Shakespeare & Company A Body of Water June-July 2024

Village sets deadline for dilapidated homes


CHATHAM–The Village Board dealt with some long-term issues at its monthly sewer and water meeting last week. And though one item was relevant to the subject of the meeting–the board adopted motions to buy a new sludge processor–members also discussed whether to demolish two deteriorating properties, approved bids for work on the firehouse roof and agreed to spend more money than originally anticipated to repair a fire engine.

At the September 24 session, the board heard from the owners of two properties, 7 Woodbridge Avenue and 134 Hudson Avenue. Through its attorney, Nelson R. Alford, the board sent letters to the homeowners about the poor condition of their properties and warned that their homes would be torn down if the situations were not dealt with.

“We’ve been dealing with this for six years,” Mayor Paul Boehme said of the house on Woodbridge Avenue.

The owner of the Hudson Avenue house and the wife of the owner of the Woodbridge house, attended the meeting, and both said they had plans to fix up their properties but needed more time. “I would hate to cost the village any more time and expense,” said a woman who identified herself as the wife of John Forschner, owner of the Woodbridge Avenue house.

The board agreed to give the owners another month to meet with village Building Inspector Stanley Koloski and present the board with plans and time line for repairing the property. “Make no mistake, we are going to proceed,” the mayor told the homeowners.

“Do you know how long I’ve been trying to get into those places?” said Mr. Koloski, who was present at the meeting. In a report he shared with The Columbia Paper at the meeting, he noted that “exterior deterioration is an extreme detriment to the value of nearby properties,” and he also wrote that the building poses “an extreme fire hazard… due to unauthorized entry or spontaneous combustion causing a fire.”

On the other matters, the board decided to accept a bid of $59,500 for roof work on the firehouse and pay $25,000 to repair the pump on a village Fire Department fire truck. The board plans to use a bond anticipation note and pay for the work over five years.

The also approved the purchase of a new sludge machine and a building to house it at $189,700. Mayor Boehme said that the new machine will save the village money in transportation of sludge and employee time. The village now pays Albany $60,000 to $80,000 a year to process sludge from the village waste treatment system. The new machine runs on its own and does not need an attendant.

While on the subject of the village spending money, the mayor said that the estimated $150,000 emergency repairs on the Stony Kill viaduct should be covered by money from the federal economic stimulus package.

George Grant, the village water and sewer commissioner, said that the new sludge machine would help the village comply with the consent order it agreed to with the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Though the new system won’t address all the violations cited by the DEC in the consent order, Mr. Boehme said, “We are going to resolve [them] one way or another.”

The next board meeting will be Thursday October 8, at 7:30pm in the Tracy Memorial.   

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