There is a program available to assist you with your Medicare Part B premium called the Medicare Savings Program, also known as the Medicare Buy-In Program.  Based on your current income, the Medicare Buy-In Program could help pay your Medicare premiums as well as your deductibles.  An individual cannot make more than $1,456.00 a month and a couple no more than $1,960.00 a month.  It does not look at assets in NYS.  If you enroll in the Medicare Savings Program, you will automatically get Extra Help, the federal program that helps pay most of your Medicare Part D drug costs. For more information or to apply for a Medicare Savings Program, please call the Columbia County Office for the Aging at 518-828-4258.

Extra Help is a program to help you with your prescription drug costs and sometimes the premium, depending on your income.  Your income must be below $1,615.00 a month for an individual or $2,175.00 a month for couples.  Resources cannot be more than $14,610 for an individual or $29,160 for couples.  Resources include such things as bank accounts, stocks, and bonds.  They do not count your home, car, or any life insurance policy as resources.

You can apply for Extra Help at: help or call Social Security at      1-800-772-1213 to apply over the phone.

For more information on Medicare Basics, please go to , click on Departments and scroll down to Office for the Aging (OFA). On the OFA welcome page, please click on the Medicare 101: Medicare Basics Virtual Presentation link. This virtual presentation will provide answers to most Medicare questions.

Town of Austerliz is looking to hire a part time, short term Climate Smart Community Commitee Project Coordinator.  See detail below.  Interested parties please email resume to Town Board Member Jere Wrightsman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by November 26, 2020.  

Town of Austerlitz
Climate Smart Community (CSC) Committee Project
Scope of Work for
Climate Smart Community (CSC) Committee Project Coordinator


Contract: Climate Smart Community Committee Project Coordinator (“Project Coordinator”)

Reports to: Town of Austerlitz Climate Committee Co-Chairs (CSC Coordinators)

Contract Cost: Not to exceed $8,000 based on an hourly rate of $22/hour and calculated at 15 hours per week, 24 weeks plus 4 hours. The contractor will get a 1099 in January following the calendar year in which income was received for their reporting to the tax authorities. The position will be an independent contractor to the Town of Austerlitz and will be paid by the Town from grant funding, if and when such funding is available. This contract is anticipated to be for a term of 6 months upon commencement of work, must be approved by the Town Board and may be terminated at the discretion of the Austerlitz Town Board.



Scope of Work Summary: Lifeboats HV, a project of the New World Foundation, has launched a pilot program called “Local Champions: Support for NY State’s Climate Smart Communities Coordinators.” This pilot, with financial and programmatic support from Lifeboats HV, will assist the applicant, enabling them to lead their Climate Smart Community Task Force and organize their municipality’s filing for Bronze Certification in NY State’s Climate Smart Communities program (CSC). The applicant will become a part of a cohort of 6 individuals. These individuals will be led through a six month program, which will help them navigate work involved in completing Climate Smart Community Program actions for their municipality.

Primary Duty: The Local Champions program provides consultations and classes free of charge to the Project Coordinator, and, indeed, is meant to support them as they accomplish their work carrying out the following tasks:

A Completed Certification Assessment -
Background: The Local Champions program partners with Cornell Cooperative Extension staff to provide technical assistance in the creation of a Certification Assessment, an initial step in the CSC certification process. The Certification Assessment combs through actions already taken by the municipality, determining how to use those to earn points towards CSC bronze certification. Also, the Certification Assessment provides non-binding suggestions for which potential projects are a good fit for the municipality on their “path to bronze certification.” In order to answer questions about these potential projects and relevant funding mechanisms, the Local Champions program provides two 1.5 hour sessions with an experienced engineering firm.

As part of the work of the certification assessment, the Project Coordinator, reporting to the Town Board CSC Coordinators, is responsible for coordinating activities of the CSC Task Force and associated climate mitigation and adaptation projects. With assistance from the Austerlitz CSC Committee and support built into the Lifeboats HV program the individual will be expected to work 10-15 hours a week. That time will be spent evaluating, organizing and executing Climate Smart Community actions for the Town of Austerlitz toward Bronze CSC Program certification.

Attendance at Local Champions events -
The Local Champions program brings in guest speakers from other municipalities who excelled in the CSC program, draws on content and programming to assist the CSC Committee Coordinator (orientation to the CSC program, the workings of local government, online tool skill building and community building), and provides a facilitator to lead the cohort in a systems-thinking approach to the work and to community-building. Participants are required to attend at least 75% of scheduled programming.

(Per the COVID pandemic situation, events and meetings will be hosted via Zoom.)

Secondary Duty: Periodically work with and report to the Town Board CSC coordinators on progress, document plans and CSC actions taken.



Key Responsibilities
1. Attend weekly Lifeboats HV Zoom meetings for speakers, workshops and peer to peer learning. Attend regular one on one meetings with Cornell Cooperative Extension representatives.
2. Identify CSC action items that the Town of Austerlitz can achieve.
3. Execute and document as many action items as possible
4. Upon completion of the duration of this internship, submit a plan to complete in-progress or to-be-performed action items to achieve CSC Bronze certification.
5. Communicate and coordinate with relevant parties, including: The Town of Austerlitz Climate Smart Community Coordinators, Lifeboats HV staff, the Capital District Region Planning Commission and other town coordinators in the program.
6. Periodically report to the Town Board CSC coordinators on progress, at least twice per month.


Town of Austerlitz
Climate Smart Community (CSC) Committee Project
Scope of Work for
Climate Smart Community (CSC) Committee Project Coordinator

Required qualifications:
● Leadership and project management experience, willingness to network with nearby communities
● Interest in climate and resilience topics
● Interest, ambition, desire to work on climate change solutions
● Organized, with strong attention to detail
Preferred qualifications:
● Experience with grant funding application and management
● Experience working with the Austerlitz or a local community
● Familiarity in the Climate Smart Community program
● Public speaking ability
Proficiency Skills: Access to email, proficiency in using a laptop/PC, word processing software (e.g. MS/Word). You must have your own email account, cell phone and laptop/PC. Also required are the ability to communicate, organize, document and plan. Critical thinking, being a self-starter and good time management are essential.


Benefits: This contract does not have any benefits besides financial compensation based on the hourly rate stated above and the time spent on the Project together with any out of pocket costs for Project work.

Physical Location: Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the option to work from home is available and preferred. However, there may be a need to be at the Austerlitz Town Hall related to research documentation. All Town Hall protocols for Covid-19 must be strictly followed and coordinated with the Town Clerk.

Town Policies: All town policies must be complied with. They are available on the Town website or a copy will be provided to you upon request.

Job Duration/Program Timing:
● Pilot application live - November 3
● Application deadline - December 14, 5pm
● Grantees announced Mid Jan
● 6 months program runs from beginning of Feb through July

The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA), in partnership with BellAge, Inc., and the Association on Aging in New York (AgingNY) has announced the launch of CV19 CheckUp in New York State, a free, anonymous, personalized online tool that evaluates an individual’s risks associated with COVID-19 based on their life situation and individual behavior and provides recommendations and resources to reduce those risks.
Based on an individual’s behavior, the COVID-19 tool provides an analysis of the likelihood to contract, spread, be hospitalized and die from the virus.
It includes a mental health assessment to gauge depression and outcomes as a result of loneliness. The tool links people to local services should they have a need, i.e.) food, testing, paying bills, etc.
As the holidays approach and more indoor activities occur, it is important that older individuals with chronic conditions take this test to protect themselves. It is equally important that young individuals, who are often asymptomatic, take this test to help prevent them from becoming super spreaders. Information is power and understanding how we live and how our day to day routines impact the chances of getting and spreading the virus is critical.
The tool is FREE, anonymous and analyzes behavior, using scientific data that is being updated weekly. It only takes five minutes to complete and can be taken as many times as one wishes.
To take the five minute free online test, please go to:

Columbia County Department of public Works is now accepting applications for the following position:


This is a laborer class position in the Highway Department which will run from  November 1, 2020 through April 1, 2021 (Grade 11), Salary $16.12/HR. To view more information, click here:  pdf Seasonal Laborers 3 Highway - 10/16/20

The latest edition of the Social Security newsletter is now available! Within it, you will find Social Security’s latest information, current news items, and FAQs.

pdf Social Security Star - October 2020

The success of the Office for the Aging’s Meals-on-Wheels program relies on the network of volunteers that deliver meals to the homes of our community’s senior population. Due to the pandemic, the need for home delivered meals has increased significantly and the Office for the Aging is in immediate need of more volunteers. Can you spare an hour or two a week? Meals are delivered every week day; however, most volunteers only deliver one or two days per week.

For many recipients, the Meals-on Wheels volunteer is the only contact the individual has all day. Volunteers knock on the recipient’s door, place the meal on a chair or table and wait for the individual to come to the door. Social distancing and safety protocols, ie) masks, gloves, are practiced.

Please help us to care for those who cared for us! If you are interested in becoming a Meals on Wheels volunteer, please contact Lisa DeStefano today at 518-672-5323. Thank you!

Saturday August 1, 2020 OLD AUSTERLITZ, Initial opening of Old Austerlitz Museum and Shop and Art Austerlitz between Noon-4:00pm, and continuing Saturdays & Sundays thru Sept. 6th. Admission to the museum which features self-guided tours of the Morey-Devereaux House, The Blacksmith Shop, The Barn and Carriage Shed is $7 (free for members). "Art Austerlitz", the contemporary art gallery in the historic Austerlitz Church and The Shop are free.

Masks and social distancing guidelines will be followed.

Location: 11550-11565 State Route 22, Austerlitz, NY 12017. 518-392-0062. For more information please go to