year in review

Faced with two controversial planning issues this year that brought crowds to village board meetings, Voorheesville now has a 14-member committee that is working on a comprehensive land-use plan, which the village board hopes will be completed within a year.

BERNE — Institutions continued their ascent in this rural rectangle, putting a spotlight on its central orientation in the Hilltowns.

Residents here worked to preserve their history and their natural surroundings this year, while also preparing for future expansion and addressing current needs.

VOORHEESVILLE — Voorheesville residents continued to enjoy the same quality of life as always, but paid a little bit more for it: 2014 marked the first time that the village exceeded the state-mandated 2-percent levy cap on property taxes, raising them 5 percent.

ALTAMONT — One change Altamont’s mayor, James Gaughan, was happy to see this year arose in response to what he calls the “maleficent looming specter” of the possible closure of Altamont Elementary School.

BERNE — In 2014, the town was shaped in several ways by the hand of government, which was itself shaped in a close election for highway superintendent.

The town lost an exuberant 12-year-old, Emmit Stannard, to brain cancer as well as long-time leader Myra Dorman, but life hummed with a new cycling festival and a gala to mark the fire department's 75th anniversary.

KNOX — In its beginning, middle, and end, 2014 brought headline-grabbing events to Knox, while it was marked in public by a drawn-out exchange toward revising the town’s vision to center on commercial zoning.

WESTERLO —  The town had a winding road of indecision in 2014 as it grappled with what to do about high-volume hydraulic fracturing for natural gas and hesitated to approve bids for badly needed repairs to the highway garage.

Citizens made progress in 2013 towards getting a Quiet Zone to silence train whistles and a feuding village board made peace with its ambulance squad as they worked on a contract at year's end.


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