Heard Around Our Towns...
There is news, and then there's lots of talk...
In Ellenville –
So... after all those meetings and stories about Ulster County going after a possible $20 million state prize to pay for consolidation (read: dissolution) of the village, the actual amount tied to such a move is much lower. The final application for funding, in competition against four other counties and one Long Island town, actually splits down to $3 million for changes at the county Law Enforcement Center, $6 million for a new 911 center (also at the LEC), $2 million to build a county fire training center, $1.2 million for a new garage to accommodate the county takeover of Kingston's Citibus system, $1.6 million for a new municipal center for the town and village of New Paltz, $2.5 million for a combined highway and public works building for the town and village of Saugerties, $150,000 to convert Marlboro Elementary School into a satellite center for SUNY Ulster, and "costs associated with the dissolution of the village of Ellenville." By our current accounting that leaves a possible maximum of $3.5 million. Hmmm...
In Wawarsing –
While everyone gets ready for the Democratic caucus here next Wednesday night, July 12 at Norbury Hall, big changes are underway. It's currently looking as though legislator T.J. Briggs has stepped back from a challenge to incumbent supervisor Lenny Distel, leaving him faced by newcomer Al Perry. Briggs, it seems, is running for town board now, as is recently elected school board member John Burns. Facing off for Briggs' seat on the legislature, last we heard, are former board member John Gavaris, who some are grumbling about for a previous run he made on the GOP ticket, and school board member the Rev. Julius Collins. Meanwhile, Wawarsing Conservatives hold their party caucus on Friday, July 7, at 7 p.m. in Wawarsing town hall.
Ulster County –
Speaking of Conservative Party politics... Wawarsing's Mike Wendel is still pushing ahead on his petitions to stay on the ballot the party gave him but wants to rescind. He's bringing up past party political snafus going back six years and spreading old news dirt on the judge that sentenced him recently.
As the field of Democratic candidates looking to challenge freshman Congressman John Faso for his seat in 2018 has grown week by week, one big question has also seemed to grow: Will Ulster County executive Mike Hein make a run, cancelling everyone else out? Check your watches... But also start paying attention to a new regional effort to share trash management, and maybe even a landfill. Ulster's Resource Recovery Agency started the ball rolling with a recent resolution.