Putting the Community in "Community Bank" at Rhinebeck Bank (Sponsored)

When you live in the big city, you tend to not think about community banks. You may have heard about the financial benefits of banking with credit unions in financial books you’ve read. However, the concept of a “community bank” is one that shows mostly in movies like “It’s a Wonderful Life” where community banker Jimmy Stewart is saved by his community after years of his independent bank helping people during their own financial challenges. 

What what does "community bank" mean in your real life out here in Beacon and the Hudson Valley region? When banking with a community bank like Rhinebeck Bank?

At Rhinebeck Bank, "Your Success Is Our Success"

“Your success is our success.” I’ve heard this statement spoken by the bankers at Rhinebeck Bank. Their involvement in the community through sponsoring events and elevating awareness puts them in the middle of everyday life. Finances of a community bank are directly connected to the people and the businesses in the community. If a business who has a loan with Rhinebeck Bank fails, then the bank is impacted as well. Big banks that are too big to fail and have branches all over the world don’t feel that loss in quite the same way.

Listening To Customers

Stacey Schindler is the newest branch manager at Rhinebeck Bank’s Beacon Branch, located on 9D just before the Renegades Stadium. “I have been in banking for 21 years and it was always my dream to become a Branch Manager,” says Stacey. “One of the reasons is due to one of my all time favorite movies, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’  I LOVE that you referenced it in this article.”
PS: I gave Stacey a sneak peek of this article before going to publication.

"The connections and relationships that are made with the people in our community and businesses here at Rhinebeck Bank have the same nostalgic feel of that movie.  Here at Rhinebeck Bank, we connect with local people and help them realize their dreams through education, active listening, and genuinely caring about helping them find the best financial solutions,” says Stacey.

History Matters

Rhinebeck Bank, one of the only independent banks in the Hudson Valley, opened in 1861 and has made community involvement their top priority ever since. Many of your favorite organizations and businesses do business with Rhinebeck Bank, including The Art Effect (formerly Spark Media Project), and Mill House Brewing Company.

Plugging Into The Community

Dedicated to bringing people together to help business flourish, Rhinebeck Bank has sponsored hundreds of events over the years, working closely with entities including BeaconArts here in Beacon, and municipalities like the City of Poughkeepsie.

“At Rhinebeck Bank, we not only take pride in knowing the value of helping our community, but being a part of that community,” says Rhinebeck Bank’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, Michelle Barone-Lepore.  “As a good neighbor, that means making a real difference and striving to create a positive impact on as many lives as possible, beyond just writing a check. Rhinebeck Bank has and will continue to always be a part of the fabric of the communities we not only serve, but embed ourselves in.”

Watch Rhinebeck Bank’s Show on TV!

Rhinebeck Bank also produces an interview series that features their business clients called “Wake Up with Rhinebeck Bank”. Binge-watch it, because you’ll learn all sorts of things about the origins and special business challenges of big and small local businesses around you.
 

To learn about how Rhinebeck Bank can help you realize your business dreams, schedule a call with Beacon’s Branch Manager, Stacey, at 845-831-0300, or visit one of Rhinebeck Bank’s many other qualified business bankers.

Rhinebeck Bank, Member FDIC


Rhinebeck Bank is a proud sponsor of A Little Beacon Blog, and this article was created with them as part of our Sponsor Spotlight program. It is with the support of businesses like theirs that A Little Beacon Blog can bring you coverage of news, local happenings and events. Thank you for supporting businesses who support us! If you would like to become a Sponsor or Community Partner, please click here for more information.

The Personal Touch from the Independent Insurance Brokers at Antalek & Moore (Sponsored)

antalek-and-moore-storefront-susan-family.jpg

When you see the words "insurance agency" or "independent insurance agent," what does that mean to you? Do they sell insurance? Are they the insurance company? No. They are your personal liaison, your personal agent of change when it comes to getting what you want and need out of the insurance policy that you buy with the big name insurance companies, like Progressive, Travelers, and many others. Your local insurance agent knows the distinct differences between all of them. They know where a lower price is savings, and where it's a dip in quality. They do the homework, you do the living.

We are used to doing things ourselves. But with insurance, we don't have to do it alone. We can have a helping hand. To show you what this means, we asked Susan Antalek Pagones, a Partner at Antalek & Moore Insurance Agency, to give us a few examples of real-life situations. If all goes well, all you do is pay a policy. But if something happens, you get to know the claims process real quick. Susan enlightens us a bit:

When Insurance Goes From a Quarterly Bill, to a Policy Claim

Susan recalls some of the tougher cases they have handled. “We had an insured family that had a fire and lost the whole house. We met them on the scene on the day after with a large basket filled with everyday essentials we take for granted - shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, socks - all toiletries you could think of, plus some gift cards to go shopping and to get clothes to put on their backs.”

Our customers become our family. In the time of need, you always help out family. 
— Susan Antalek Pagones, Partner, Antalek and Moore

This is the kind of detail and personal touch that continues to draw people to Antalek & Moore. They go above and beyond to stay on top of their insured. When Beacon and a good part of the mid-Hudson Valley lost power after the huge storm in May 2018, Antalek and Moore stayed open.

“We stayed open at the office running on a jet packs and laptops. I gave my cell number to any insured customer that wanted it to call me after hours with any questions they may have had. We asked adjusters to give our customers advancements on claims. This means that we asked them to cut a check for a certain amount right on the spot so that our customer could start the process of normality." 

Antalek & Moore Advocates on Behalf of Their Customers

Susan explains what their mindset is at Antalek & Moore, that drives them to produce the kind of personal service that they provide: "Our customers become our family. In the time of need, you always help out family."

Problems can happen when a claim is submitted after an accident or unexpected incident happens. Says Susan: "Sometimes the company may not always agree on certain things that should be paid at the time of a claim. We are the voice of the customer if we feel things should be covered, and get right in there with the insurance company to advocate on behalf of our customer if there is a problem." 

Lots of people in the Hudson Valley had major tree and house damage after the big storm in May. "We had a customer that had a HUGE tree fall on their house. The customer had previous plans to go away to Texas. We made sure that she did go, as her house was not livable. We worked closely with her son to help get the claim settled. There were many hiccups along the way. I was also on a planned trip, but kept in touch constantly by cell with our customer to help. I am not saying it was smooth sailing trying to get this customer back up and running in their home, but whenever they reached out to us, morning or night, weekday or weekend, we always made sure we were there to help out."

Going Local With Insurance Can Make Life Easier

Whether it's buying a home or starting a small business, you need insurance. With so many options available, shopping for insurance can be overwhelming.  A Little Beacon Blog's Managing Editor, Marilyn Perez, used Antalek & Moore when she purchased her condo a year ago and was so happy having established that relationship with a local insurance broker to narrow down the best option for her.


Antalek & Moore is a sponsor of A Little Beacon Blog, and this article was created with them as part of our Sponsor Spotlight program. It is with the support of businesses like theirs that A Little Beacon Blog can bring you coverage of news, local happenings and events. Thank you for supporting businesses who support us! If you would like to become a Sponsor or Community Partner, please click here for more information.

beBhakti Yoga Center Goes True Blue on Back Road

 New paint job for beBhakti Yoga Center.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

New paint job for beBhakti Yoga Center.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

 Matching marketing cards make it easy to find the business!  Photo Credit: beBhakti Yoga Center

Matching marketing cards make it easy to find the business!
Photo Credit: beBhakti Yoga Center

Bright colors on the outside of a building pretty much always signify that you'll find something interesting on the inside. Storefronts in any setting, city or town, must compete heavily for the attention of people walking by. That's especially the case when the business is not located on a beaten path, but on a nearby backroad instead. Such is the case for beBhakti Yoga Center, where founder Lauren Magarelli makes it easy to spot beBhakti-backed events and offerings with her signature blue on postcards, and now the building and fence posts! Look for it at 89 DeWindt Street in Beacon, which runs parallel to Main Street.

"There has been a wonderful community response to our yoga offerings, as well as the vibrant color of the logo," Lauren reflected when we reached out to learn about the inspiration for the blue. "We wanted the building to reflect these two positive energies and encapsulate that feeling of warmth and brightness while also being distinguishable. We hope the new paint will catch people's eyes and stir a curiosity to come in." The color was certainly a welcome hue after such a long, dreary winter.

Colorful Buildings in Beacon

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beBhakti isn't the only Beacon building painted in vibrant colors. Homespun Foods has long been known for its signature red and orange, and the inside does not disappoint, with an artistic menu board on the wall, and more healthful illustrations throughout. Just down the street from Homespun is Ziatun, which added the color olive and a subtle amount of a bold eggplant purple to its palette when it first opened. And you know how we feel about petunias (thanks, Max's on Main!).

Marketing in a small city/town isn't easy, so using these boldly colorful moves can be a winning strategy, while making Beacon a more visually exciting place to live.

Just follow the blue cards, and you'll get to yoga in the studio or down at Long Dock!

Beacon City Council Votes "No" to Airbnb Type Short-Term Rentals - Striking Down Their Own Legislation

 Photo Credit:  An Airbnb in Rome.  We did not want to affiliate anyone's unit with this article. When in Rome...

Photo Credit: An Airbnb in Rome. We did not want to affiliate anyone's unit with this article. When in Rome...

The headline of this article might seem odd, because it implies that Beacon's City Council was not in favor of short-term rentals (aka Airbnb or home-sharing). Council members actually largely did support homeowners renting out their homes to earn extra income. The night of the vote, homeowners who rent out spaces via the Airbnb website had come to the City Council meeting to ask the Council members to vote against the legislation that the Council had been crafting to legalize short-term rentals in Beacon based on the public's input for the past several months.

In a vote of 3-4, with Mayor Randy Casale, Jodi McCredo, and Lee Kyriacou voting "Yes" to legalize short-term rentals, the rest of the Council voted "No." After tallying the votes, the Mayor announced: "The law does not pass. What that means is that all short-term rentals are illegal in the City of Beacon."

The resulting silence was stupefying. It lasted for 24 seconds. The night had been set up for the vote to pass. Homeowners and people who cleaned short-term rentals had shown up to demonstrate their support for short-term rentals - yet asked for a "No" vote. They then got that "No" vote, along with the declaration that short-term rentals were illegal in Beacon because there was essentially no law at all in the first place to protect them.

Editor's Note, 6/1/2018: By default, short-term rentals in Beacon were prohibited, so they were never allowed in the first place (hard concept to grasp, but we explain below), nor had any protections. This legislation would have legalized them, and required them to get a permit.

Two additional pro-short-term rental laws were also being proposed, on the assumption that short-term rentals would be legalized:

  • One proposed law would set the new permit fee;
  • The other would have urged New York State to set its zoning code for short-term rentals, and separate short-term rentals from being classified as Bed and Breakfasts. At the state level, that classification requires that homes have sprinkler systems or egress windows for fire safety.

Technically, there is no law about short-term rentals in Beacon, so there is nothing in place to protect them. According to Beacon City Attorney Nick Ward-Willis, new things like short-term rentals that are not specifically written into Beacon’s Zoning Ordinance are prohibited. Said Nick via email: "The Beacon Zoning Ordinance provides in the Schedule of Use Regulations a list of permitted uses within a zoning district and provides that 'No building or premises shall be used and no building or part of a building shall be erected or altered, which is arranged, intended or designated to be used, in whole or in part, for any uses except the following [see the Schedule of Uses].' Any use not specifically listed shall be deemed to be prohibited.”

Why Now? Why Are Short-Term Rentals Being Contested?

Beacon’s City Council has been debating how to legalize short-term rentals since December 2017, after a Beacon resident and new owner of 51 Orchard Place cut down 13 trees in his yard without a permit, and listed the home on Airbnb. Some of his neighbors were enraged (others supported the tree removal), and brought to the City Council their concerns that homes in neighborhoods were being purchased not as primary residences, but as investment properties (aka "non-owner occupied"), thus altering the neighborhood feel.

Those against his listing of the Orchard Place property on Airbnb presented a petition to ask the City to define regulations about short-term rentals, but not stop the practice entirely. Neighbors were demanding that the City enforce that short-term rentals be illegal in Beacon, but there wasn't an ordinance either way about whether they were allowed or not. Hence the default to the rule that the City Attorney mentioned above.

The legislation that the City Council crafted (after several rounds of drafts) essentially legislated this house out of being a short-term rental because it was not the owner's primary residence. This home has since been unlisted from Airbnb, and put on the market for an asking price of $699,900. The Zillow estimate of the home is $412K.

Wait, What? Short-Term Rentals Are Illegal in Beacon?

According to a letter submitted by Airbnb to the City of Beacon, in 2017 alone, over 9,100 people stayed in Beacon in an Airbnb. Also in 2017, Dutchess County took in over $220,000 in taxes from the 4% Bed Tax paid by Airbnb on behalf of its homeowner hosts, according to Dutchess County Legislator Nick Page, who we reached out to for numbers. Based on those stats, there are far more people coming to stay the night in Beacon than there are hotel rooms to house them in Beacon or in Fishkill. There is a huge supply of people coming to Beacon to stay the night.

Other cities have been operational in the home-sharing market, but in an unregulated or protected way. For instance, in a suburb of Columbus, OH, called Upper Arlington, Airbnb was beginning to thrive, as people would seek to stay there when visiting for Ohio State University games. Last month, Upper Arlington voted to make all short-term rentals illegal, and stated to revisit it in one year.

Beacon had been drafting a law to allow short-term rentals (see our highlights of what was in or out here). Some topics that were addressed included possible limits on how many days a property could be rented, and what spaces were not rentable - attics, or basements, or RVs and tents in backyards. Other cities do have a limit on the number of nights homeowners can rent out, and Beacon started with a 100-day maximum, but during a public meeting, Council Person John Rembert suggested that the council revisit that after hearing public pushback against the maximum. The City Council did throw out that maximum. See the final version of the law here for what was included or not.

The final version of the bill called for one added expense for homeowners: a permit that would be good for two years and could be renewed. And that was the only added expense.

The Issue of the Sprinklers

Once you have the OK to set up shop in Beacon as a short-term rental, you have to also be OK with New York State code, and in compliance with whatever the state says. The state has not yet defined its code requirements for short-term rentals. It drafted a law, but that law has been stalled for a long time. In New York's draft of a brand-new state law for short-term rentals, sprinklers are not mentioned, and the fire-safety requirements for a homeowner would include "conspicuously" posting a list of emergency phone numbers for police, fire and poison control. They would also need to have a working fire extinguisher. However, we asked Beacon's Dutchess County Legislator, Nick Page, if he knew of any movement on that new bill. "Not as far as I know," was his answer.

If there is no code specified, Beacon's Building Inspector, Timothy Dexter, has stated that he would go by the Bed and Breakfast fire code, which requires sprinkler systems in the home or an egress window that can be pushed out.

Homeowners found that threatening and not affordable. However, if New York State completes their law, this could all be a moot point. The Beacon law was requiring that homeowners comply with New York State law - which people need to do anyway with state laws. Beacon's law was simply to say that short-term rentals in a primary residence were OK, and outlined some rules - which did not specify sprinklers.

What Was Beacon's Law For? What Got Voted "No"?

Beacon's law would have legalized short-term rentals in the city of Beacon, and had nothing to do with state law (because there currently is no state law around short-term rentals). The state law could have included the sprinklers depending on interpretation by the Building Inspector, based on guidance he got from the state, according to the City Attorney. During the night of the city council's vote, the City Attorney went on to say that the state has to regulate short-term rentals somewhere, and until there is something official, that somewhere is code relating to Bed and Breakfasts. However, he noted, the regulation could be in a more restrictive area called R1, but the State is seeking the less restrictive of Bed and Breakfast.

Said the City Attorney that night: “We are talking about two distinctions. What the zoning permits, versus what the state permits. You can regulate zoning, but you can’t regulate what the state code provides for.” Two different laws. Beacon's law would only have green-lighted the concept of short-term rentals in the Schedule of Uses, and how that would work.

Here's a screenshot of what a portion of what Beacon's Schedule of Uses mentioned above looks like. See those line items? Behind each item on this list is how the area of interest would work, according to how the City of Beacon regulated it. The short-term rentals regulation would have put Short-Term Rentals onto this list, with certain rules to follow (here's a link to the law's final draft, which was voted down).

zoning chapter 223 screenshot.jpeg

Remember About the Tattoo Parlors? An Ordinance Was Written To Make Tattoo Parlors Illegal in Beacon, Until...

Editor's Note: This section was edited on 6/13/2018 after more information was provided by Keith Zahra in the Comment section).

Alright. Do you see Tattoo Parlors in the list above? Many years ago in 2000, under a totally different City Council, there was a tattoo parlor in town called Zahra's Studio. Tattoo parlors didn't have an ordinance at all. Much like short-term rentals don't have an ordinance at the moment (which by Beacon law, makes them illegal unless they have an ordinance defining how they should run). Some people didn't want tattoo parlors in town anymore. To lock that in and make sure the tattoo parlor couldn't operate legally, an ordinance was written and passed that banned any and all tattoo parlors. Zahra's Studio eventually closed, but not because of the ordinance, according to owner Keith Zahra in the Comment section of this article below!

Said Keith in an outtake of the comment below: "[I was] Open and running for years after the statues of limitations voided any possible future enforcement of the existing tattooing laws. I had a New York State Supreme Court lawsuit filed against City of Beacon for constitutional violations. This case is a lot more complicated than the simplicity of a prohibition and a grandfather clause. City of Beacon violated tattoo artist’s rights like no other government municipality in the country, it was becoming a legal precedence in the industry." Scroll down or click here to read more about his experience with the law. Twelve years later, that rule was reversed, and tattoo parlors were allowed.

 Matthew Montleon, owner of Honorable Ink, was responsible for instigating the reversal of a law that prohibited tattoo parlors in Beacon.  There is no law written to prohibit short-term rentals in Beacon, but City Council voted down a law written to protect them, leaving short-term rental law in the gray and beholden to default law.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Matthew Montleon, owner of Honorable Ink, was responsible for instigating the reversal of a law that prohibited tattoo parlors in Beacon.  There is no law written to prohibit short-term rentals in Beacon, but City Council voted down a law written to protect them, leaving short-term rental law in the gray and beholden to default law.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Matthew Montleon, founder of Honorable Ink, the popular tattoo parlor on Main Street, approached the City Council in 2012 to have this reversed so that he could open his own tattoo parlor, Honorable Ink. According to a Poughkeepsie Journal article he has framed in his establishment, he had the support of Mayor Casale and Council Person George Mansfield, who worked to reverse the rule, saying that tattoos were part of our culture now, especially in our artist-friendly town of Beacon. You may remember the videos on it as Matthew showed up to debate the topic and present his case.

According to Matthew, not only did the City Council reverse the ordinance, but Mayor Casale suggested writing a new ordinance to legalize tattoo parlors, which would have set rules on how tattoo parlors could operate in Beacon, assuming they followed New York State health code and any other code New York State set. This is how legalizing tattoo parlors in Beacon in 2012 played out.

This situation could be likened to the move to legalize short-term rentals in Beacon. Only this time, Council Person George Mansfield voted against legalizing short-term rentals, and the Mayor voted for legalizing short-term rentals. Even though both of them were advocating for homeowners who wanted to rent their homes out in the short-term market.

New York State Law vs Beacon Law - Totally Different Things

Being that there is no clear-cut definition of fire safety code for these properties, Beacon's Building Inspector was leaning toward enforcing sprinkler systems or egress windows as called for in the New York State law concerning Bed and Breakfasts, based on guidance he got from the state, according to the City Attorney, who went on to explain:

 

“Other communities have not addressed this. ... They have turned a blind eye to the building code enforcement issue. Now that the issue is out there in the forefront, the building inspector’s viewpoint is it’s a fire, life, and safety issue, that ultimately is on him. If he turns a blind eye to it, and there is a casualty, ultimately it’s on him. I don’t want to be an alarmist, but there are examples of where there is criminal prosecution against building officials who do not enforce a code provisions when they are in knowing of violations. For him to continue to turn a blind eye, I don’t think is within his job description.”

 

It should be noted, however, that should New York State define its law, for short-term rentals, nothing changes in the Beacon law - only the requirements of the state law. Neither the proposed state law nor the Beacon law mentioned sprinkler systems or egress windows.

During the night of the vote, City Attorney Nick Ward-Willis recalled how he contacted a few people at the State level to get further clarification, but was unable to find any. "At the New York State Department of State (DOS), I spoke with Justin Cartwright, Director of Legislative Affairs for the NYS Department of State (who Airbnb referred us to). Mr. Cartwright referred us to Joseph Ball, Associate Attorney in the Department of State’s Office of General Counsel. We also spoke with Mark Miranda, Regional Contact, Department of State, Division of Standards and Codes." He was unable to get clear answers on fire-safety enforcement for short-term rentals, since no law exists.

Therefore, written into Beacon's law, was a requirement for the building inspector to inspect a prospective short-term rental to see if the short-term rental was compliant with "the International Series of Codes and New York State Code Supplement," and then make a recommendation from there. The city attorney also mentioned that an individual who disagrees with the building inspector’s interpretation of the International and State Code provisions may appeal to the NYS Department of State, Division of Building Standards and Codes, by filling out and submitting an application form available at: https://www.dos.ny.gov/Dcea/pdf/2078-a-f.pdf.

During the Council's last Workshop on short-term rentals on April 30, 2018, the City Attorney did suggest that a way to trigger New York State into addressing the fire code issue was to file a lawsuit against New York State.

Can Sprinklers Be Written Out of the Law?

Moments before the vote took place during the May 21, 2018, City Council Meeting, George Mansfield asked the city attorney if Beacon's law could be written so that sprinklers were not required. The Attorney answered that the law could not, that a state code could only be added to, and not subtracted from, at the city level. "The city does not have the ability to create laws or definitions or regulations for the State building code. You could apply stricter interpretations, but you can’t have it less permissive. The city does not have the ability to influence the State code interpretation."

The proposed local law required that homeowners follow New York State law, which could change at any time, given pressure to the state to complete their law. If New York State law changes, nothing would be amended into Beacon's law. Meaning, if New York follows through with only requiring a fire extinguisher and list of phone numbers, then that is what people would need to do because they need to follow New York State law.

Plus, Did You Know That Major US Cities Like NYC Actually Heavily Regulate Airbnb?

The headlines at major news outlets have been popping up recently. Some communities turned a blind eye to short-term rentals not being on the official list of things allowed and not allowed (like Beacon did). Others turned a blind eye, but after complaints, created legislation to officially shut down the practice (like Upper Arlington, that suburb outside of Columbus, OH). Cities like Miami Beach don't allow it in certain zones.

Surprisingly, New York City has very tight restrictions on short-term rentals, as pointed out by a recent CNBC article, which states:

 

New York City, which Airbnb lists as its top destination for guests, has some of the tightest restrictions on short-term rentals in the country. It is illegal to rent out an entire residence for less than 30 days in New York City. Short-term rentals are permitted only if the homeowner is also staying there throughout the rental period and there are no more than two renters.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law in 2016 making it illegal to advertise occupancy for short-term rentals in buildings with three or more units (here's the state law). Violators are subject to fines of up to $7,500.

 

Beacon's proposed law imposed no limit on the amount of nights the property could rent per calendar year. Beacon's proposed law did not require the homeowner to be on the property at the time of renting. Beacon's proposed law did not restrict short-term rentals by zone.

Did Beacon have a bird in hand, and not realize it?

Did the council members who voted "no" do it as a bluff or statement against the sprinklers (that weren't even in the local law)? Not realizing how many of them would trigger a majority?

Did that many constituents who supported short-term rentals ask their council member to vote "no," and were maybe confused about how a vote of "no" would pan out, or what it included? That this vote was a separate issue from The Sprinkler Issue?

Beacon Was Being Progressive - So What Happened?

The night of the vote, Council Person George Mansfield stated that his vote of "no" was contingent upon Beacon asking New York State to hurry up and decide already about their fire-safety code. However, a vote of "no" does nothing to protect short-term rentals during the time in which it takes New York State to move in any direction - which could be a long time.

Additionally, if New York State did decide to only require a list of phone numbers and a fire extinguisher as their required fire code in short-term rentals, the vote in Beacon would not be retroactive.

We reached out for comment from the council people and heard back from everyone but Mayor Casale, John Rembert and George Mansfield. They get a lot of emails, so we get it if ours was lost.

Terry Nelson, who voted against the legislation stated: "I personally received an overwhelming amount of email urging me to vote 'no' and these came from short-term rental (STR) owners. Their rationale was that the proposed resolution was a step towards driving them out of business. My reason for voting 'no' is that the resolution did not adequately address many of the subtle nuances of STR ownership. Also, it would create a system in which only those with the financial means would be able to be in the STR business."

When I asked Terry for clarification on the financial implication, Terry referred to the possible New York State mandated sprinkler system or egress window requirement that Bed and Breakfasts need to conform to. But sprinklers are not in the currently stalled New York State law, and they were not in the local Beacon proposed law. Terry referred to other fees in the proposed law, but there only seems to be a permit fee in Beacon's law. So fear of additional fees as a reason to vote no on Beacon's law is unclear, since the Beacon law that was up for a vote did not require sprinklers.

Jodi McCredo, who voted in favor of legalizing short-term rentals, stated: "I did receive requests to vote 'no' as well as requests to vote 'yes.' I believe that voting 'yes' to the law, along with the resolution to request state action and a grace period on the code until the end of the year, was the bast way to help our owner-occupied short-term rental hosts stay in business while shutting down the non-owner-occupied short-term rentals that most of the community seemed to be against. The 'no' vote simply shut down everyone."

Lee Kyriacou, who voted in favor of legalizing short-term rentals, stated: "There looked to be a concerted effort to encourage a 'no' vote. In my view, no change in current law keeps all short-term rentals illegal, which leaves the city free to chase them down. The proposed local law that did not pass 3-4 would have legalized owner-occupied short-term rentals."

Amber Grant, who voted against the legislation to legalize short-term rentals, stated: "Throughout the entire process of crafting the legislation, I heard a lot from constituents. I also spent time with many of them, listening to their concerns and even touring a short-term rental. I thank everyone who made their voices heard."

So What Happens Now?

If you have seen the movie Evita starring Madonna, then you may recall the song, "Another Suitcase In Another Hall," in which Madonna sings the recurring breakup song, with the emotional line: "So what happens now?" wondering where she is going to go. The song ends with a character in the movie answering in whisper: "Don't ask... anymore..."

So... to be continued.

Here's the final proposed law that was voted on, in case you're interested in what was allowed for short-term rentals, in case it comes up again. Jeff Simms, Beacon beat reporter for The Highlands Current, got his article up about it last week, if you want another recap.


Related Links to Airbnb Legislation in Beacon:

Antalek & Moore Expands Into Ulster County and Welcomes Rob DeWit (Sponsored)

antalek_moore_marlboro.jpg

Grand Opening of Antalek & Moore Marlboro Location!
WHEN: Thursday, May 31
TIME: 3 to 7 pm
WHERE: 1313 & 1311 Route 9W, Marlboro, NY 

Beacon residents are lucky to have a service like Antalek & Moore Insurance Agency right at our fingertips! With their track record of success in the community, Antalek & Moore is expanding into Ulster County with a new office in Marlboro, NY. “There seems to be a business barrier when it comes to the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge,” says Susan Antalek Pagones, co-executive partner at Antalek & Moore. “We wanted to overcome that obstacle and found that opening our own office on that side of the river would be the perfect way to do so.” 

Co-Executive Partners Vince Lemma and Susan Antalek Pagones, both in the Beacon office, are excited about the expansion of their agency. While they have always served customers who live outside Dutchess County, this gives the agency the chance to be right in the heart of the Marlboro community. They pride themselves on community involvement and support, and look forward to making many new relationships to carry on that commitment to their neighbors.

Antalek & Moore Welcomes Rob DeWit To The Team

In addition to opening the new location, Antalek & Moore welcomes a new member, Rob DeWit, to the team. Rob is a longtime insurance industry expert and will be a crucial asset to the team as they make the move. “The reason why I chose insurance was I wanted to make a difference and help people when they need it most," says Rob, in the company's press release announcing the expansion.

“We are very excited Rob has joined the Antalek & Moore team,” says Vince Lemma. “He will bring many years of insurance industry experience and he is looking forward to help grow in Ulster, Sullivan and Orange counties.”

Rob comes with over 14 years of experience in the insurance agency; he got into the business while working for a family member that owned an agency.  That agency grew over the years and he quickly moved into the role of vice president, overseeing offices throughout Dutchess, Orange and Ulster counties.

Says Rob: "We supply a product that is only used when tough situations arise, and I want to be there for my customers when they do.” Joining Antalek & Moore was a no-brainer, “as I wanted to work for an agency with a family atmosphere. Antalek & Moore brings this, as well as a pristine reputation in the industry. It is important for me to work for a company that values employees, as well as integrity."

Rob is a graduate of Dutchess Community College and has an associate's degree in business administration. He is a lifelong resident of the Hudson Valley and enjoys all that the valley has to offer with his two daughters, who live close by. 

About Antalek & Moore Insurance Agency

Antalek & Moore Insurance Agency is a family-first business and has been open since 1853. With this experience under their belt, there is no doubt to why they have been trusted for so long. They are a full-service insurance and risk-management agency with main offices located in Beacon, NY. Executive Partners Susan and Vince own one of the original Main Street agencies, offering commercial and personal insurance solutions to customers in the Hudson Valley community, broader New York region, and across the country. Being in the business for over 80 years has taught the agency that people want nothing more than an agent who is knowledgeable, trustworthy and accommodating to the client’s needs.

You're Invited to the Grand Opening in Marlboro, NY!

Please join in on the Grand Opening being held Thursday, May 31, from 3 to 7 pm at 1313 & 1311 Route 9W, Marlboro, NY.  Refreshments will be served, and you will have the chance to meet members of the Antalek & Moore staff from both locations.  


Antalek & Moore is a sponsor of A Little Beacon Blog, and this article was created with them as part of our Sponsor Spotlight article program. It is with the support of businesses like theirs that A Little Beacon Blog can bring you coverage of news, local happenings and events. Thank you for supporting businesses who support us! If you would like to become a Sponsor or Community Partner, please click here for more information.

Learn Digital Marketing From a Beaconite at the East Fishkill Library

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Tonight, the publisher of A Little Beacon Blog (ALBB), Katie Hellmuth Martin, delivers a Digital Marketing Presentation in partnership with SCORE Mentors Dutchess County and Tin Shingle, ALBB's sister company. Tin Shingle is a training platform for business owners and artists who are doing their own PR and marketing.

Happening at the East Fishkill Public Library, this Tin Shingle Training TuneUp is hitting the road. Road trip! During this free seminar, Katie will cover:

  • The landscape of Digital Marketing as it is now.
  • Ideas you can share as a service provider, retail shop, artist, nonprofit, and other entities.
  • Identification of what is holding you back - and how to break through it.
  • A sneak peek of Tin Shingle's upcoming article: “8 Things I Learned About Marketing After Deleting the Facebook App From My Phone.”

Come! Pre-register, as space is extremely limited.

When: Tuesday, May 22, from 6:30 to 8 pm
Where: East Fishkill Library, 348 NY-376, Hopewell Junction, NY, 12533
How Much: Free
Details: Learn quick and easy techniques that your business can use today to help more people find out about your business via this complimentary seminar. Designed for business owners who run a storefront, sell a product, or provide a service direct to customers, this workshop will get you comfortable with strategies in Facebook, Instagram and blogging, and knowing what to do with your newsletter.

Katie Hellmuth Martin is the publisher of A Little Beacon Blog and runs Tin Shingle, an online training and resource platform for small businesses and marketers. Having helped hundreds of businesses resolve myriad issues preventing them from promoting effectively, Katie is well-equipped to help you promote your business.

This has been a partner message from our sponsor, Tin Shingle. A Little Beacon Blog can continue to report the news and things to do with support from businesses and friends like you! Click here to learn about ways to sponsor.

Get Involved in the 2018 Beacon High School Career Fair!

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With the huge success of last year's Beacon High School Career Fair, the school is currently seeking presenters for the 2018 Career Fair. It is a great opportunity to network with other businesses and share your knowledge with the students. The event will be held on Friday, May 25, from 10 am to 3 pm at the Beacon High School gymnasium. Presenters are asked to set up at the high school at 9 am. 

The fair will be set up in the gymnasium, where each presenter will have their own table to display information and items that represents the person’s career/profession that can serve as talking pieces with visitors. Students are invited to walk around and speak to the different presenters of their choice.

The career fair is seeking people who work in the following professions: 

  • Crime Scene Investigator
  • Forensic Scientist
  • Professional Athlete
  • Professional Actor/Actress
  • Fashion Designer/Model
  • Sports Management
  • Surgeon
  • Music producer
  • Nurse
  • Professional Photographer
  • Film Director
  • TV/Film Camera man
  • Interior Designer
  • Stock Broker/Hedge fund
  • Psychiatrist
  • Social Worker
  • Video Game Designer
  • YouTuber

If you are interested in participating, feel free to contact Michele Polhamus, School Counselor, by email at polhamus.m@beaconk12.org or by phone at (845) 838-6900.

Trax Is Third Business in Beacon for Owners Buddy and Katy

  Photo Credit: Trax Espresso Bar & Coffee Roasters

Photo Credit: Trax Espresso Bar & Coffee Roasters

It's an iconic Beacon experience: Wrapping up the day with coffee or beer on the patio, under tree branches strung with twinkling lights, or imbibing on a balmy afternoon as breezes gust through the outdoor tables of Bank Square Coffeehouse, set between the Hudson River and Mount Beacon. Being the first storefront on Main Street off of 9D (aka Wolcott Ave.), up the hill from the train station, Bank Square's location is prime. Main Street parades often begin there, and overall, the coffee shop is an easy landmark when people are meeting up or discussing something going on in town.

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The Bank Square Coffeehouse experience is partially responsible for the many happy walkers, diners and shoppers down on the West End of Beacon, toward the train station. Owners of boutiques, art galleries, and other shops down on the other end of town (aka the "East End") near the mountain continuously wish for more foot traffic, and think longingly of Bank Square. They had been overheard, wishing aloud: "If only we had a Bank Square down here..."

Two-Time Beacon Business Owners Open Second Coffeehouse on East End of Town

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That dream came true when Trax Espresso Bar & Coffee Roasters opened in the newly renovated factory building at 1 East Main. Trax is the third business from Beacon business owners Buddy Behney and Katy Bell Behney. They own Bank Square Coffeehouse, which opened in 2009 in the longtime Muddy Cup space, and they can be found almost any day of the week across the street at their retail shop, Mountain Tops Outfitters, which opened in 2006. We reached out to Katy to learn more about the inspiration to open Trax.

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ALBB: Had you considered opening a second location earlier?

Katy Bell Behney: "Yes, it’s always been in the back of our minds, whether it be in Beacon or a nearby town. We had been roasting more of our own beans. Having a new space gave us a new venue to do more of that. We hired our manager to help with the roasting: Kurt Balogh. We knew him from Coffee Labs, where we get our coffee for Bank Square. Kurt had worked for a roasting company down in Brooklyn, and was interested in working more with us. He lives in Yonkers and makes the commute up here to act as manager and roaster of Trax."

ALBB: Did any of the shop owners from the East End of town beg you to open up down there?

Katy Bell Behney: "We were approached about putting a coffee shop in there. We looked at the space, not thinking that we would. But once we saw the space, we fell in love with it. Seeing all of the activity going on at that end of town, we thought it would be an interesting opportunity to try a second location. We knew that they wanted a coffee shop there, so we figured we would give it a try. We were flattered that they approached us about it. That encouraged us."

Editor's Note! We dug a little deeper to find out who planted the seed in Katy and Buddy's mind, and learned that it was Charlotte Guernsey, another three-time Beacon business owner. Charlotte says: "Yes, it was me! I wanted their coffee and the foot traffic!" Charlotte owns Gatehouse Realty, the office of which is located on the East End of town, as well as Lambs Hill Bridal Boutique, located in the 1 East Main building with Trax, and also designed the wedding venue Lambs Hill on Mount Beacon.


ALBB: The decor is quite different from Bank Square - what was your thinking there?

Katy Bell Behney: "We wanted to make it a little simpler and stay true to the old building, with the beams that were already there. We wanted to play off of those. We have the old Tuck Tape Industries sign (more about Tuck here) that we salvaged a while back that we didn’t have a place for, and then we found this place. We also have an old billboard sign that came from a local shop. The bar in the window is used from the building next door - from the 1800s."

  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin   

Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin
 

 Parking is available on the side of Trax.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Parking is available on the side of Trax.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

ALBB: The logo of the train spike is interesting - who came up with it?

Katy Bell Behney: Credit goes to Buddy on the logo. He and his friend who is a designer came up with the logo. We wanted to play off of the location. Bank Square is called Bank Square because it’s located in the Bank Square part of town. Being on the tracks, we came up with the name Trax. We just thought it looked cool.

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 Picture of an actual railroad nail that serves as the inspiration for Trax's logo.  Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Picture of an actual railroad nail that serves as the inspiration for Trax's logo.
Photo Credit: Katie Hellmuth Martin

Newburgh Gets Creative Neighborhood Loan Fund From Rhinebeck Bank and Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress

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A six-block radius of Newburgh has access to newly established capital through a program called the Creative Neighborhood Loan Fund, through the efforts of Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress and Rhinebeck Bank. According to a press release announcing the loan, Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress has launched an economic development plan with a goal of improving the business climate in an approximate six square block area within the City of Newburgh, near furniture maker and studio space rental initiative Atlas Industries, and SUNY Orange’s City of Newburgh campus. The zone roughly includes an area bordered on the north by Catherine Street and on the south by South William Street. To the west, it is bordered by South Johnston Street and to the east by River Road. See the full map here.

Rhinebeck Bank is enhancing the efforts of Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress on this project by "allocating $3 million of our loan portfolio to fund secured-term loans including commercial express loans, equipment and vehicle purchases, leasehold improvements and real estate transactions under favorable pricing, advance rates and terms to the prospective borrowers in the Newburgh Creative Neighborhood," according to their website.

Says Rhinebeck Bank's president and CEO, Mike Quinn in a press release from Pattern for Progress: “There’s a lot of great ideas, but just an idea doesn’t do it,” he said. “It needs financing [and] it needs advice.”

A business who has already benefited from the Creative Neighborhood Loan Fund is one of Newburgh's newest businesses, Liberty Street Bistro. Owner and Chef Michael Kelly discusses it here with Michelle Barone-Lepore.

For more information on applying for this loan, reach out to Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress, at rdegroat@pfprogress.org or call (845) 565-4900, or to Rhinebeck Bank's Richard J. Kolosky, Commercial Lending Director, Hudson Valley West, at rkolosky@rhinebeckbank.com or (845) 790-1538.

Editorial Note: Rhinebeck Bank is a sponsor of A Little Beacon Blog, but this article is not related to their campaign. A Little Beacon Blog learned about the program and thought readers would like to know more about it, as more Beaconites look to Newburgh for business space innitiatives.

Hardware Store to Open in Beacon on West Main St., a Hop, Skip, Jump Away from Main Street Near Train

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It’s happening...a hardware store is opening in Beacon! Nichols Hardware was the last hardware store here on Main Street, and closed several years ago.  

Brett’s True Value opens on Thursday, April 5, 2018, and is located down on 18 West Main Street, which is just a hop, skip and a jump over 9D/Wolcott towards the Beacon Metro-North train 🚂 station. There are all kinds of other businesses down in that mini-complex, including BCAP, 2 Way Brewing, Beacon Pilates, The Cinehub, and others. An apartment building is also going up across the street.

Beaconites now have two hardware stores to shop at - this one located right in town, and Home Depot in Fishkill, which employs many Beacon neighbors and frequently offers classes. 

Brett’s True Value has additional locations in New Windsor and Newburgh, and boasts of carrying household tools, hardware, and other products, many of which, they say, are from family-run companies; the store is independently owned. Owner Brett Feller felt it was time for Beacon residents to have their own hardware store again: "I live in Beacon. I love Beacon. Beacon is fun! The town told me they wanted a hardware store. I was told over and over again, 'We need a hardware store in Beacon.' "  

You will notice the building itself has a newer look, as some renovations were made in order to optimize the space for retail. Why would someone put a store here? Brett says, "Most people could not understand how we were going to open a store here. The landlord did a great job transforming the space for us. The front was dug out and a large concrete patio was installed and new cedar planks were put in to create the façade. Inside, multiple walls were knocked down and new ones went up. All new lighting [was installed]."

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Get your DIY on! At the moment, I have a flat tire in my driveway ready for fixing, so it's good I can walk to Brett’s True Value for an air compressor!