Thankfully, our efforts to stay at home, socially distance and practice good hand hygiene have paid off. We've managed to slow the spread and flatten the curve, which helped avoid a healthcare crisis in our local emergency rooms.
New York State is slowly beginning to reopen, but unfortunately it will be some time before things return to "normal." That said, I regret to share with you the following cancellations:
The Philmont Memorial Day Community service and parade have been canceled. The Minkler-Seery American Legion Post 252 will still honor those Veterans who gave their lives for us with a service at each cemetery and at the Village Memorial Parks, with a time and date to be announced.
Chairman Jeffrey French is asking all Claverack residents to take a moment out of your day on May 25th to remember those service members who are no longer with us.
All rentals of the Claverack Town Park have been suspended for the Summer. This includes any private parties, gatherings, concerts, etc. The park will remain open for walking and playing, but residents are asked to refrain from playing any contact sports (basketball, etc.).
The Claverack Summer Youth Program at the Town Park has been canceled. The Town Board regrets having to make this decision, but we did not feel it was prudent to move forward with the program as State and County government have both discouraged summer camps and youth programs during this time. We look forward to having a program in Summer 2021.
The Claverack Republican Club's Summer Concert Series has been canceled for 2020. In making the announcement, Club vice-president Charles Schram said, “there was simply no way to make it work given the nature of the venue and the close interaction required.” The club will begin planning for the 2021 season at the first of the year.
Philmont Community Day has been canceled. Any donations, and all money from fundraising will be utilized for next year’s event. Anyone with questions or concerns can contact Secretary/Treasurer Brenda Baker by calling (518)-821-4481, or by email.
For additional updates and announcements, please continue to check the town website.
The Town of Claverack has received a limited amount of cloth face masks (not medical grade) from the County to distribute for free to Claverack residents who have been unable to obtain them elsewhere.
A limited supply of these masks will be distributed in the Claverack Library Parking Lot on Saturday, April 25th, from 12:00 Noon until about 2:00 PM (or until we run out). Masks are also available at McNann’s on Main Street in Philmont for those of you that live closer to Philmont.
The masks come in packages of five, so we are limiting the distribution to one package per family. We encourage you to share any unneeded masks with someone who needs one. They are made of soft cloth and can be washed and re-used.
Per the State social distancing guidelines, we ask that everyone maintain at least a 6-foot distance from one another if you come to get a package.
Please note that if you cannot make it on Saturday, there will be a supply of these masks at the Town Office on Church St during the week. If you come to the office, our Town Clerk will come out and give you a package.
We apologize for the short notice, but we just received these and wanted to get them out into the community without delay.
Claverack Town Board
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).