At the December meeting of the Claverack Town Council, the Town of Claverack became Columbia County’s first Purple Heart Community, joining other municipalities across the country along the symbolic Purple Heart Trail.
As a Purple Heart Community, Claverack pays tribute to our nation’s military service members who have been injured or killed in combat.
New York State Senator Daphne Jordan was on hand at the meeting to present the Town Board with a Senate Proclamation.
“This is a special honor for Claverack to be able to formally thank and pay tribute to our wounded military members,” said Claverack Supervisor Kippy Weigelt. “I thank Senator Jordan for her support of this program and her leadership on this and other veteran programs and issues. Most importantly, I thank all of our Purple Heart heroes – living and passed – for their service and great sacrifice.”
Senator Jordan’s office is working closely with local governments all across the 43rd Senate District in encouraging more localities to become Purple Heart Communities to help recognize the courage and sacrifice of the men and women of America’s armed forces.
To learn more about becoming a Purple Heart Community, e-mail Senator Jordan’s office at email@example.com.
The Town of Claverack has been designated a Clean Energy Community by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), recognizing its leadership in reducing energy use, cutting costs and driving clean energy locally.
Announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in August 2016, the Clean Energy Communities initiative supports local government leaders across the state by providing grants to eligible municipalities to implement energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable development projects in their communities.
The Town of Claverack received the designation for completing four of 10 possible high-impact clean energy actions identified by NYSERDA as part of the Clean Energy Communities initiative.
“We are so proud the Town of Claverack has achieved this designation. It will allow us to become more aware of energy efficiencies, lower are utility costs and take advantage of the technical support now available to our Town when working on future projects,” said Supervisor Kippy Weigelt.
“Congratulations to the Town of Claverack for making this important step towards a cleaner and more renewable energy future,” said Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA.
To earn the Clean Energy Community designation, the Town of Claverack completed the following high-impact clean energy actions:
Clean Energy Community Coordinators are available at no charge to help communities develop and prioritize clean energy goals, access easy-to-use resources such as guidance documents and case studies, and take advantage of available funding and technical assistance opportunities.
For more information on Clean Energy Communities, visit www.nyserda.ny.gov/cec. Local government officials or employees can find contact information for their respective coordinator here for assistance navigating the program.
It is with profound sorrow that we acknowledge the passing of our friend James Van Deusen.
Jim passed away yesterday, March 15, 2017, following a brief illness.
Jim was well known throughout Columbia County and faithfully served his community in many roles. He was a longtime Claverack Town Councilman and Deputy Town Supervisor. He was Chairman of the Board of Fire Commissioners and past Chief of the Claverack Fire District (A.B. Shaw Fire Company), past Columbia County Fire Coordinator, and an avid member of the Claverack Republican Club and the Columbia Car Cruisers.
But despite his many titles, Jim was perhaps best known simply as a good friend, devoted family man, and caring neighbor. He and his wife Wanda opened their hearts and home to everyone and anyone. They loved their family, their friends, and their town – and Claverack loved them.
We offer our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to Jim’s daughters Jodi and Karen, his grandchildren and extended family, his many friends, and of course his fellow firefighters who all grieve his passing.
We thank you Jim for your service. We will miss you, friend.
The Claverack Town Board recently recognized William "Bill" Blaauw with a community service award. Bill has been a big part of the Claverack and Philmont communities for 60 years. He joined the Philmont Fire Company in 1963, rising to the rank of Chief, and serving in the department still today. In addition to multiple terms on the Philmont Village Board of Trustees and the Claverack Town Board, Bill served many years as the Claverack Town Highway Superintendent. After retiring from the highway department, he was re-elected to the Town Board and appointed Deputy Town Supervisor.
As a town official, Bill set a high bar. His common sense approach to decision making and his concern for all issues and residents earned him much respect. We thank him for his many years of service and friendship.
The Town of Claverack will receive $195,000 in grant funding in the sixth round of the state’s Regional Economic Development Council awards. The announcement came today by Governor Andrew Cuomo at a news conference held in Albany.
The funding will go toward two town projects; restoration of the historic Shaw Bridge and a study of historic sites and access points within the Claverack Creek watershed.
A total of $170,000 was awarded to restore the internationally renowned Shaw Bridge, which crosses the Claverack Creek on Van Wyck Lane. The bridge will be restored to its original 1870 appearance, but as a pedestrian and bicycle bridge.
The second award, totaling $25,000, will allow the Town of Claverack to study the existing visual and public access to important historic sites within the Claverack Creek watershed, and identify waterfront access sites that will expand public recreation opportunities, including boating and fishing.
“I’m very happy to learn that we’ll be receiving this funding,” said Claverack Town Supervisor Kippy Weigelt. “Restoring the Shaw Bridge for pedestrian use and expanding access to areas for walking, biking, fishing, and boating are all worthy causes that will benefit everyone,” Weigelt added.
Supervisor Weigelt acknowledged the hard work of the Claverack Historic Preservation Advisory Committee, including Committee Chair Ian Nitschke, and congratulated them on the awards.
The Village of Philmont also received $191,250 to install a new disinfection system at the Village’s Wastewater Treatment Facility.
A complete listing of all 2016 Regional Economic Development Council awards can be found at www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.
PHILMONT BUS SHUTTLE SERVICE TO BEGIN IN SEPTEMBER
As you know, we worked hard to get a bus shuttle service for Philmont residents approved. I’m very happy to announce that the new service will begin operating on Monday, September 12th. The new shuttle service, part of the lumbia County Public Transportation System, will take passengers to and from Hudson and Greenport twice daily, each and every Monday. This will allow residents access to goods and services not readily available in the Village. The ride will cost passengers just $1.00. Many thanks to Johnston & Pulcher, Inc. and Columbia County government for helping make this happen. We’ll provide more information on the routes and pick-up/drop-off times and locations soon.
FALL BRINGS COOLER TEMPERATURES, PUMPKIN EVERYTHING, AND BUDGET WORK
Fall is almost here and along with the cool air, colorful mums, and comfort food comes the always difficult work of crafting the following year’s budget. As outlined in previous updates, we’ve been able to make good progress cutting town government’s dependency on cash reserves, and moving the town to a strong financial position – but further work needs to be done. We’re faced with a very difficult tax cap for 2017, but are determined to produce a budget that complies with the cap, which would once again bring much needed relief and State property tax rebate checks to Claverack residents. The budget is the single most difficult issue that we deal with as your town officials, and certainly one of the most important.
TOWN HALL/COURT BUILDING
As announced earlier this year, we’ve undertaken a study of the current Town Hall/Court to get an idea of the structural condition of the building, and to review the space needs for town departments and organizations that use the Town Hall. An inspection of the building by the engineering firm Crawford & Associates found serious structural issues making it necessary and prudent to abandon the current building. The committee will now begin looking at alternative options (rebuilding on the same site, or relocating to a new location) and what to do in the interim.
KEEPING IDENTITIES OF SENIORS SAFE (DOCUMENT SHREDDING PROGRAM)
The office of Town Clerk Mary Jeanne Hoose, in conjunction with County Clerk Holly Tanner, will once again sponsor the KISS (Keeping Identities of Seniors Safe) document shredding program for town residents in September. Seniors may bring sensitive documents for shredding to the Town Office on Church Street Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM, from September 6th to September 23rd. More info here.
The Columbia County Board of Supervisors Broadband Sub-Committee is working collaboratively with grassroots groups and industry leaders to expand broadband service to residents across Columbia County. As part of that effort, an online survey has been created to help map underserved areas. There are separate surveys for residential and commercial (business) customers. Links to both surveys can be found below. (Note that the residential survey asks for your address, but that information is not required to complete the survey).
Link to the residential broadband survey here
Link to the commercial (business) broadband survey here
OTHER ITEMS OF NOTE
The final concert in the Claverack Republican Club’s 2016 Summer Concert Series was held Thursday, August 26th. I’d like to thank the many volunteers who work so hard to bring these events to our town park each summer – and special thanks to the generous sponsors who help pay for the entertainment and allow the concerts to be offered free-of-charge. We’re also happy to report that approximately 150 kids took part in this year’s Summer Youth Program at the town park! The kids participated in a variety of recreational programs, sports, and field trips during the six-week camp. A huge thank you to all of the staff and volunteers who help make this program a success every year.
Congratulations to Philmont Volunteer Fire Company on 120 years of dedicated service. Your selfless devotion to the safety and wellbeing of our community is very much appreciated!
The September meeting of the Claverack Town Planning Board will be held on Wednesday, September 7th due to the Labor Day holiday.
The Mellenville Fire Company will host the 18th Annual Kim Harvey Memorial Golf Tournament on Saturday, October 1st. Contact Jim Brady at 518-755-8878 for information.
Columbia County Hazardous Waste Collection Day will be held Saturday, September 10th at the County Highway Garage on Route 23B in Greenport. Residents with large quantities of materials must contact the DPW Administrative Office prior to the date by calling 518-828-2737. The event runs 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Click here to review what materials will be accepted.
The A.B. Shaw Fire Company will host its Annual Car Show & Chicken BBQ on Saturday, September 24th from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM (Chicken BBQ starts at 3 pm) at their firehouse on Route 23B.
I wanted to make you aware of upcoming opportunities to get involved in your town government and volunteer for the good of the community. I do my best to be your voice for this town, but there is nothing like participating yourself! Your opinion and input matters. Below are three distinct opportunities to get involved. Be part of it!
HAMLET PARK BEAUTIFICATION PROJECT
A beautification project was initiated last year at the Claverack Hamlet Park at the intersection of Route 9H and Route 23, with the installation of a sculpture of potted flowers on the south side of the park. This sculpture was made possible through a donation made in memory of Dennis Weigelt, who passed away in 2015. Dennis was a lifelong resident of Claverack and an avid gardener.
We’d like to begin planning additional upgrades to the park and are seeking interested individuals to sit on a committee to help brainstorm, design, and organize these upgrades. Donations are being sought as well. If you are interested in serving on this committee, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
TOWN HALL / COURT BUILDING PROJECT
The current Town Hall and Court Building on Route 217 is nearing the end of its useful life. The aging structure has cost town taxpayers several thousand dollars in maintenance in recent years, with additional repairs and upgrades needed.
It is our intention to form a committee to begin looking at the space needs of the Town Hall and Town Court, and to investigate whether it is feasible and prudent to keep the existing building and continue to invest additional dollars to maintain it, or if it would make more sense to relocate the Town Hall and Town Court to a new space. If you are interested in serving on this committee, please email email@example.com.
TOWN PLANNING BOARD VACANCIES
We are seeking interested and qualified individuals to sit on the Claverack Town Planning Board. In general, the Planning Board provides for the orderly growth and development of the town by reviewing and approving subdivisions, site plans, special use permits, etc. Interested applicants should mail a letter of interest and resume to the town office (PO Box V, Mellenville, NY 12544).
Tomorrow night, New Year’s Eve, at midnight, the bells of the Reformed Dutch Church of Claverack on Route 9H will toll 300 times to ring in the grand new year of 2016 and the 300th year since the founding of the church’s first congregation in 1716.
This marks the beginning of the church’s Tricentennial Celebration.
The public is invited to join in by stopping by the church at 11:30 p.m. prior to the bell ringing for prayers and singing.
On May 25, Minkler-Seery American Legion Post 252 of Philmont will remember veterans who have sacrificed their lives from the Philmont area for all others to be free.
Jeffrey French, chairman of the Memorial Day Committee, announced the details.
The guest speaker at this year’s ceremony will be U.S. Army Capt. Jason Nichols, a native of Valatie and son of county Judge Jonathan Nichols, and a member of the American Legion Minkler-Seery Post 252 of Philmont.
In May 2009, Nichols received his commission from Boston University and bachelor’s degree in marketing from Bentley University. After graduation, Nichols was assigned as assistant recruiting officer for the Boston University Army ROTC program until he reported to Fort Rucker, Alabama, in April 2010.
After flight school, Nichols was assigned to 1-6 Calvary Regiment 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kansas; serving as an assistant operations officer for the 1-6 Calvary Regiment. Nichols was reassigned to Avenger Troop as 1st platoon leader until May 2013.
Nichols deployed as task force supply officer in support of Operation Enduring Freedom XIII, as part of Task Force Saber. After redeployment, Nichols continued to serve as a squadron S4 and was later called to serve as the squadron assistant operations officer. Nichols took command of Bandit Troop, 1-6 Cavalry 09 in December 2014.
He is a gradute of SERE-C school, the Rotary Wing Qualification course, the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior Qualification course, Aviation Basic Officer Leader course, and the Joint Firepower course.
Members of the Minkler-Seery Post decorated the veterans’ graves in all the cemeteries in the town of Claverack. On May 22, legionnaires will meet at 6:30 at Memorial Field on Main Street in Philmont to pay respect to those who gave their lives.
Memorial Day, a veterans’ breakfast will be served beginning at 7 a.m. at the Vanderbilt House. All veterans are welcome to attend. (Attendees, please call Jeff French at 518-672-4757)
Following the breakfast, the parade will line up at 8:30 a.m. at the old American Legion building and step off at 9 a.m. Marchers will parade down Main Street, ending at Memorial Park on Main Street. Parade line up is as follows:
Philmont police, Miss Poppy American Legion Color Guard, Taconic Hills High School Band, American Legion members and American Legion Auxiliary members, clergy and village and town of Claverack officials.
Decorated bicycles, Taconic Hills Junior High School Band, Philmont-sponsored Boy Scouts. Little Leaguers and farm team members
All fire companies will combine as one marching unit to show their respect to those who served and are serving in the armed forces.
Following the parade, a memorial service will be conducted at the Memorial Park, with opening comments from Minkler-Seery member Paul Roberston. The invocation will be given by the Rev. Ken Coddington, of Philmont Methodist Church. The Pledge of Allange will be lead by Boys State Rep. Timoth Kierman, a junior at Taconic Hills High School. A welcome will be made by Philmont Mayor Clarence Skip Speed and Claverack Supervisor Clifford “Kippy” Weigelt. Minkleer-Seery American Legion Boys State repersentives, Austin McComb and Jeffrey Frickey will recite the Gettysburg Address. Also, Cody Falkner and Joseph Giulian will recite “In Flanders Field.” These students are juniors at Taconic Hills High School.
A memorial prayer will be said by the Rev. Mark McDarby, of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Philmont
There will be a presentation for the most-patriotic bicycle decoration awards, along with the introduction of Miss Poppy. Judging will take place behind the old legion building at 8:30 a.m.
The Philmont Community Chorus will sing two selections, “America Beautiful” and “Salute to the Armed Forces.” The musical section will be played by the Taconic Hills High School Band.
The service will end with a salute to the dead by the Minkler-Serry American Legion Post 252, the playing of “Taps” and the National anthem. The Rev. Dan Herrick, of the Philmont Reform Church, will conduct the benediction.
French welcomes all veterans, current and past, to attend as the village of Philmont says, “Welcome Home.”
(Article from Register Star)