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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, March 25, 2010

Tangled web?
Citizen asks village to post more info online

By Philippa Stasiuk

VOORHEESVILLE Village resident Steve Schreiber took the village board to task again at Tuesday’s monthly meeting, asking it to post important decisions on the village’s website.

Schreiber gave examples of the board’s Jan. 26 vote to extend its agreement to sell water to the Colonie Country Club development, and the board’s Feb. 9 decision to adopt a moratorium on selling water, as important decisions that were not communicated to the public on its updated village website, www.villageofvoorheesville.com.

Schreiber also took issue with the website itself, complaining about its amateur appearance and lack of useful content, specifically the lack of information coming from meetings of the village’s planning commission and zoning board of appeals.

Schreiber, who volunteers as a webmaster and previously offered his input on the site’s content to the village free of charge, called the website “an embarrassment to the village, the most amateurish, laughable website you’re going to see,” and reminded the board that the website was the village’s public image, important both to potential future residents and businesses.

Clerk Treasurer Linda Pasquali, who is responsible for updating the village website along with Deputy Clerk Treasurer Karen Finnessey, said that, with budget concerns a larger priority, the website was “not at the top of the list of things to be done by the clerk treasurer.”

Village resident Todd Crouse of TSC Image Group, who has developed the village’s new website, said that his responsibilities extend only to hosting the site and the site’s shell.

“Any content of the site is actually done by the town or the village,” he said. “Whoever is purchasing the service is actually responsible for the content and all I do is handle the hosting.”

Crouse, who has also developed New Scotland’s website, said that the monthly fee for hosting Voorheesville’s new website is $24 per month, but that the village has not yet been charged that fee because he is still adding new options, such as a calendar.

“It’s a new system and a new process and the tools are there, they just need time,” said Crouse.

Mayor Conway replied that the village had made a commitment to Voorheesville to post on its website the information to which Schreiber referred. Conway said that technical difficulties are still being worked through. Conway also reminded Schreiber that board meeting minutes are available on the website and to anyone who requests them.

Other business

In other business, the village board:

— Heard from Dianne Luci, during the workshop portion of the board meeting, a request to place signs for a farmers’ market on village property adjacent to two “Welcome to Voorheesville” signs. Conway said he would speak with Glenn Hebert, codes enforcement officer, regarding the request but said he was hesitant to agree because the village board would then be put in a position where it would have to grant similar requests to other businesses;

— Heard from Trustee Richard Berger that parking officer Frank Pierrot will be sending warning letters to residents living on Maple Avenue, informing them that parking on village sidewalks is against the law;

— Heard from Public Works Superintendent William Smith that brush pick-up and bag cleanup have begun, and that the parks department will continue through the spring. Smith also congratulated the re-elected board members — Conway and trustees Richard Berger and John Stevens both ran unopposed this month —  stating, “I look forward to working with you for the next couple of years”;

— Heard from Fire Chief Frank Papa that 15 new helmets have been ordered, costing $220 a piece;

— Heard, during the new business portion of the meeting, a written request by Robert Hengerer for reinstatement of a water tap on Picard Road. The property is now outside of the permissive service area surrounding the village as defined by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation.

Hengerer’s property was granted water rights in 2005, prior to the permissive service area’s creation. However, due to non-payment of the minimal annual charge to maintain water rights, the village cut off the property’s right to service in May 2006. Hengerer is now selling the property. Superintendent Smith said, before considering Hengerer’s request, he would contact the DEC, requesting clarification on whether or not it is possible; and

— Heard from Bill Garvey of Menands during the public comment portion of the meeting regarding the unfair costs to local governments of state mandates, the need for aluminum lighting in the village-hall parking lot, and new legislation by the Federal Highway Association requiring reflective signage in the United States by the year 2018.

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