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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 8, 2007

Bally’s employee arrested after locking woman in restroom

By Jarrett Carroll

GUILDERLAND — An employee of Bally Total Fitness at Crossgates Mall was arrested Saturday on sexual abuse charges leading more women to come forward with similar allegations, according to Guilderland Police.

James G. Carter, 20, was arrested by Guilderland Police for locking himself in a restroom at the mall with a client last Thursday evening and forcibly touching the woman, according to a police statement.

Carter is currently being charged with third-degree sexual abuse, second-degree unlawful imprisonment, and forcible touching — all misdemeanors. But Guilderland Police investigator John Tashjian says more charges are expected to follow.

"Two or three other people have come forward since the beginning of the investigation," said Tashjian, who is handling the case. "We plan on additional charges and upgrading a charge to a felony."

Following the arrest on Saturday, several other women called Guilderland Police after they saw Carter’s picture on the television news and they claimed similar incidents happened to them, Tashjian said.

Tashjian told The Enterprise this week that he does not believe Carter and the Bally’s client knew each other personally, but added that Carter "may have seen her working out there."

Guilderland Police say that the woman called them last Thursday night following an earlier incident that she said occurred in the rear restroom of Bally Total Fitness in the mall.

"Our victim was working out at Bally’s and he wanted to give her a ‘body assessment,’" Tashjian said, referring to a type of body-muscle ratio assessment.

"She didn’t know that he wasn’t a trainer," Tashjian continued. "She went in the restroom and he followed her in and locked the door behind him and began groping her."

A police statement also says that Carter "attempted to force himself on the female client" after touching her. Tashjian described Carter’s job as being in "sales," and said that he is not a gym instructor.

Bally’s, which is located in the mall’s lower-level, did not return a call for comment.

"The owner of Bally’s has been cooperative with us through the investigation," said Tashjian.

Since the case is currently under investigation, Tashjian would not comment on the details of the new sexual abuse allegations against Carter.

The new charges will be brought when Carter returns to Guilderland Town Court today (Thursday) at 5:30 p.m. He was arraigned by Guilderland town judge, John W. Bailey, and remanded to Albany County’s jail on $3,000 bail.

Tashjian said as the police continue to investigate they are asking anyone with additional information or anyone who has had similar experiences at Bally’s to call at 356-1501.

Glass Works traffic concerns board

By Jarrett Carroll

GUILDERLAND — The town board wants specifics on the $100 million New Urbanist community proposed for busy Route 20.

Focusing on traffic concerns, the board questioned developers of the Glass Works Village on Tuesday before accepting their draft environmental impact statement.

The town board set a public hearing for April 17 at 8 p.m. It will be the same night as a public hearing for bringing municipal water to the town’s west end.

Documents pertaining to Glass Works will now be available for public review.

"John Behan made a number of comments he thought needed to be addressed," Supervisor Kenneth Runion said about the town designated engineer. "But he thought it was clear enough to set a date for public comment."

Behan told the board that he wants to see more specifics on issues such as land-use, zoning and community character, economic and fiscal impact, municipal services, and the distribution of open space.

The project calls for 327 residential units — including condominiums, townhouses, and cottages — and nearly 200,000 square feet of commercial space to be built over six years, with construction to begin this summer. More than half of the 57-acre plot is slated to remain open space.

Linkage road

The library, located next to the proposed development, wants more specifics.

The Guilderland Public Library presented a letter to the board in December, questioning the creation of a connection road between Mercy Care Lane and Winding Brook Drive. Currently, a paper road connects the library, the nursing home, and the drug rehab center with using Route 20. The proposed road would run directly behind the library’s Literary Garden which was just built in October of 2005 at a cost of $76,000.

The library was given a $50,000 grant from the state, which was earmarked by Assemblyman John McEneny, for the project. The Literary Garden faces a wooded area and is completely open to give library patrons a relaxing environment to read.

Some of the library’s trustees think the road will hurt the tranquil garden setting, but they say they support the Glass Works proposal.

"The library is officially supportive of the Glass Works Village. It’s a community-oriented property that promotes pedestrian-friendly development," said the library board’s president, Robert Ganz. "I’m hoping to hear more specifics on the details of roads involved"We question whether this area is the best solution."

Ganz told The Enterprise before Tuesday’s meeting, "We understand that there are realities in moving development forward"We just hope the town leaders will sincerely take our concerns to heart."

"There was not enough documentation necessitating the linkage road behind the library," Runion said of the library’s concerns. Library trustees have met with town officials "several times," he said

Runion gave developers a copy of the library’s letter at Tuesday’s meeting.

Traffic concerns

Councilwoman Patricia Slavick said she thought the estimate of 139 peak morning traffic trips "was kind of low."

Developers told the board that the numbers used in the traffic study, conducted by Clough Harbor and Associates, was a "worse-case analysis." Frank Palumbo, who helped piece together the Glass Works’ DEIS, explained that, since everyone would not be leaving or coming home at the same time every day, the number used reflected a "worst-case" base.

"We’re using a fair base line," Palumbo told the board. "It’s peak hour of the system, not necessarily the peak hour of the Glass Works Village."

Councilman David Bosworth also questioned the traffic impact.

"The traffic situation is already problematic without the proposal and it can only make it worse"What is some of the mitigation you are proposing"" asked Bosworth. "I guess I would just like some reference"to this information."

Bosworth said transportation was "a very important issue" and also asked about character changes the project would bring to the community at large.

"There are some definite character changes for the hamlet of Guilderland as it’s now called," Bosworth said. "It’s going to have a big impact, both macro and micro, for our town."

Only eight intersections were mentioned in the traffic study, said Bosworth, and he asked about the impacts on intersections surrounding Glass Works.

"We have that fine pharmacy across the street, Walgreens, that people are still mumbling about," Bosworth said of the route 155 and 20 intersection.

Other concerns

Councilman Mike Ricard, the board’s longest-serving member, asked about specific data on coverage from local police and fire crews.

Glass Works would be located 2.2 miles from the Guilderland Police headquarters in Town Hall, further west on Route 20.

"The policing and EMS responses are needed," Ricard said. "I don’t anticipate this being a Wal-Mart or Crossgates, but it is a very large project."

The town police have a substation in Crossgates Mall, also on Route 20, to handle the frequent arrests, mostly for shoplifting.

Ricard cited unanticipated policing problems at a Wal-Mart plaza off of Route 9W in the town of Bethlehem; he said he didn’t want the same to happen with this project. To compound the problem, Ricard added, several police officers are scheduled to retire within the next 10 years.

"I would like to see some numbers behind it," he said.

Runion said he wanted to see less reliance on automobiles with the project and he wanted the pedestrian improvement plans.

Of the developer’s Planned Unit Development request, Runion said he didn’t see how "this PUD is going to result in less reliance on the automobile."

Continuing he said, "I’d like to see a little more detail"I’d like to see what those pedestrian improvements are."

Slavick asked developers about what they labeled as an "on-site recreation area."

They responded by calling it "passive recreation," meaning pocket parks, trails, and pedestrian and bike paths.

Palumbo thanked the board for their questions and said developers will start piecing together answers for public debate.

"We’ll work hard toward those answers," he said. "We do want to go back to the planning board"So you could see in greater detail what we are proposing."

State owes schools $138M in aid

By Melissa Hale-Spencer

GUILDERLAND — The Guilderland School District is owed nearly a quarter of a million dollars in state aid — and it’s not alone.

Across New York, school districts are owed more than $138 million for expenses that date back to 2000, according to figures compiled by the Capital Region-Questar III BOCES Superintendents’ Legislative Committee.

Locally, the Berne-Knox-Westerlo School District is owed $2,854 from 2000 and $54,437 from 2001.

Guilderland is owed $43,475 from 2000; and $178,544 from 2002; and $11,081 from 2003.

The lag in payment comes when school districts initially underestimate the amount of aid to which they are entitled.

"School districts make an estimate," said Scott Reif, with the state budget division of the governor’s office. "If it’s off, the claim is put on a State Education Department list" to be paid later.

While the education department submits plans for payment of prior-year adjustments to the budget division each year, the budget division has not approved a payment plan since the 2004-05 school year, according to the Superintendents’ Legislative Committee.

Asked about the lag, Reif told The Enterprise on Tuesday, "They assure me the prior-year claims will get paid — it’s just a question of when."

He went on, "Several of the 2000 claims have been approved. The State Education Department approves them and puts them in queue for payment."

The practice began six or seven years ago, according to Terrance Brewer, superintendent of the East Greenbush School District, who co-chairs the legislative committee.

The committee is making a point of it now, he said, because so much debt has accumulated. "It’s quite substantial for some school districts," he said; Schenectady, Cohoes, Albany, and Averill Park are each owed over a million dollars. Brewer’s own district, East Greenbush, is owed over $400,000.

"Funds should reach school districts in a timely manner," said Brewer. "If we create awareness...it may make legislators investigate and move it along. Districts rely on these funds to maintain programs and offset property taxes."

"School districts have pretty much stopped planning on it," said Neil Sanders, Guilderland’s assistant superintendent for business. "We can’t take the risk of budgeting based on that state aid. Some years, nothing is distributed"I don’t budget in anticipation of receiving it."

Sanders makes his initial budget projections based on the governor’s budget proposal and the legislature’s proposal, he said.

He sends into the state estimates "based on enrollment and other factors," he said. "It’s critical to get estimates as accurate as possible"But expenditure codes change, enrollments change," he said. This causes the school district to "under-project or over-project," he said.

When the district has underestimated on its aid, Sanders said, "The state says, ‘We’ve balanced the books"We don’t have any more money. We’ll put you on the list.’

"Conversely, if you overestimate, the state says, ‘We’ve paid you too much’ and they deduct it right away."

Sanders went on, "Over the years, they’ve refunded aid payment at different levels. You never know where you are on the list or if your aid will come through."

If the amount is significant, Sanders said, "Our auditors require us to have it on the books as deferred revenue."

Asked what the district would do with the $233,100 in aid if it were to receive it now, Sanders said, "It could go into the fund balance; it could be used to lower the taxes in a future year."

The payments are "few and far between," said Sanders. He’s been at Guilderland since 2003 and recalls there may have been one payment in that time.

Asked if he and his counterparts were frustrated by the system, Sanders said, "It used to be more of a topic of conversation. It’s been around so long now, it really isn’t. At first, it was more dramatic. Now, you wait and wait and the list grows and grows. We’ve gotten accustomed to the system"

"Certainly," he concluded, "we would like some mechanism to get that money sooner."

Parents blame schools for children’s reading failures

By Melissa Hale-Spencer

GUILDERLAND — Three parents told the school board heart-wrenching stories Tuesday night about their children’s difficulties learning to read.

"Steve and I were sad," Nancy Andress, the district’s assistant superintendent for instruction, said yesterday. Referring to herself and Steve Hadden, the administrator for special education, she went on, "We really do work so hard to meet with parents and meet children’s needs, to listen and be responsive."

They told The Enterprise they had no inkling that the three parents who spoke were feeling such frustration.

Four years ago, when some parents raised concerns about how the district teaches reading, the board decided the matter should be handled by teachers and administrators. This time, several board members wanted to get involved, with one adamantly demanding answers.

In 2003, Melissa Mirabile founded a group for parents whose children struggled to read. The group cited "scientifically-based research" and advocated systematic and specific instruction in five areas — phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension — as recommended by the National Reading Panel, commissioned by Congress.

Guilderland administrators, however, said their reading program, 20 years in the making, had as its greatest strength the teacher’s ability to adapt lessons to individual student needs.

"We know change can be scary," said Mirabile at the time, "but it doesn’t make it wrong."

After a packed meeting in January of 2004, the school board held firm against making changes to its reading curriculum or setting up an advisory board to discuss it.

"We really are not resistant to change," Andress said yesterday. "We’re always looking for new things"Not a week goes by that other school districts don’t ask what’s working in our district."

Parents speak out

Kellie Baldwin opened Tuesday’s public-comment session by talking about her 12-year-old son, James; he has been in the Guilderland schools since kindergarten and is now in seventh grade.

Describing his struggles in elementary school, she said, "I was really concerned about his reading progress."

Baldwin asked that he be kept back a year, but the school didn’t want to, she said.

When she saw no progress in sixth grade, she asked that his reading be assessed, she said; it was and "showed no growth whatsoever."

She requested an outside evaluation and discovered her son was reading at a second-grade level. The evaluator recommended a tutor and, over the summer before middle school, James made his greatest gains. In the fall of 2006, though, he missed two months of school due to illness.

Baldwin had had a meeting to discuss her son’s individual education plan (IEP) the day before, she said, and the outside evaluator had requested one-on-one reading sessions three times a week, but the school seemed reluctant, she said.

"I have a seventh-grader at a third-grade level," said Baldwin. "To me, that is unacceptable...We need to find a way this child can be taught better."

Michael Haley told the board about his 13-year-old son who wants to read the latest Harry Potter book but is unable to.

He was diagnosed with dyslexia as "part of the IEP process," said Haley.

Parents, he said, are often unfamiliar with such disorders and "have to rely a great deal on the special-education team."

For years, Haley was told his son was "making progress," he said. "I didn’t see how that was true."

When his son got to third and fourth grade, Haley said, he started asking how his son was doing in relation to his peers.

"I never got a straight answer," he said.

What he wanted to know, he said, was, "Are we closing the gap or is it getting worse"...It was impossible to evaluate."

Haley termed his son’s two years at Farnsworth Middle School "a nightmare."

The emphasis on independence might work well for normal middle-school students, he said, but not for someone like his son who had to spend two-and-a-half to three hours on homework while a neighbor’s child would take just 40 minutes to an hour to complete the work.

"He was tired, he was burned out, and he was doomed to failure," said Haley.

"How many parents are home right now with no hope of progress"" he asked.

Haley told The Enterprise later that his son is now at the Maritime Academy, a BOCES program for 20 students.

"Unfortunately, when a child like my son is mainstreamed, the priority is the majority," Haley said. "The special-education needs are secondary. The teachers he is with now understand his limitations and are willing to adjust to help him."

Gregg Gerety was the third parent to address the board Tuesday night. He introduced himself as an endocrinologist, naming the schools he had attended, and stating, "I’m highly educated." He is the father of four children in the Guilderland School District, ranging in age from 14 to 8.

His 13-year-old son, Dan, is in seventh grade and is struggling.

"For many years, my wife and I knew Dan was falling through a hole in reading," said Gerety, while his teachers said he was "making progress."

He and his wife didn’t know if their son was attaining grade level, Gerety said.

"Some of the fault surely lies with us," he said. "We have had a degree of blind faith" in the schools.

Dan’s struggles, he said, were not due to his parents failure to read to him or failure to label items at home, nor due to a lack of effort.

Four years ago, when a member of the community asked the board to look at the reading program, Gerety said, "We saw small changes...The fundamental approach to reading did not change."

He said he wished his son had been remediated by a "scientific method" not available in Guilderland.

Gerety said that roughly a quarter to a third of fourth-grade boys at Guilderland fail the state-required English language arts test.

Dan is now repeating seventh grade in a program at Shaker Junior High School designed specifically for dyslexic children, said Gerety, rather than being passed along to eighth grade as he would have at Guilderland.

"In the past," Gerety concluded, "the board has said they would not get involved...saying it was a curriculum issue...If the board did not let Danny fail, who did""

Board reacts

Towards the end of its three-hour public meeting, board members discussed the comments the parents had made at the start.

Hy Dubowsky said he was "very disturbed" by the "gut-wrenching stories."

"Where there’s smoke, there’s fire," said Dubowsky, adding that he would like to "see numbers," including the number of students getting remediation.

He said the district may need "a new way of doing business."

"Our next step is we want to have conversations with these parents...We need to get details," said Superintendent Gregory Aidala. He said he didn’t know if these complaints were emblematic of a bigger issue.

"I want the numbers," Dubowsky shouted, accusing the superintendent of playing to the television cameras. "These are not three isolated individuals and we all know it."

Making a reference to the state’s Freedom of Information Law, he went on about his request, "If it’s ignored, I’ll FOIL."

Board President Richard Weisz said he didn’t know if the numbers would be "FOIL-able or not."

"I think this is a greater issue than three parents," said board member Denise Eisele. "I would hope it is looked at as a global issue."

Both Eisele and Dubowsky were endorsed by Mirabile’s group, Guilderland Parents Advocate, in the 2006 school-board election. Mirabile said this week that her group has grown to about 300 members.

She also said that her son, who had initially struggled with reading, was tested last June, at the end of third grade, and was reading at a fifth-grade level.

"He got early intervention and outside help," she said. "That’s what we need for all kids." Mirabile went on, referring to the children of the parents who spoke Tuesday night, "Danny, Sean, and Jimmy, they’re the flip side of the coin."

Board member Colleen O’Connell chided Weisz for allowing the parents to speak about their children; she cited the board’s policy not to allow comments on individuals during the public session. It creates a lopsided view since the district is not allowed to respond about individual students, she said.

"I think a parent can speak for a child," said Weisz. He went on, "We need to be honest about when we can help kids and when we can’t help kids...."

Barbara Fraterrigo, who was the only board member in 2004 to support setting up an advisory panel on reading, outlined on Tuesday some information she would like, including the number of elementary-school students receiving academic intervention; the methods the district uses to teach students with dyslexia; what types of remediation are used; and how often children are tested.

Andress told the board that the requirements for remediation are set by the state. "In Guilderland, we often remediate far beyond those standards," she said.

Andress also said that special-education students now must pass the required tests, which she termed "a real challenge and difficulty and misfortune."

Board member Peter Golden asked how a student could graduate from high school while reading at the eighth-grade level.

Some special-education students receive an IEP diploma, Andress said, rather than a Regents diploma, which requires passing five state exams.

"I’m not interested in a witch hunt," said board Vice President John Dornbush. He went on, "I feel for these parents. I’ve been there myself...I don’t think the board level is the place to solve the problem."

Administrators offer answers

"It’s important to make a distinction between the reading program for the general population and the unique program these children needed," Andress told The Enterprise yesterday.

Many changes have been made in Guilderland’s reading program over the last few years, she said, both because of parental concerns and because of the state’s core curriculum for English language arts, published in 2005.

The district now addresses phonics, phonemic awareness, alphabet recognition, the motivation to read, and comprehensive strategies, she said, reeling off a long list.

The district, in recent years, she said, has offered more teacher training, sent teachers to conferences, engaged teachers in study groups, linked special-education teachers with regular classroom teachers, and focused heavily on the early school years.

For the past two summers, Guilderland has offered kindergarten intervention to get children off to a good start, Andress said.

"What we really do in this district, when children appear to have problems, is we try to build a program to meet those individual needs," said Andress. A child-study team at each school develops the programs, she said.

Asked about the parents’ complaints that they couldn’t tell how their children stood in relation to peers or their grade level, Andress said, "We’ve tried to do more assessment, collecting samples of student work. To get a handle on student progress."

"Progress is measured on an ongoing basis, not just once a year," said Hadden. Progress for students with disabilities, he said, is measured individually "in small increments."

"These are students with severe disabilities," he said. "Some students will never be able to read at grade level."

Asked about the required tests, and the performance of Guilderland students, Andress said that the federal No Child Left Behind legislation required that all but 1 percent of students at any given grade level be tested.

"Children with significant disabilities must now take the same test as their peers," she said. "Last year, New York State allowed off-level testing. The federal government has said we can’t do that."

She went on, "It has nothing to do with our expectations. We have high expectations for all of our students."

Hadden said that valuable time must now be spent teaching skills for assessment, "throwing out other skills that are important."

"You don’t want special-education classes to become test prep classes," said Andress. "These students need life skills."

Since two of the parents who spoke Tuesday night to the board said their sons were dyslexic, The Enterprise asked Hadden how Guilderland dealt with that disability.

"We don’t use the term dyslexic," he said. "It sets up a lack of expectation." Some Guilderland students with "a significant reading disability," he said, are sent out of the district for programs specific to their needs.

Others, Hadden said, are mainstreamed and receive remedial instruction with trained teachers.

"We offer a continuum of services," said Hadden, "that are modified as we go along."

Haley’s son, for example, was in a class of 10 students, said Hadden.

Asked about Baldwin’s criticism of the district for not letting her son repeat a grade, Andress said decisions on holding back a child are made on a case-by-case basis.

"Keeping a child from his peers often doesn’t benefit a child in the long run," said Hadden.

Andress cited research that showed some children compared being held back a grade to the death of a parent.

Andress said that, in response to Tuesday’s comments, she has asked teachers to develop a profile on each child to go over with the board, explaining the range of services the children have used.

"It appears to be quite a bit," she said. "We’ll really do some self-examination. This was a big impact to our teachers"I have so much respect for what they do to help all of our children."

Both administrators emphasized the availability of staff.

"We want parents to be partners in their children’s learning," said Andress.

"Our door is always is open," said Hadden.

Fees flow before water

By Saranac Hale Spencer

ALTAMONT — Village residents can expect a new fee on their water bills in coming years — an additional $15 twice a year, which will go towards paying off a new municipal water source.

Following a public hearing at Tuesday night’s village board meeting, the board voted unanimously to adopt the first local law of the year, to include the fee, which amounts to $30 a year, on all units connected to the village’s water system. The fee will help pay for the well project on Brandle Road.

At last month’s meeting, the board awarded a $1.4 million bond sale to Roosevelt & Cross, Inc. at an interest rate of 4.3 percent to pay for the project over a 20-year period. Bonds are essentially equivalent to personal loans for municipalities. "It’s basically a loan," said Catherine Hasbrouck, the village’s treasurer.

The village will be paying approximately $107,000 per year for 20 years to pay off the well project, Hasbrouck said. With about 940 units drawing on the municipal system, the village is counting on bringing in over $28,000 a year from the new fee. That money will be dedicated to paying for the water project specifically, Mayor James Gaughan assured the public during Tuesday’s meeting.

The village will likely rethink the fee after Jeff Thomas’s senior housing complex, Brandle Meadows, hooks into the system. "When we realize more revenue, we might be able to reduce it," Gaughan said of the fee. "As we get more people on line — like senior housing — we might bring in more revenue."

Buildings that are not within the village proper pay double for municipal water, which brings in money for the village. During the public hearing, Kate Provencher asked the board if the extra $15 fee would also be charged double to those outside of the village. "No," answered Gaughan. "Because the system upgrade benefits everyone equally."

Other business

In other business, the board:

— Voted unanimously to grant Michael and Angie Santabarbara, of 6404 Gun Club Road, access to village water once the Brandle Road well is in service. Much like Bill and Andrea Gizzi, the Santabarbaras got a building permit from the town of Guilderland and, when they drilled their well, found that the water was contaminated. "It’s very much like last month," said Gaughan referring to the Gizzis. "I wish we had discussed it in tandem, but we didn’t." The deal given to each couple by the village for use of municipal water is very similar;

— Heard a report from Trustee Kerry Dineen on a proposed water policy for the village. The group working on the plan includes Dineen, Superintendent of Public Works Tim McIntyre, Richard Straut, and Barton and Loguidice Engineers. She said that the village should consider forming a water district for buildings outside of the village that draw on the municipal system. Forming a district would give the village the ability to pursue unpaid bills more effectively, Gaughan said;

— Voted unanimously to approve a task order for village-designated engineering services regarding Brandle Meadows by Barton & Loguidice to be paid for by the developer. Five-thousand dollars will be placed in an escrow account to pay Barton and Loguidice all of the "necessary and reasonable fees in connection with the project," which involves the connection from the senior housing complex to the village’s water and sewer lines;

— Voted to adopt the terms and conditions contract for the provision of public water and sewer service to Brandle Meadows. Trustee Harvey Vlahos abstained from voting because, he said, the board got the document at 5:45 on Monday evening and, since he attended the planning committee meeting Monday night, he didn’t have adequate time to look it over in depth. The other four board members voted in favor of adopting the terms and conditions;

— Voted unanimously to hold a public hearing on March 6 at 8 p.m. to extend the moratorium on subdivision regulations for three months, until July 3, 2007.

Earlier, during the public comment section of the meeting, the board heard Troy Miller, a developer who owns a local real estate business, speak on the issue. "This affects our livelihoods," he said to the board. Gaughan said that the village would have to have a public hearing before it could extend the moratorium;

— Voted unanimously to accept a letter of resignation from Gary Courtright from the Department of Public Works, effective Feb. 13, 2007;

— Voted unanimously to enter into a one-year contract with Metro Media for video taping, editing, and making two DVDs — one of which will be given to Guilderland Public Access for broadcast — of village board meetings at a cost of $150 per meeting;

— Voted unanimously to urge the purchase of precinct-counted paper ballot optical scan voting machines for the county;

— Voted unanimously to approve Norma Dean, Rosemary McGowan, Veronica Graves, and Chris Weir as election inspectors for the village’s election registration day on March 10, 2007 and the village’s election on March 20, 2007. They will each be paid $10 per hour;

— Voted unanimously to hold a village election registration day on March 10 at the village hall from noon to 5 p.m. and village elections at village hall on March 20 from noon to 9 p.m.;

— Voted unanimously to file a negative declaration related to adoption of the village of Altamont comprehensive plan according to the State Environmental Quality Review. This means the plan requires no extensive environmental evaluation; and

— Voted unanimously to adopt the comprehensive plan officially as the comprehensive plan for the village of Altamont.

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