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K’hook restarts hunt for website upgrade guru

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VALATIE–The Kinderhook Town Board approved issuing a new request for proposals (RFP) this week to update the town website. In April the board had agreed to award the contract for the update to Town Web Designs, a Wisconsin company, but former board member Peter Bujanow, who led the search for a website redesign firm, said that deal had fallen apart over payments.

“We liked the product,” Mr. Bujanow told the board at the July 10 meeting. But he said Town Web Designs wanted the town to pay upfront costs, which Mr. Bujanow told them was a not permissible under state rules for working with vendors.

He said that he hoped to have a new vendor hired by September. Mr. Bujanow said he would be reaching out to companies, especially in New York, with the new RFP, which will include the information about no payment before work is submitted. He said he would send the new RFP to Town Web Designs, as well.

Jennifer Ose-MacDonald, a community member at the meeting, asked during public comment whether the board would post the RFP on the town’s current website. Mr. Bujanow said that the town would have contact information so that people could pick up a copy of the RFP, but he said the document was “voluminous” and that there would be addendums. He said that the town would also like to know who is looking at the RFP and the only way to keep track of that would be to have them contact the office.

Ms. Ose-MacDonald said that she had heard from community members who work in graphic design that not having the RFP online limits the offers the town might get for the work.

She also said that she couldn’t find committee meeting minutes online.

Town Supervisor Pat Grattan told her, “A lot of times we don’t take minutes at committee meetings.”

Town resident Ed Simonsen chastised Mr. Grattan for not having committees take notes, saying that it excludes the community. He said that though it might not be a requirement for a committee to take notes, “it’s the right thing to do.”

Ms. Ose-MacDonald was also concerned about the opioid crisis in the town and wanted to know if there is town committee looking into that. Councilwoman Patsy Leader spoke at length about that issue at the beginning of the meeting, but when asked about the committee she said that she goes to “closed door” meetings with school administration and local law enforcement. “I report back what I can,” she said of opioid abuse committee.

Ms. Leader said she held a few forums in the town about local opioid abuse but that attendance at those meetings dwindled over time.

At the start of the meeting, Ms. Leader said there had been more than a dozen overdoses in the county recently and at least one death in the town.

“See something, you gotta say something,” she told the crowd. She said people need to call the police and gave out the county Sheriff’s Office tip line, 518 822-8477.

At the end of the meeting, Mr. Grattan said he sits on the Health and Human Services Committee of the county Board of Supervisors and that there are services locally through county Mental Health. He said the number for these services 518 828-9446.

“Yes, the county does provide treatment,” Supervisor Grattan said.

Also at the July 10 meeting:

• The board presented a plaque to Dee Spain for her years of services to the town as secretary to supervisor/bookkeeper. She is leaving this summer after eight years. Dee Voss has taken over the position

•The board has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed updated solar panel zoning laws for August 7 at 7 p.m. Copies of the proposed zoning laws are available at the town hall in the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building

• The board announced that it will host a meeting Saturday, August 19 about Wildflower Lane and possibility of paving the private road to make it a town road.

The next board meeting will be August 7 at 7 p.m. in the Glynn Building.

To contact Emilia Teasdale email eteasdale@columbiapaper.com

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