Gardiner’s Town Board members got their first peek at a tentative town budget for 2021 at the October 6 workshop meeting.
Some $500,000 of this year’s Community Development Block Grant funding for Kingston will be used for engineer studies, design work and sewer repairs in midtown Kingston, and $25,000 will go toward asbestos removal and the demolition of the former Planet Wings restaurant building.
Kingston lawmakers voted to recommend rezoning multiple properties at Golden Hill and Lawton Park at its October 6 meeting, paving the way for new housing developments.
Some personnel changes are in store for the Town of Gardiner’s boards and commissions.
The Saugerties Town Board continued with its hybrid meeting format, with the board members assembled in the town hall for the October 7 meeting, while the session was transmitted to the public via Cisco Webex.
In New York State, early voting runs for nine days, from October 24 to November 1. Ulster County will hold host voting at five polling places. Unlike on Election Day itself, when voters need to report to a specific polling place in their voting district, during early voting voters can use any polling place.
State Senate District 46, which stretches from northern Ulster County to the Capital Region, is up for grabs. Democrats, who already have a decisive majority, are hoping 32-year-old Michelle Hinchey, daughter of the late U.S. Rep. Maurice Hinchey, can turn the district blue and achieve a veto-proof supermajority. She supports a slate of progressive legislation, including expanded healthcare, marijuana legalization, and new taxes on the wealthy. On the GOP side, retired state trooper Richard Amedure of Rensselaerville hopes to hold the line. Amedure pledges to advocate for small businesses and family farms, and criticizes the state’s bail-reform and discovery-reform laws as “devastating” to “our communities and law enforcement.”
“It’s in the cloud, and we would never drop a call, or lose a call,” said the village treasurer. “The phone system would always be up and running.”
To keep the 2021 New Paltz town budget within this year’s 1.56 percent tax cap, employees would have to be laid off. That’s the expectation of Neil Bettez, the town supervisor, who estimates that $300,000 will have to be cut from the tentative budget to hit that mark. Guarding against that prospect, the town board set a public hearing on October 15 on a law to exceed the cap.
Ryan’s 45-minute speech on the 2021 budget contained no single mention of two elements by which the county’s financial projections will sink or swim: the necessity of substantial federal aid to cash-strapped local governments, and how this particular local government will manage its budget in case the on-going pandemic delivers a second lethal hit to local; sales-tax revenues in the coming months. Instead, Ryan touted the hold-the-line, no-layoffs budget under the banner of a “people-first” approach to county governance.