TRANSCRIPT: Town of Ulster Supervisor Addresses the Water Board 10/8/14

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By Rebecca Martin

We are pleased to share the transcript of the Town of Ulster Superintendent Jim Quigley addressing the Water Board on 10/8/14 following their Executive Session and after the public had left.

CLICK HERE to read and follow along below.

What I Saw, Did You Know? KingstonCitizens.org Wants To Hear From You.

 

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By Rebecca Martin

Over the past couple of weeks, our readership has grown exponentially given the concern of the proposed Niagara Bottling Company project and the amount of information provided here.

With it, citizens have done an impressive job in learning more (and very quickly I might add)  to craft thoughtful speeches, ask insightful questions and to do it all with a pointed focus, grace and eloquence.

I have received hundreds of emails from citizens during this time period who wish to share their experience or to relay important information on the proposed water sale.

It’s completely inspiring, but has been somewhat of a puzzle to figure out the best way to relay the many points of view of the public for the public.

KingstonCitizens.org introduces  “What I Saw, Did You Know?”   It’s a place where citizens can share their experience and relay recently acquired knowledge for others to benefit.

Here’s how it works:

1. CATEGORY: For now, our category is the proposed Niagara Bottling Company Project.

2. WHAT I SAW: Write one page on a meeting you attended, a visit to a site, an article you read, a conversation with an elected official or citizen (it can also include what you heard). Keep it clean and above the belt (if you can).

3. REPORT: What one new thing did you learn that you’d like to share with the public. Please provide links in your piece as back up to your research.

4. WHO ARE YOU?:  Imagine a world where anonymous was no more?  I would really love if you’d tell us who you are, your city/town and email address. That way, you can be contacted by another citizen who might wish to connect. I totally understand if you’d rather not. In that case, please share your city/town and email address.

5. SUBMIT: to rebecca@kingstoncitizens.org   I’m starting a whole new section and will post for readers.

 

It takes a village as they say.  Help me in expanding our knowledge on all of the implications of the proposed Niagara Bottling Company project.

 

WHAT TO EXPECT: Town of Ulster Meetings Town Board (10/16) and Planning Board (10/21)

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By Rebecca Martin

The following is information on what to expect at the upcoming Town of Ulster Town Board and Planning Board meetings.

If you have any questions, please contact me at: rebecca@kingstoncitizens.org

Thank you.

 

 

TOWN OF ULSTER
TOWN BOARD

WHAT
Town of Ulster Town Board
1 Town Hall Road
Lake Katrine, NY

WHEN
Thursday, October 16th, 2014
7:00pm

WHERE
Town of Ulster Town Hall

AGENDA
Click on this LINK

The Town of Ulster Town Board will meet at 7:00pm. The public is invited. Public comment on any matters will be made available following “Old Business” at the end of the evening. We expect that to occur between 8:00pm – 8:30pm.   We ask that all residents prepare a statement in advance to be no more than 3 minutes in length. Please show respect to municipalities that you are visiting.

Their meetings are always taped (audio) which we will have to share when it is uploaded.

 

TOWN OF ULSTER 
PLANNING BOARD

WHAT
Town of Ulster Planning Board

WHEN
Tuesday, October 21st  2014
7:00pm

WHERE
Town of Ulster Town Hall
1 Town Hall Road
Lake Katrine, NY

AGENDA
Click on this LINK

The Town of Ulster Planning Board will be reviews the SITE PLAN (New Business) of the proposed Niagara Bottling Company project. The public is invited.  We are requesting time for public comment now, and will update you on the status.

If public comment is made available, we ask that all residents prepare a statement in advance to be no more than 3 minutes in length. Please show respect to municipalities that you are visiting.

Their meetings are always taped (audio) which we will have to share when it is uploaded.

 

VIDEO: Kingston Conservation Advisory Council Meeting 10/14/14

Standing room only. Great job, citizens.

Standing room only. Great job, citizens.

The Kingston Conservation Advisory Council did a great job hosting a public meeting this evening with guest Water Department Superintendent Judy Hansen.

Thank you to the Kingston CAC, League of Women’s Voters, Judy Hansen and Clark Richters of Kingston News who filmed the event for the public.

Brought to you by KingstonCitizens.org

 

 

 

PART I

Part 2

Part 3

IMPORTANT marks to hit this week: October 13th – 17th

By Rebecca Martin

These are the important marks to hit as we enter into a new week regarding the Niagara Bottling Company Proposal:

* All week long *
CALL Martin Brand regional director of the NYS DEC region-3. 845/256-3033. Request that the DEC be lead agency for the SEQR review of the Niagara Bottling Company proposal. You can email him too at:  martin.brand@dec.ny.gov

* Tuesday, October 14th 6:30pm – 8:30pm *
ATTEND the upcoming Kingston Conservation Advisory Council Meeting on Tuesday, 10/14 at 6:30pm.   Water Department Superintendent Judy Hansen is scheduled to be present to answer questions regarding Kingston’s Water Supply as it pertains to the proposed Niagara Bottling Co. Project.  The Kingston CAC meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 6:30-8:30 at City Hall. These meetings are open to the public.  This meeting will be held in council chambers, the large room on the top floor of Kingston City Hall.  This event will be filmed. 

* Wednesday, October 15th  – 8:10am *
CALL in at 8:10am and ask Mayor Shayne Gallo all of your questions regarding the Niagara Bottling Company proposal.  WGHQ 920 AM    845/331-9255  See their SCHEDULE

* Thursday, October 16th – 7:10am *
CALL in at 7:10am and ask Town of Ulster Jim Quigley all of your questions regarding the Niagara Bottling Company proposal.  WGHQ 920 AM    845/331-9255  See their SCHEDULE

Niagara Bottling Company Proposal. Could Tax Abatement For 10 Years Impact Kingston City School District?

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By Rebecca Martin

The Niagara Bottling Co. project is looking to come to the area taking advantage of the ‘Start-Up NY” initiative (‘Start-Up NY’ helps you start, expand or relocate your qualified business to a tax-free zone in NY State’)

In simple terms, that means that if they were to ever come to Tech City in the Town of Ulster, their taxes would be abated for 10 YEARS. Does that include school tax too?

For if it does, guess which School District Tech City is in, where this proposed project would be built?

The Kingston City School District  (see “Existing Community Services C.4 on the attached form).

Our City officials at this time appear to not be familiar with Start-Up NY and how the tax abatements work. From what we can tell right now, taxes abated under Start-Up NY is a State Decision. It would not be a PILOT involving the IDA. We will continue to check that to find evidence to back up what many believe to be the case. 

READ the Governer’s Program Bill from 2013.
“100% tax-free (e.g. including no income tax for employees, no sales, property or business tax).

 

 

WGHQ: Live Call-in: Mayor Shayne Gallo and Town of Ulster Supervisor Jim Quigley

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By  Rebecca Martin

Call-in to ask questions regarding the Niagara Bottling Proposal to both City of Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo and Town of Ulster Supervisor Jim Quigley on WGHQ 920 AM.  845/331-9255

Mayor Shayne Gallo: 8:10am 
Wednesday, October 15th

Town of Ulster Supervisor Jim Quigley: 7:10am
Thursday, October 16th

Hit it Kingston citizens.

View their schedule HERE

Kingston Water Board: Members and Term Limits

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By Rebecca Martin

Are you as curious  as I to know who sits on the Kingston Water Board?

Call me old fashioned, but I have a great deal of respect for those who volunteer for boards, councils and commissions in Kingston.

However, this five member board believe that they alone have the authority to decide whether or not Kingston’s water source can be sold to the Niagara Bottling Company. Five people who view themselves as independent of Kingston City Government.  (?)

Joseph DeCicco, President
Al Radel
Robert Niedzielski
Raymond McSpirit
Dennis Croswell
Shayne Gallo, Mayor

In 1895 by a special act of the NYS legislature to provide potable water to the residents of the City of Kingston, it says that the Water Board is a “financially and administratively independent department within the City of Kingston and is governed by the Board of Water Commissioners. The Board is a continuously sitting body and each member is appointed to a five (5) year term by the Mayor. The Mayor is a voting member of the Board.”

A five year term.  I’d like to see how long each member has served. I have a hunch that some of them have been sitting around that table for longer than five years.

What was relevant in 1895 – over 100 years ago – probably isn’t all relevant today.  Back then, in being independent the idea was to keep politics out of water.  How’s that working for us in 2014?

Have a look at the Town of Ulster Supervisor Jim Quigley addressing the Water Board after everyone left.  VIEW

Furthermore, to assume that back then it was ever anticipated  that bottling and selling surface and groundwater and shipping it far and wide – or climate change would be in their purview is just plain silly.

Reform is a good thing, folks.

This builds a stronger case of the need to update Kingston’s charter.   I like the idea of exploring new forms of government too while we’re at it, such as City Manager Form of Government where a professional with a background in public administration could be hired.  KingstonCitizens.org recently hosted a public educational meeting on the subject and it was enlightening.

Here’s how I feel about THAT.  But we’ll take this all up again at another time.

For today, it’s important for Kingston citizens to look at every aspect of the proposed Niagara water deal and that includes who this Water Board is.  Their backgrounds and for how long they have served should be made priority.

 

 

WHAT TO EXPECT: October 14th Meeting Hosted by the Kingston Conservation Advisory Council

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WHAT

Kingston Conservation Advisory Council: Monthly Meeting/Special Presentation
with Kingston Water Department Superintendent Judy Hansen

WHEN
Tuesday, October 14th
6:30pm

WHERE
Kingston City Hall, Council Chambers

By Rebecca Martin

We are pleased that the Kingston Conservation Advisory Council has quickly organized a meeting to host Kingston Water Department Superintendent Judy Hansen. She will be giving an overview of the Kingston Water Supply and Distribution system, present the details of the Niagara Bottling Proposal as it pertains to the City of Kingston and the scope of what the involvement/authority/commitment the City of Kingston would have into the project.

The League of Women Voters of the Mid Hudson Region will moderate the public Q&A period following the Kingston Conservation Advisory Committee Council members have their own public Q&A period with Hansen.  Questions will be requested in writing prior to the meeting.

Below is the agenda and ground rules for the public.

Kingston is fortunate to have a Conservation Advisory Council with many years of environmental experience. The group has sponsored many great INITIATIVES  that includes CLIMATE SMART KINGSTON  that embraces comprehensive policies and programs for the City of Kingston to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance operational and energy efficiencies, reduce energy costs, support local job growth, and adapt to a changing climate while improving quality of life, saving taxpayer dollars and promoting social justice.   It’s a document that Judy Hansen as of Wednesday hadn’t yet read, or distributed to the Water Board.

READ more to learn about the members and their long standing history on environmental matters.  City of Kingston employees Gregg Swanzey (Director, Office of Economic Development & Strategic Partnerships) and Julie Noble (Chair, and Environmental Educator) are both members.

KingstonCitizens.org will be filming this meeting.

For more information on this meeting, contact Julie Noble at: JulieLNoble@kingston-ny.gov

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No More Plastic Bottles. Take the Tap Challenge!

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By Rebecca Martin

Tonight, it occurred to me. How many of us in Kingston are drinking water out of bottles?

What if everyone drank from the tap in Kingston instead?  How many  millions of new gallons would we be consuming?

Take the tap challenge!

 
1. DRINK FROM THE  TAP! Cooper lake is a beautiful water source. However, there is chlorine, fluoride and other things it picks up along the way to our taps through treatment and old infrastructure.  Recently, we invested in a filtration system in our home and it’s been terrific. It can be as elaborate or as simple as you can afford and do a really great job at removing some or all of the stuff our bodies don’t need.

Kingston tap water is quite acidic. Always add a little lemon. It changes the quality to alkaline! Amazing, isn’t it?

A SOLUTION:  We found a really great company called HUDSON VALLEY WATER RESOURCES. Their offices are located in New Paltz, but Joe the owner lives in Kingston! He is a real pro – and a pleasure to work with. Give him a call and get your water tested.  If you have other tips on local water filtration companies or ideas, post them in the comment section. It’s helpful to have resources on this front.  You know what else, by drinking more of Kingston’s tap water – we’ll be providing Kingston’s water department with more business.  That’s a win/win.

I love these stainless steel water bottles. Get yourself a big one and keep filling it up (and add lemon!)

2. POLAND SPRING IS NESTLE.  The next time you pick up a bottle of Poland Spring water, look at the dozen sources it is taken from and then shipped all around the world.  Think twice about buying Poland Spring or any brand that is taking water away from the community where it lives.

A SOLUTION:  If one must buy bottled water in Kingston, then go to BINNEWATER ICE who are truly a  local family business.  Offices with water coolers, lets get rid of Poland Spring. Call Binnewater instead.

Because after all, those looking to profit only sell what we will buy. Lets all think about that and take steps towards the tap.