigorate the Claverack Garden Club. In the past, Garden Club volunteers helped to plant flowers and spruce up public spaces in the hamlet and Village of Philmont. Their work went a long way toward making and keeping our town beautiful, and we’re hopeful that some volunteers will step up to help with this cause. If you are interested, please email me at email@example.com.
As the holidays approach, I’d like to take a moment to thank you all for making our town the envy of many. We are so fortunate to live in this special community where we all care for and take of each other. I thank you for being part of it and for instilling your trust in me to serve as your Town Supervisor. On behalf of my fellow town officials, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.