Tag: News

Bag Waste Reduction Law


Starting March 1, 2020, a new bag waste reduction law will take effect in New York State – where over 23 billion plastic bags are typically used each year. Plastic bag usage affects both our communities and environment. Plastic bags can be seen stuck in trees, as litter in our neighborhoods, and floating in our waterways. From the significant recycling and disposal issues they pose to the harm they can do to wildlife, the negative impacts of plastic bags are easily seen.

As a consumer, you can help and #BYOBagNY – Bring Your Own Bag. Keep reusable bags in your car, or clip folding reusable bags onto your commuting bag or purse so you always have them handy. If you store them near the door or coat closet, you’ll be more likely to remember them on the way out. Remember that every time you use a reusable bag, you are doing your part to prevent litter and waste. Using reusable bags makes sense and is the right thing to do. You can also remind your family, friends, and neighbors to bring their reusable bags whenever they shop.

The Bag Waste Reduction Law applies to more than just grocery stores. Whether you’re going to the grocery store, clothes shopping, or to a home improvement store, make sure to bring your reusable bags.



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A Broadband Victory for Rural Communities

A recent update from NY-19 congress-person, Antonio R. Delgado, included some positive news on our area’s ongoing broadband improvements. 

In January, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that New York State was ineligible for Phase I Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) awards. This decision would have made New York State broadband providers completely ineligible for $16 billion in funding to improve broadband internet in unserved communities. Because this would increase the digital divide, hinder economic growth and opportunity, and stall quality of life improvements for residents in our state, particularly those living in rural communities, I led a bipartisan group of my colleagues in urging the reversal of the decision. After a phone call with FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, and a follow-up letter, I’m glad to say that the FCC reversed its decision to completely exempt New York from participating in the program. This is an important step for our state, but it is just the first of many needed to ensure upstate communities aren’t once again left on the wrong side of the digital divide.

For more news and updates, visit delgado.house.gov


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Columbia County Awarded $5.3M in REDC Grants


Columbia County received 20 individual awards totaling approximately $5.3 million from the state’s Regional Economic Development Council (REDC).

The awards ranged from $30,000 to nearly $2 million, going to a variety of initiatives such as arts programs, aging infrastructure development and Main Street revitalization.

One major award is for a new Shaker Museum for Columbia County. Shaker Museum Library will receive $1,569,000 from Empire State Development to renovate a large 19th century masonry building in downtown Chatham, into a state-of-the-art museum facility to house its library and object collection. It will provide flexible space for exhibitions, community programming, and educational activities.

Other Columbia County awards include $145,000 for studio restorations at Art Omi Inc., $950,139 for performance space restorations at Basilica Hudson, $750,000 for the city of Hudson’s stormwater system upgrades, $197,000 to the Friends of Clermont for renovations at Livingston Mansion.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the awards allocated across the state, a continuation of a program that has been instated since 2011.

The Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative is a key component of Governor Cuomo’s approach to State investment and economic development. In 2011, Governor Cuomo established 10 Regional Councils to develop long-term strategic plans for economic growth for their regions. The Councils are public-private partnerships made up of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government, and non-governmental organizations. The Regional Councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom up approach and establishing a competitive process for State resources.

After nine rounds of the REDC process, more than $6.9 billion has been awarded to more than 8,300 job creation and community development projects consistent with each region’s strategic plans, projecting to create and retain more than 240,000 jobs. For more information on the Regional Councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.


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Route 66 Bridge to Re-Opens Today!

Screen Shot 2019-08-22 at 7.17.50 PM
State and Local Officials to Reopen Route 66 Bridge in Time for Columbia County Fair.

State and local officials are scheduled to cut the ribbon to commemorate the official reopening of the Route 66 Bridge over Kline Kill Creek in Ghent, today.  Completion of the project was accomplished ahead of schedule to ensure the bridge was ready for the start of the Columbia County Fair, which attracts thousands of visitors each year and runs from August 28 through Labor Day.

Scheduled to attend the ceremony are Assemblymember Didi Barrett, Ghent Town Supervisor Michael Benvenuto, Chatham Deputy Mayor Peter Minahan, Columbia County Fair Manager Angelo Nero, Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez, and Department of Agriculture and Markets Deputy Commissioner David Valesky.

DATE/TIME: Friday, August 23, 2019 / 10:30am

Route 66 Bridge over Kline Kill Creek
Ghent, NY

Parking for Ribbon Cutting: 2361 Route 66, Ghent, NY


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Cuomo Awards $10 Million to Hudson for Downtown Revitalization

The city of Hudson is one of 10 winners in a statewide competition for $10 million downtown revitalization grants. This is the second year for the contest, which Governor Cuomo created to reinvigorate aging downtowns.

In a press event on Tuesday at Hudson’s Hudson Hall, Cuomo said the grants are awarded to communities that already are growing, show promise, evidence of community investment, and enlightened government.

Hudson Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton said that the money will support efforts to make the town more attractive to businesses and visitors while enhancing resident access to education, recreation and employment.


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Jeff McKinney is a Realtor in Columbia County, NY. Connect with him on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Pinterest.