Noah Zweifel

After Rensselaerville’s Palmer House Café closed, despite an effort to save it, a local couple are hoping to bring back, in yet another form; the business that has been an anchor in the community for over a century.

Richard Straut, of the engineering firm Barton and Loguidice, explained to the Altamont Village Board at its Oct. 19 meeting that the chemical potassium ferrate would allow the village to remove manganese from village well-water more effectively than other options and is well-understood, but that a new formulation has yet to be approved for drinking-water treatment.

The village of Altamont adopted a long-awaited law this week that allows residents to keep chickens on their properties, under certain conditions. The board had attempted to adopt a similar law several years ago, but struggled to find momentum; that law became the foundation for the current law, which received strong support from the community.  

Expenses outpaced revenues in each of the four Hilltowns, resulting in proposed budgets that show modest tax increases. Knox, Westerlo, and Rensselaerville are each expected to stay below the 2-percent tax cap set by the state, while Berne, which had an anomalously low tax rate to begin with, is seeking to go beyond it. 

Supervisor Russ Pokorny, a Democrat, is facing a challenge from the Republican-backed Jamie Berenger. Meanwhile, Republican-backed board members June Springer and Dennis Cyr are uncontested in their runs for re-election. 

Incumbent Rensselaerville justice Gregory E. Bischoff, a Democrat backed by his own party, is defending his seat from Richard Tollner, who is endorsed by the Republican and Conservative parties.

Incumbent Albert Thiem was first appointed to the Berne Town Board in 2022 to fill a vacancy, while Joseph Martin is making his first run during a stint as planning board chairman. Both are uncontested, as is justice candidate Jeffrey Harvey.

Incumbent Westerlo Clerk Karla Weaver is seeking re-election on the Democratic, Republican, and Conservative party lines, as is incumbent highway superintendent Jody Ostrander. Ostrander’s son, Joshua Ostrander, is running for town justice on the same lines. All three are uncontested.

The Rensselaerville Water and Sewer Advisory Committee’s request for proposals is seeking a firm that will evaluate the town’s water system and conduct a preliminary engineering report, which will allow the town to apply for much-needed federal grant money.

Three town board seats are open in Westerlo, including the supervisor’s, resulting in the most contested Hilltown race this year. Seven candidates are running for the seats, and spoke with The Enterprise this week about their views. 


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