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Hilltown Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 16, 2012

Lounsbury named super

RENSSELAERVILLE — The town board unanimously appointed a new supervisor at last week’s meeting, and heard from the highway superintendent that a $244,000 project to fix flood damage in Preston Hollow will be covered by state and federal funding.

Late last month, Democrat Marie Dermody resigned as supervisor because of the “culture” on the town board, which was no longer dominated by Democrats as of Jan. 1. Democrat Victor La Plante, a retired longtime judge who Dermody chose as her deputy supervisor, retired soon after, citing health problems.

After Dermody and La Plante resigned, the board appointed Valerie Lounsbury, a Republican and a former town board member, as deputy supervisor.

Last week, Lounsbury was sworn in as supervisor, and she will serve through the end of 2012. There will be an election this November, the winner of which will fill the supervisor’s post in 2013 to finish out Dermody’s term, and there will be another election in the fall of 2013, the winner of which will begin a new four-year term on Jan. 1, 2014.

Albany County Comptroller Michael Conners came to last week’s meeting to speak with the board and let Lounsbury know that his office would train her, and any other new employees, with the new Municipal Information Systems (MUNIS) accounting system that is being set up at Town Hall. An audit from Conners’s office last year reported that the town had an inadequate accounting system.

“You guys were at a critical point to have somebody leave,” Conners said of Dermody’s resignation.

Lounsbury said earlier this month that, while she would accept the supervisor’s post if she were appointed, she has not decided whether or not she would run in the fall election.

Bad news, good news

Lounsbury told the crowd last week that the town’s flood insurance would not cover repairs to the Preston Hollow Park, which was badly damaged this August by Tropical Storm Irene, as it lies in an “A flood plain,” she said.

“If we were to have damage here, because of a blocked storm drain or something that did damage to Town Hall, we would be covered,” said Lounsbury. “In order to cover anything in an A flood plain, you have to have the National Flood Insurance.”

But, the audience also heard from Highway Superintendent Randall Bates that another site in Preston Hollow, which sustained $244,000-worth of flood damage, is eligible for government funding. This site is commonly referred to as the Honor Roll because it once displayed a list of local war veterans, but the location of the list is currently unknown, Councilman Robert Bolte said this week.

“We’re trying to find out if that board with the names on it got washed down the creek some years back,” said Bolte, “or if it’s stored in someone’s barn somewhere.”

Other business

In other business at its Feb. 9 meeting, the town board:

— Voted to spend up to $7,000 on an Oshkosh truck, which Bates said is currently up for auction.

“It’s a unique piece of equipment,” Bates said, “and, should we have a situation occur where we have a blizzard like in 1993, or two years ago when we had a five-foot snowfall, the Oshkosh is probably the only piece of equipment that’s going to be plowing snow at the end of that thing.”

Bolte said that the town has collected close to $5,000 in donations, which would be put towards the purchase of the truck;

— Heard from Assessor Richard Tollner that residents affected by Tropical Storm Irene should become educated on the Hurricane Irene/Tropical Storm Lee Assessment Relief Act; and

— Appointed the following members to the town’s ethics committee: Diana Hinchcliff, whose term will expire on Dec. 31, 2017; Kathy Jones, who will complete Councilwoman Margaret Sedlmeir’s term, which will expire on Dec. 31, 2013; and Alden Pierce, whose term will expire on Dec. 31, 2015.

By Zach Simeone

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