Monday, November 11, 2013

Don't Forget to Register for Your Basic STAR Property Tax Exemption

Don’t forget to register with the NYS Tax Department by Dec. 31st, 2013 to continue receiving Basic STAR property tax exemption (except for senior citizens who are exempt from the registration requirement).

Go to or call NYS Tax Dept at (518) 457-2036.

Building a Stronger Troy

To more effectively support the City of Troy and to enhance the opportunities for teaching and learning for our students, Hudson Valley Community College, Russell Sage College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and the Emma Willard School are working together to create a series of public deliberations to focus on the future of Troy.

The public is invited to a meeting on Nov 19th, 2013 at the Italian Community Center, 1450 5th Ave, Troy, NY at 6:15pm. 

This is free and open to the public and will be followed by additional meetings in 2014.

For more information, go to

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Building Leaders

Community Leadership Institute

TRIP hosted a group of residents at this year’s Community Leadership Institute in Sacramento in October.  James (Chick) Mayben, Mack Henderson, Andrea Branch, and Team Coordinator Davia Collington were joined by TRIP’s VISTA volunteer Anasha Cummings, Rental Manager Kenny Holmes, and Director of Community Affairs Hilary Lamishaw.  Spending two and a half days with a thousand passionate resident leaders from around the country and superb trainers has charged up our Troy team, which is putting together an Action Plan for a veteran/youth mentoring program in the neighborhood.  

Go team!

A Benefit for All: A Tax Exemption

Home Improvement Tax Exemption

Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia recently announced how homeowners who invest more than $3000 in their one- or two-unit homes can get a property tax exemption that is then phased in over 8 years.    

The city’s Home Improvement Tax Exemption (City Code §257-32 to §257-36) became law in 2006 (along with a companion Historic Property Improvement Credit; City Code §257-37 to §257-39).   However, it has barely been used, so the mayor is reminding Troy homeowners of its availability.  

The City has prepared a brochure projecting investment in typical vacant, foreclosed property, highlighting the cost savings to prospective property owners and the savings in property taxes over 8 years.  “The numbers are very telling.  An investment of $75,000 in a home assessed for $25,000 would result in an increase in taxes of $825 per year.  The Home Improvement Tax Exemption would phase in the assessment increase of $75,000 equally over an 8 year period.  This gradual increase would save the homeowner $3,716 over the life of the exemption. This program benefits the homeowner and the City,” continued the Mayor.  

The brochure is available through the City Assessors office at (518) 279-7126 or learn more online at

Sustainable Financing for Sustainable Choices

nyserda logo
Have you been thinking about upgrading your furnace, weatherizing your home, or insulating the attic? All of these projects can significantly reduce your monthly energy bills, particularly in the winter months, but they come with a hefty sticker price. You could save up for some fancy new insulation or request weatherstripping in your stockings, but there is a better way. New York now has on-bill-financing of these kinds of upgrades which we know will save money. You can get a guaranteed loan tied to your utility, which pays for the upgrades upfront, and pays for itself out of your savings right on your utility bill. If you move, the upgrades and bills stay behind, saving money for the next owner. 

This is merely one of the innovated financing models available to bridge the gaps between making the right longterm decisions and affording it on the short term.

Check out the simple step-by-step guide to on-bill financing at UnwasteNY:

Or Jump right to NYSERDA's program page to learn more: 

Lead Poisoning Prevention

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rensselaer County 
in Collaboration with 
Rensselaer County Department of Health
Childhood Lead Poisoning Primary Prevention Program

WHAT: Childhood Lead Poisoning is a major problem resulting in the loss of billions of dollars.  In an attempt to correct it before it becomes a problem, Cornell Cooperative Extension in collaboration with the Rensselaer County Department  of Health are working together to prevent childhood poisoning.  The Childhood Lead Poisoning Primary Prevention Program will prevent childhood lead poisoning by performing lead risk assessments and providing educational materials and incentive items to residents in the City’s of Troy and Rensselaer.  
WHERE: Zip codes: 12180 & 12182 & 12144 (within the City Of Rensselaer only)

WHY: Lead Exposure can harm young children and babies even before they are born.  Children who seem otherwise healthy can have EBLL (elevated blood lead levels).  Lead poisoning can happen just by breathing or swallowing lead dust or eating soil or paint chips containing lead.  Removing lead-based paint improperly can increase the danger to your family.  Lead is more dangerous to children because babies and young children often put their hands and other objects into their mouths and these objects can contain lead dust.  Because children’s bodies are growing rapidly they can absorb more lead then adults can.  Children’s brains and nervous systems are more sensitive to the damaging effects of lead such as learning disabilities, mental retardation, kidney damage, anemia, and death.

CONTACT: Deanna Miller
                        Primary Lead Prevention Program
                        Lead Risk Assessor, Environmental Health Educator
                        Rensselaer County Department of Health
                        1600 7th Ave.
                        Troy, NY 12180

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Another Fun & Inspiring Evening

Eileen Bagnoli, Patrick Madden and Marion Field

2013 TRIP & RCHR Annual Homecoming Dinner Recognizes Two Terrific Women

It was a fun evening at the TRIP & RCHR Annual Homecoming Dinner on October 28th as they bestowed awards to two amazing women. The 2013 Community Citizenship award was presented o Eileen Bagnoli, who recently retired as President and CEO of Pioneer Bank, after a 41 year career there. TRIP’s 2013 Troy Treasure award went to Marion Field, who has been active in Troy and particularly in Little Italy for decades. John Hedley provided a great deal of entertainment to the crowd as he emceed the dinner (what a storyteller!) and his likewise very talented teenage daughter, Deborah, wowed everyone with her incredible piano playing. 

James MaybenDinner guests were also treated to a short video of TRIP’s community-building work, highlighting the impact of their efforts on 9th Street resident James “Chick” Mayben who blossomed into an energetic and committed leader after attending a conference with TRIP three years ago.  

Faces at TRIP: Bob Cuddey

Bob Cuddey

Meet Bob Cuddey: 
Maintenance staff

Bob Cuddey has been part of TRIP’s maintenance team for 8 years in December, which is long enough for him to see a lot of kids living in TRIP’s apartments grow up to be teenagers.  As a maintenance staff, he and his partner Josh Wiston are responsible for 76 apartments located in 23 buildings.  They do the “soup-to-nuts” of rental maintenance, being responsible for the upkeep, upgrading, repairs and “make-ready” work of preparing apartments with a fresh look when a new tenants moves in.   

Bob enjoys his work and takes a lot of pride in doing the job right.  Although his work is labor intensive, he gets satisfaction from working with our tenants on resolving any issues or questions that they may have.  Caring for 76 apartments means that his work is different every day; he definitely likes the variety that the job brings.

When Bob is not at work he enjoys relaxing with his daughter Casie, his girlfriend Robin and his pit bull mix Elton at his home in Cohoes. He recently got his motorcycle license and enjoys riding whenever he can. He also enjoys baseball, football and mixed martial arts.   Watching drag racing is another favorite activity.

One of the things that Bob enjoys most about his job is his ability to help tenants with issues --  and the smile on their faces when he’s done.  

We are so happy having Bob as part of the TRIP team!