I was deeply saddened yesterday to learn of the passing of Claverack's beloved friend and public servant Bill Blaauw.
Serving with Bill as a Town Councilman on the Claverack Town Board, I learned so much from him. He was a mentor. His demeanor, professionalism and common sense approach to every issue that came before us helped to teach me the right way to represent all town residents while serving on the Town Board.
Bill devoted his life to public service. He gave countless hours to his community as a volunteer firefighter, serving nearly 60 years with the Philmont Volunteer Fire Company. His leadership and service earned him the 2020 Lifetime Firefighter Achievement Award from the Columbia County Volunteer Firefighters Association.
In addition to his multiple terms on the Philmont Village Board of Trustees and the Claverack Town Board, Bill served many years as the Claverack Town Highway Superintendent and, after his retirement, as the Deputy Town Supervisor.
Bill will be sorely missed. We should all learn by his example. Be kind, be neighborly, be thoughtful, be understanding and be generous.
Godspeed, my friend.
Ribbons were cut on Wednesday, October 13th to celebrate the opening of three new businesses in the Town of Claverack.
The first ceremony was held at the offices of All Aboard Travel and Hudson Home Insurance and Inspections. These locally owned small businesses moved into Claverack recently on Route 23B in the hamlet. The event was followed by an open house that included L’Hair Studio, Samantha’s Serenity Spa, and Elizabeth Bucci Esthetics who also operate from the 396 Route 23B location.
State Senator Daphne Jordan, Claverack Town Supervisor Kippy Weigelt, Deputy Town Supervisor/Town Councilman Stephen Hook, Town Councilmember Katy Cashen and Town Clerk Mary Jeanne Hoose all attended the event.
Following the event on Route 23B, elected officials and dignitaries attended a second ribbon cutting event at Filli’s Deli and Bakery on Park Street in Claverack. The well-known Filli family recently opened a new small business serving up delicious sweets and pasties and their famous deli sandwiches at the site of their former “Claverack Food Market” on Park Street.
“It was a terrific day for Claverack, celebrating the arrival of these new small businesses to town,” said Claverack Town Supervisor Kippy Weigelt. “Claverack is thriving with new businesses and new investment. We are committed to making sure Claverack remains a business-friendly town,” Weigelt added.
Deputy Town Supervisor Stephen Hook, who also attended ribbon cuttings, agreed that business in Claverack is booming and acknowledged the deep roots some of the family businesses have, “The Weinman and Filli families are institutions here in Claverack. They’ve been here for many years and understand and love our town. They’re hometown people. It’s great to see them and Claverack thriving in these challenging economic times.”
Since being elected Claverack Town Councilman back in 2003, I've worked hard to keep our town safe, friendly and moving forward. Together, we've accomplished so much. As your Town Supervisor, we've seen five straight years of tax cuts, tight budgets that are under the State tax cap, investments in roads and bridges, upgrades to our town parks, a new user-friendly town website, shared services with surrounding municipalities, and so much more!
My campaign for re-election is in full swing and we just released my new campaign video.
Because of our conservative budgeting and fiscal policy and our early attention and action to address the threat, we were able to thwart the looming fiscal crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. We spent countless hours working with the Town Board, our accounting firm and bookkeeper, and county officials to plan for and respond to this situation. We also engaged with county Public Health and public safety officials to ensure all that could be done was done to protect our town.
But our work is not done. In my next term, I will continue to safeguard the fiscal well-being of our town, see through the building of a new Town Hall, community center and emergency services substation, and work to bring more affordable housing to our town for seniors.
We can do this! But we need your vote on Election Day!
To learn more, visit www.ClaverackisWorking.com.
Thanks so much.
The world famous Harlem Wizards visited Claverack last week to entertain and mentor area youth. This professional basketball team travels the country, and around the world, raising money for charitable organizations, schools, and foundations.
You may know that Mary Jeanne's grandson, Jordan, is part of this organization. He and his teammates have mentored kids and raised money for public education around the world.
It was quite an honor to welcome them here to Claverack.
I was happy to present the team with a proclamation thanking them for their work and their visit to Claverack.
Mary Jeanne passed out ice pops to the kids (it was a warm day) and Hookie and Doug Colwell were on hand to help out. Such a terrific event!
UPDATED FORECAST SAYS LESS WIND - BUT MORE RAIN - FOR CLAVERACK
The forecast track for Hurricane Henri has shifted East. This would mean less wind, but more rain for our area. So, the news is good and bad.
Current guidance suggests that we could see 3" to 6" of rain here in Claverack. This could lead to widespread flooding. If you live in a flood prone area, or if your basement is prone to flooding, please begin to plan and prepare now.
Again, the shift in the forecast track would mean less wind for us, but with the ground saturated, it won't take much to topple some trees leading to power outages.
SUMMARY: As it looks right now, rain starts early Sunday becoming heavier and steadier as the day goes on. Rain continues into Monday.
With the forecast track shifted to the East, winds now look to gust to around 20-25 mph here in Claverack.
The excessive rainfall remains the headline and primary threat.
Better to be safe than sorry... plan now for flooding and power outages. Make a plan to check on elderly and vulnerable neighbors, friends and family.
Governor Cuomo has issued a State of Emergency that includes Columbia County. All this means really is that the State can now move assets and resources to areas that are most at risk. No travel restrictions or stay-at-home orders have been issued.
Tropical System Henri is forecast to impact the region Sunday and Monday with heavy rain and gusty winds possible. As is typically the case, the exact tract is not yet certain, but Claverack is in the cone of probability.
As of the 6:00 p.m. briefing from the National Weather Service, they expect around 2" to 3" of rain here in the Claverack area., with more as you head east in Columbia County (see NWS graphic below).
Wind gusts 25 to 30 mph are possible (see NSW graphic below).
To summarize, we are monitoring the storm carefully and reviewing briefings from the National Weather Service in Albany.
Depending on the track of this storm, heavy rain and gusty winds are possible on Sunday and into the day on Monday.
We'll issue additional updates as warranted.
The National Weather Service has issued an "EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING" for Claverack (and all of Western Columbia County) for tomorrow.
Heat index values are expected to reach approximately 107 degrees.
The Warning is in effect from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm tomorrow, Thursday, August 12th.
These types of warnings are rare; our first of 2021. Please take the warning seriously and limit outdoor activity tomorrow.
The Weather Service recommends you drink plenty of fluids, stay in an air-conditioned room, stay out of the sun, and check up on relatives and neighbors.
Thanks and be safe,
Kippy & Team
RIBBON CUTTING AT TOWN PARK
New handicap accessible playground equipment installed
Members of the Claverack Town Board gathered Tuesday evening to unveil new playground equipment at the Claverack Town Park on Church Street in Mellenville. The new equipment includes features that make the playground accessible to people and children of all abilities, following up on the Town’s commitment to “Think Differently,” an initiative the town adopted in 2018.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro joined Town Supervisor Kippy Weigelt at the unveiling, congratulating the Town of Claverack on their “desire to foster a welcoming and inclusive environment for residents living with special needs.” Molinaro presented a proclamation to the Town thanking them for their commitment.
Dutchess County Executive Molinaro created the initiative “Think Differently” in 2015. As a result, there are now more than 100 towns throughout New York State that have adopted the principles on which it stands.
Officials attending the ribbon cutting (in addition to Kippy and Molinaro) included Claverack Deputy Town Supervisor/Councilman Stephen “Hookie” Hook, Town Clerk Mary Jeanne Hoose, Councilwoman Katy Cashen and Councilman George Duntz.
EMERGENCY SERVICES APPRECIATION NIGHT
Big community turnout to support first responders!
The 5th Annual Emergency Services Appreciation Night was last Thursday at the town park with a record breaking crowd in attendance. The free event included nearly 100 first responders who were treated to hamburgers and hotdogs, giveaways and a concert by the local favorite band Jarrod.
Police officers, firefighters, EMTs & Paramedics, nurses and public safety dispatchers were all attended the event and were honored for their service.
The evening included presentation of the 2021 “Claverack Cares Award,” an award that is presented annually to a firematic, EMS, police or other first responder group or individual for outstanding service in assisting the residents of Claverack and outlying areas. This year’s award was presented to the Greenport Rescue Squad for their heroic and selfless efforts responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Emergency Services Appreciation Night is an annual tradition, part of the Summer Concert Series that takes place Thursday evenings in July and August at the town park on Church Street. The events are hosted by the Claverack Republican Club. All of the concerts are free of charge and open to the public.
Click here for a complete concert schedule.
NOTICE FROM THE TOWN OFFICE
Please be advised that an appointment is no longer needed to enter the Town Office. The only remaining requirement at this time is that masks must be worn by unvaccinated persons. This is subject to change as conditions dictate.
NEW PLAYGROUND EQUIPMENT AT THE TOWN PARK
Playground closed as work is completed
A nearly $100,000 investment will provide for much needed improvements to the playground at the Town Park on Church Street in Mellenville. The funds cover the purchase and installation of the new equipment, a longtime priority of Deputy Town Supervisor Stephen Hook and Town Clerk Mary Jeanne Hoose.
As a result of smart fiscal policy and budgeting, the Town was able to make this investment in our Town Park despite the economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic.
The playground is a space for area kids to enjoy a fun outdoor experience with their friends and family.
The upgrades include three new playground pieces that are handicapped accessible. (The kids are going to love it when they see it!)
We've made youth programs and services, such as the very popular Summer Youth Program at the park and the Winter Snow Sports Program at Catamount, a priority to help keep kids engaged in productive activities.
Unfortunately this year, the Summer Program had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 and a lack of available Camp Counselors, but we fully expect to be back in operation next year.
Work is expected to be completed on the new playground in the next 7 to 10 days.
Claverack is working!
HAMLET PARK IMPROVEMENTS
The Hamlet Park at the intersection of Route 23 and Route 9H is looking great, thanks to the hard work of our park maintenance staff and our Town Highway Department.
Today, Supervising Groundskeeper Derby Shutts raked out the landscaping and installed fresh mulch throughout the park. Town Highway Superintendent Lou Lamont and his team finished up installation of a new water spigot (yard hydrant) to keep the plants and flowers watered and seeded the area disturbed to bring water to the park.
Next week, a second flower tree will be installed on the north side of the park to bring lots of color and bloom to views from Routes 23 and 23B.
EVENTS / REMINDERS
The weather wasn't the best, but at least the rain held back while the community came together to mourn the loss of those who gave their lives in battle on this Memorial Day 2021, in Philmont.
Town Supervisor Kippy Weigelt, Town Councilman and Deputy Town Supervisor Stephen ("Hookie") Hook, Town Councilman George Duntz, Town Clerk/Tax Collector Mary Jeanne Hoose, Congressman Antonio Delgado, NYS Senator Daphne Jordan, Philmont Mayor Brian Johnson and other dignitaries and elected officials attended.
The event, organized by the Philmont American Legion, included a shortened parade down Main Street, from Maple Avenue to Elm Street.
Following the parade, speeches were given and prayers shared.
While delivering his remarks, Town Supervisor Kippy Weigelt said, "With any luck, we are beginning to see the end of this terrible pandemic that we've been living through and dealing with for over a year now. It's been difficult to be separated from our family and friends; not able to see them or hug them for so long. And while the pain of being isolated from those we love during this pandemic is real, today - Memorial Day - helps to put it in perspective for me.
Far too many military families will never see their loved ones again. They've been lost to war and conflict, defending our freedom and liberty. These families will never again share a holiday with their fallen service member. They can no longer call them to share exciting news or just to tell them they love them. They'll never again share a meal or a family vacation with their military hero. The pain of being isolated from loved ones that we've all felt in recent months, is permanent for these Gold Star families. As we begin to open up and spend time with family again, our hearts are again full; while the hearts of our Gold Star families remain broken... the void left ever present.
So today, as we gather for barbecues and family get-togethers to observe this solemn day, let us not forget that there will be an empty chair at the home of many patriots. Let us never forget them or their sacrifice. Let us always support their family and their loved ones left behind.
To those who gave all, I thank you. We thank you. This village, town and nation thanks you. We will remember.
Thank you all again for attending. It's an honor to serve as your Town Supervisor and to speak with you here today.
God bless this great country."
Rich Morris and Jeff French conducted the presentation at the War Memorial.
State Senator Daphne Jordan recognized the Village of Philmont as an official "Purple Heart Village."