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Business gives $20K for Main St. facelifts


VALATIE–The Village Board has received a check from the owner of Tierra Farms for $20,000 to be used renovations of building facades on Main Street.

At the board meeting Tuesday night, Gunther Fishgold, owner of Tierra Farm and of the Valatie Bar and Grill on Main Street, called the money a donation, but Mayor Diane Argyle and other board members described it a grant.

Mr. Fishgold, who attended the October 14 meeting with Tierra Farm CEO Darren Grout, discussed with the board the prospect of giving up to $3,000 to businesses that apply for the money. Mr. Fishgold said he would want projects to be approved by the village Building Inspector and that half the money should be given to the contractor before to start the job and the rest given after the job is finished.

A short application questionnaire that Mr. Fishgold presented to the board at Tuesday’s meeting, is subject to approval by the board. Mayor Diane Argyle said after the meeting that Mr. Fishgold did not ask to see or approve completed applications, but she said she would discuss the applications with him.

He stressed several times during the presentation of the funds that the money was a donation to help businesses on Main Street. “We stay away from grants,” he said of his company. He said the money was for “taking care of the buildings that are not looking good” on Main Street.

He also told the board that he is working with the Kinderhook Bank to see whether the bank will make a matching donation of another $20,000. He said he has a good relationship with the bank and that the bank’s board was scheduled to meet this week.

Following the discussion with Mr. Fishgold, the board heard from Tim Carr, a sales manager for Monolith Solar, which has proposed providing electricity to village government from the company’s solar energy generating systems. Mr. Carr said that Monolith was in the process of buying land to create off-site solar panel arrays that would supply electricity to the regional power grid. That power would be sold to the village at a discount compared to power generated by conventional sources.

The mayor was curious about having solar panels at the sewer plant or other land that the village owns. Mr. Carr said that his company could look into that. Right now Mr. Carr said the state laws allow for commercial contracts so the solar energy would be used to power the village sewer and water plants and other energy needs but not for individual homes.

Also at the meeting the board:

  • Discussed the village Community Day set for Saturday, October 18. Events start on Main Street with the Valatie Economic Development Associations (VERA) HandMade in America event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. At 2 p.m. there will be ceremony in front of the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building honoring the late Margret “Peggy” Butcher, long-time clerk for the Town of Kinderhook, and the presentation of the Spirit of Valatie award to the Valatie Free Library. The Municipal Building will be open to public with a display of several photographs of the village from the 1900s called the Vintage Valatie: The Guy Gamello Collection
  • Discussed the state Department of Transportation looking at crosswalks along Route 9 in the village. They are looking at possibly posting signs to make crosswalks in the village clearer
  • Passed a motion to set up a separate account for online payments. The village can how take credit card payments for bills and permits at the office and online at
  • Passed a motion to move the village election day to Wednesday, March 18 due to state election law , which prohibits elections on St. Patrick’s Day
  • Passed a motion to hold a public hearing at 7 p.m. on Monday, November 17 to discuss the updates to the sewer laws affecting properties in the Village of Kinderhook are connected to the Valatie sewer.

The next meeting is November 17 in the Martin H. Glynn Building. It will start after the close of the public hearing.

 To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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