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COUNTY BRIEFS: Interim coroner appointed

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HUDSON—The Columbia County Board of Supervisors, at its full meeting April 12, appointed the following individuals to the following positions:

•Steve Meehan deputy Emergency Services coordinator, upon recommendation of Emergency Medical Services coordinator

•Kevin Marchetto interim county coroner until December 31, 2023

Voters will elect a coroner in November.

The board also reappointed the following to the Columbia Greene Workforce Development Board, upon recommendation of the Economic Development Committee:

•Ann Marie O’Hanlon, of Taconic, a business representative; Michael Torchia of Sickler, Torchia, Allen, & Churchill CPAs, business representative; Kristina Vaselewski, of Key Private Bank, a Business Representative; Guy Hughes Jr., representing organized labor; Michele Troy-Ryder, of the Department of Social Services; Ron Valentine, of Questar III; Chris Nardone, of Columbia-Greene Community College.

Also at the meeting, the supervisors:

•Requested the State legislature to let Columbia County extend the additional 1% on the local sales tax through at least November 30, 2025, and to extend the property transfer tax through at least December 31, 2025. Reasons given in the resolutions are that the county’s “burden for mandated costs for Medicaid, Pension, and state mandates has not been relieved and is likely to increase in the foreseeable future”

•Authorized the County Civil Service Department to hire some people for Civil Service positions without taking tests, as part of the New York State Civil Service Hiring Emergency Limited Placement (HELP) Program. (Later, Human Services Director Dan Almasi expressed optimism about the program and hoped it will make it easier to recruit staff for his department)

•Agreed to the collective bargaining agreement between the Columbia-Greene Community College Faculty Association, the same members of the college Board of Trustees, and New York State United Teachers for employment conditions through August 31, 2027

•Authorized renewing the contract with Cornell Cooperative Extension

•Authorized the demolition of a county-owned building in Greenport, deemed to be “in a state of disrepair” and a “public safety threat.” The County Board office gave the address as 327 Lincoln Boulevard, which real estate websites say is a single family house built in 1960.

•Authorized agreements between the Sheriff’s Office and the county’s towns and villages “to provide enhanced police protection” with “Sheriff’s Office personnel”

•Authorized the fire coordinator to purchase 580 gallons of firefighting foam from Municipal Emergency Services to replace 695 gallons of firefighting foam containing Perfluorialkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS pose “a danger to the firefighters during operations” and damage “the environment”

•Authorized the probation director to accept an award of $187,349 to reimburse costs associated with Raise the Age legislation. (Later, Probation Director Vince Doto said that the change from criminal to family court for 16 and 17-year-olds required different types of work. However, it will take a few more years to assess the real effect on his department’s work)

•Authorized the Solid Waste Department to purchase a Commercial Ztrack Mower up to $12,500

•Authorized supporting the application of LaBella of Valatie for State Community Development funds.

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