Internet tower update

Hudson Valley Internet Service Provider (HVWISP) temporary tower is up and running on the top of Shine Hill to provide high speed internet service.

This 80′ tall temporary tower will be in place until the permanent 120′ tower is constructed this coming spring.

This tower will help to serve the parts of town that do not decent internet access, especially parts of the town that do not have Time Warner Cable Internet service.

The signal from the tower works along line of sight, so if you can see the top of Shine Hill from your home, then you should be able to see this tower. In order to get this service you will need to call Hudson Valley at 458-6090 or by going to www.hvwisp.com Tell them Dana sent you.


Hartford’s 113th NY Assembly District

Hartford will be represented in the NY State Assembly (113th District) by the newly elected Carrie Woerner of Round Lake.

Hartford and all the other towns in the 113th District have been without representation in the NY Assembly since Tony Jordan was elected to become the Washington County District Attorney. The seat has been vacant since that time because the Governor did not arrange for a special election, instead choosing to wait for the General Election to come around.

During the recent campaign, Carrie made frequent visits to Hartford attending functions like our Memorial Day Parade, Fire House Pancake Breakfasts, Church Suppers, etc.

Through this exposure, Carrie has grown to enjoy and appreciate Hartford, the Heart of Washington County, so much so that he has asked Mrs. Kelly Warner, Pastor of the Hartford United Methodist Church to give the invocation at her swearing in ceremony in the Assembly chamber on Dec 29th.

Carrie knows Hartford well and I am sure she will do an outstanding job representing us.

Carrie would like to extend an invitation to all of Hartford’s citizens to attend her swearing in. The swearing in will take place at 10:30am Dec 29th in the Capital Assembly Chamber in Albany.


Hartford Christmas Caroling

On Dec 20th the Hartford Methodist Church Youth Group (Grades 7 – 12) will conduct a hay wagon Christmas Caroling along Main St. from 4-6pm.

If you would like more info or join along, please call Cynthia Mitchell 632-5749


How much wood can the Town Hall chuck….?

The Hartford Highway Garage and Town Hall may soon be heated with fire wood in an attempt to save on heating oil costs.

Since 2011 to date the Town has spent over $26,000 on heating oil.

Heating the highway garage side of the building is always a challenge because of the high truck bay ceilings plus the large overhead doors that open and close frequently.

The Town is putting out a bid for an outdoor wood boiler which will be used to supplement the oil heat.

Highway Superintendent Greg Brown assures us that we will never need to purchase nor run out of firewood considering that the Town has about 50 miles of Town Roads which require periodic tree trimming and removal.

Here is the legal notice for the bid.

Dana

The Town of Hartford, County of Washington, State of New York hereby invites sealed bids for the purchase of a 2005 or newer Taylor T1000 Outdoor Wood Boiler or equivalent delivered and completely installed to existing heating systems.

Bids are due in a sealed envelope, along with a non-collusion statement, no later than Noon on Friday, December 5, 2014 at the Town Clerk’s Office at the Hartford Town Hall, 165 County Route 23, Hartford, New York, at which time all received bids will be publicly opened and read aloud. The Hartford Town Board will meet and review received bids at Hartford Town Hall on December 9, 2014 at 7:05pm. The Hartford Town Board reserves the right to reject any or all bids.

Dated: November 13, 2014
Denise Petteys, RMC
Town Clerk


County 2015 Tentative budget. Just say No.

Here is some recent Hartford/County news.

1) Yesterday I signed the crossplow agreement with the County which will allow the Town to snowplow maintain County Route 23 and 23A (Main St) in Hartford. The County will likewise snowplow maintain Shine Hill Rd. This is a straight up swap of snow plowing routes with no money exchanged. It is a good thing this was signed yesterday because winter is now here with the snow we got last night. This crossplow agreement will remain in place until we trade actual ownership of the roads in 2015 after the County repaves Main St. At that time Shine Hill Rd will become a County Route and 23/23A can officially be renamed “Main St.” under Town control.

2) Transfer Stations: Earth, Waste & Metal has been operating the 5 County Transfer Stations under a lease to own agreement. They are now negotiating with the County to exercise their option to purchase.

3) County Budget. On Friday the 21st, at the November Washington County Board of Supervisor’s meeting I plan to vote “NO” on the budget. The 2015 County Budget will come in at a 2.85% increase to the County Property tax levy (BTW – The Town’s 2015 tax levy will have a 0% increase). The message of the budget is that last year the County could only afford to pave 18 miles of road and this year we can only afford to pave the same number of miles. The County has 280 miles of road, so on a 10 year paving rotation we need to get up to 28 miles per year. I think the premise that the County can only afford to pave 18 miles of road (at $150,000 per mile) is dishonest because there is a lot of fluff in the budget in other places that would be better spent on paving.
I feel one benefit that all citizens see from their tax dollars whether rich or poor is having a decent County Road to travel upon. Many roads are horrible from lack of paving and we need to reinvest money into our road infrastructure. To me that is a much better community development investment than other spending items that are rather liberal in the use of tax dollars. One small example, there is $2,500 appropriated to an Adirondack Art group but good luck going to an art show on crappy roads.
Yesterday at a County budget workshop, I had the floor for over an hour with suggestions, questions, and motions to cut $440,000 from the budget’s various fluff line items and shift that money over into County Road paving. I had to do this lightning round style so they would not fall asleep. I went through the 99 page County budget with a fine tooth comb and this $440,000 came from many small items that finally added up to a lot in the end. I made motion after motion for each item only to have them shot down. The overall reasoning is that to get closer to the bone on the budget with less cushion would make them uncomfortable. Many revenue items were under estimated and many expenses were overestimated with quite a bit of liberal fluff thrown in. If we cannot afford to pave more miles why are we giving money away left and right on “feel good” items?. In the end, out of the $440,000 items I commented on, they threw me a small bone in the amount of $37,000 to go into paving. This will handle an extra 1/5th of a mile but something is better than nothing. I will vote yes on my successful amendment to the budget and then vote “no’ on the whole thing. That way what ever the budget ends up looking like, the extra to paving will still be in it.

Here is a PostStar article covering yesterday’s meeting.

Dana

Meeting

Washington County Board of Supervisors Finance Committee, Thursday morning

Top story

The committee entered into executive session to discuss the possible sale of five county-owned transfer stations to Vermont-based Earth Waste and Metal. The company entered into a five-year lease agreement with the option to buy in March 2013. “They want to negotiate the price of that option to buy,” said County Administrator Kevin Hayes. The committee had previously tasked attorney Larry Paltrowitz to enter into discussions with the company. Paltrowiz was said to have delivered his findings during the executive session. No action was taken following the session.

Other news

An effort by Hartford Town Supervisor Dana Haff to find $440,000 in savings in the proposed 2015 budget prompted much discussion and praise. The committee unanimously approved a decrease in the road machinery expenditures by $36,900, to be directed toward road paving. Haff suggested increased revenue in several lines within the 99 page document, based on previous income, though, it was discovered that actual revenues have been trending downward. Online activity, rather than sales in areas such as tax maps, were said to be to blame for some of those decreases.

The committee approved the issuance of tax-exempt bonds by the Warren and Washington Civic Development Corporation for the construction of new dormitories at SUNY Adirondack. The bonds will be purchased from Glens Falls National Bank. The Warren and Washington Civic Development Corporation was formed two years ago after state law disallowed Industrial Development Agencies from issuing tax exempt bonds for civil projects. The new agency fills that gap. Projects can only move forward with the approval of both counties, regardless of its location. Warren County approved the measure Wednesday. Neither county assumes any liability by their approval.


Hartford’s Fiscal Stress (or lack of it)

The NY State Comptroller’s Office has just released its annual judgement report about the financial conditions of local government entities.

The report relates to the degree of fiscal stress a municipality is in and its budget solvency, which basically is your spending liability compared to what you are able to raise and pay for.

There are three degrees of fiscal stress based upon your score;
Score of 65%-100% = Significant Fiscal Stress
Score of 55%-65% = Moderate Fiscal Stress
Score of 45%-55% = Susceptible to Fiscal Stress.

Stress is like golf, the lower the score the better.

The Town of Hartford scored a very healthy 3.3% which means we are not included in any of the above three categories.

The Hartford Town Board anticipates that the 2015 budget will come in at a zero percent tax levy increase over 2014.

Plus, 2015 will be the first year in many years that the Town will be debt free.

Here is a link if you wish to learn more about the Comptroller’s report or look up a particular municipality or school.

http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/fiscalmonitoring/index.htm

Regards,
Dana


Hartford is a great place to retire to according to the Chronicle

1553 p. 01 Cuomo is our Putin, John Irion contrarian, kaleidoscoThis week’s Chronicle newspaper Hilighting how John and Patty Iroin moved to Hartford (my parents house) from Queensbury so they can live the good life in the country and become Gentlemen (and Lady) farmers.


Road Swap coming to a Town near you

Granville Sentinel Newspaper 9/4/14

County considers realignment of highways

By Derek Liebig

Washington County supervisors are looking at ways they can make local highway departments more efficient.

The county and local towns are looking at the possibility of jurisdictional realignment as part of an effort to increase the overall efficiency of maintaining town and county roadways.

The town of Hartford and the county’s’ Public Works Committee last week tentatively agreed to swap ownership of Shine Hill Road, a town-owned roadway, and County Routes 23 and 23A, the main thoroughfare in Hartford.

County Route 23 and 23A are maintained by Washington County, but Haff and Greg Brown, Hartford’s highway superintendent, have expressed a desire for the town to maintain the road themselves.

“The Hartford Highway Garage is on also on County Route 23 (Main Street) so it makes sense that we maintain and snowplow our own Main Street that all the Town snowplow trucks have to drive on to leave the highway garage anyway,” Haff said. The county used to pay Hartford to maintain the road and Haff had hoped to renew that agreement but the county balked. So Haff proposed the idea of a swap.

Initially, Hartford had proposed the county take over jurisdiction of Pope Hill Road, but it didn’t meet the county’s criteria.

“The county didn’t want any road that ended on a town road,” Haff said, explaining that the county would only agree to swap if the road connected two county roads or connected to a state road.

Instead, the county agreed to Shine Hill Road, which is the most heavily traveled town road in Hartford, and connects Routes 40 and 196.

Haff said Shine Hill Road is longer than Route 23 and 23A but the latter roads are wider and would require roughly the same amount of care.

Although Haff concedes the swap won’t result in an immediate cost savings for the town or the county, he said it does make maintaining the roads more efficient for both entities and over time that efficiency should save both money.

“The whole idea is to make it easier,” Haff said.

The idea isn’t necessarily new. A little more than 30 years ago, the county proposed a series of swaps but the deal wasn’t equitable for the local towns and the proposal went no where. But Haff believes there may be some merit to reexamining the idea.

“If every town in the county looked for efficiencies there could be some savings,” he said.

The idea, however, would need to be examined on a townby- town basis.

“I think you need that local knowledge,” Haff said.

Granville Supervisor Matt Hicks said the town is in process of examining areas in which the town’s “beats,” or snow plowing routes may intersect with that of the county. Like Hartford, Granville’s highway barn is located on a county road. He also said there are a number of roads in which very small stretches fall under the jurisdiction of one entity and it could make sense for the portions of those roads to be maintained by other highway departments, be that the town or the county.

“I think it’s a good thing and I’m glad Dana got the ball rolling on this,” Hicks said.

Although he concedes the idea won’t result in immediate cost savings, over time he believes the county and local towns could save money.

“I think it would make things efficient over time,” Hicks said.

Hampton Supervisor Dave O’Brien said the town has looked at ways it could save material and labor by eliminating the number of occurrences where county and town trucks are traveling over the same roads, but the community’s geography makes it difficult to find a suitable swap.

“We have so many roads that don’t connect to county roads,” O’Brien said.

The town, however, will continue to examine other ways they could improve their efficiency.

The agreement between Hartford and the county will still need to be approved by the full board of supervisors. Haff said the concept has already been approved by the Hartford Town Council.


Hartford road swap

Hartford Group,

Below is a brief story in today’s Post Star about an idea to swap County Route 23 (Main St) and 23A (East St) for Shine Hill Rd.

Main St is a County Rd and Shine Hill is a Town Rd.

The Hartford Highway Garage is on also on County Route (Main St) 23 so it makes sense that we maintain and snowplow our own Main St. that all the Town snowplow trucks have to drive on to leave the highway garage anyway. Most of the traffic on Main St is local traffic. It is not an interconnector between two State roads handling heavy traffic like Shine Hill does.

In fact, Shine Hill Rd is the heaviest traveled Town road that Hartford maintains. It is used a lot as a short cut from State Route 40 to State Route 196.

Simply put, we should swap the jurisdiction of Main Street to the Town and the jurisdiction of Shine Hill to the County. The roads area almost the same length.

This swap would make snow plowing in the winter and year round maintenance of these roads much more efficient for both the Town and County while both parties keep the number of centerlane miles needing to be maintained about the same as before.

Dana.

Washington County supervisors review Hartford road swap plan

Washington County Board of Supervisors Public Works Committee

Meeting

* Washington County Board of Supervisors Public Works Committee, Tuesday morning

Top story

* Hartford Supervisor Dana Haff presented a jurisdictional realignment proposal to the committee that would swap ownership of current town-owned Shine Hill Road with County Route 23. The measure would create efficiencies in the highway departments of both the county and town of Hartford. The swap was the third proposed, with the first two failing to be desirable to both entities. Shine Hill Road is a bit longer, 1.72 miles versus 1.36 miles, but was recently paved and meets the criteria for a county road. The committee agreed to move forward with the swap. Haff will need approval from the Town Board to move forward with the deal, which includes a promise from the county to pave Route 23 in 2015.


Hartford Internet Tower

Below is a Post Star story about the proposed Internet Tower on Shine Hill Rd. Dana

Hartford could get a tower for Internet service

• BILL TOSCANO – btoscano@poststar.com(0) Comments
HARTFORD — A broadband Internet company will present its plan for a 120-foot tower on Shine Hill Road to the town’s Planning Board at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Town Hall.

Hudson Valley Wireless is already working with Washington County’s emergency tower system to improve local Internet accessibility,

“We’re trying to blend into the landscape the best we can. We are going with a monopole, rather than a tower with guide wires,” said Jason Guzzo, general manager of Hudson Valley Wireless. “In terms of feedback, everybody seems to be positive. We know a lot of people want Internet, and that’s what we’re here to do,”

Guzzo’s company is spending this week at the Washington County Fair as it gets ready to expand into the region.

Earlier this year, the company was awarded $2.4 million through the Connect N.Y. Broadband grant program. The money funds a public/private partnership that includes nearly all of Washington County.

Hartford Supervisor Dana Haff supports the tower project as a crucial first step.

“We need to step into the 21st century,” said Haff, who hopes Hudson Valley will follow the first tower, which is in the southern end of town, with one in the northern end. “Hartford is underserved when it comes to cell signal and Internet access. In this day and age, if you cannot get high-speed Internet, you are the Stone Age.”

Some parts of Hartford do have cable access and others can access the Internet through Hudson Valley’s tower in Argyle or through other means.

But the Hudson Valley service is line-of-sight, which is why its executives want to put up the Shine Hill tower.

“I’d like to see them build another tower on the north end of town and send the signal there,” Haff said. “But the eastern part of town is really hilly, so we may have to come up with another way to do that. The people in the central part of town can get the cable for Internet, TV and phone service.”

Haff also said he hopes Hudson Valley will allow a cell-phone service to share its tower.

“If I want cell service, I have to walk to the bottom of my driveway and hold my arm up,” Haff said. “That’s something else we really need in town. If you do not have high-speed Internet and cell-phone service, you are going to depopulate your town. People will move away.”

Hudson Valley will turn in its site-plan review packet Tuesday, and the Planning Board will schedule a public hearing, most likely for September. It will also be reviewed by the Washington County Planning Board, because it is in an agricultural district. The county Planning Board can make recommendations, but the final decision is up to the town Planning Board.

“We know we need to have the public hearing, and we understand this takes time, but we are really looking forward to serving Hartford,” Guzzo said.