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State grant buoys village sewer hookup plan


KINDERHOOK — The village has received a grant for $285,000 from the state to connect 33 properties in the business district to the sewer in Valatie.

Mayor Carol Weaver announced the award at the regular village meeting December 14, saying she hopes to get all the finances finalized soon and will call a special meeting this month or early next month for the board to vote on moving forward with the project.

The total project is projected to cost over $700,000, but along with the money from the new state economic development grant the village has $177,000 in a shared grant with Valatie and private business owners have pledged $70,000 towards the project.

The $285,000 is part of $62.7 million awarded to different municipal projects throughout the region through the Capital Region Economic Development Council. Similar councils were set up in other regions around the state and the regions competed for the available funds.

The village will have to pay the balance of the cost of the system, and right village officials are looking at having all residents pay an extra $12.50 a year on their water bill for the life of a bond the board will have to issue to pay for the work. Residents and businesses in the district that would use the sewer, which would be properties on Hudson Street and Albany Avenue, would pay $86 a year per unit.

“I don’t think people realize they don’t have a problem now [with septic systems] but they will,” said the mayor, who added, “$12.50 is not a lot of money per household per year.”

The Kinderhook Village Board still has to finalize those total amounts and sign an agreement with the Village of Valatie.

At last week’s meeting there was some discussion of Valatie’s $3.2-million, no interest loan from the state for sewer upgrades. Valatie Village Mayor Gary Strevell says that sewer rates will not go up in his village because of the work, since Valatie residents already pay a small fee each quarter for sewer and water maintenance.

The villages are also looking at finally becoming connected to each other with a sidewalk along Route 9 that was funded by a different state grant. The project is scheduled for July.

Representatives from the village Economic Development Committee were at the meeting. Sue Chiafullo, a committee member who attended meetings in Albany about the funds said that a lot of municipalities were vying for the grant from all over the capital region. “We have got the state’s attention,” she said.

The board looked the state environmental review form and, as the lead agency for the sewer hookup project, determined that there would be no adverse local environmental impact from the project.

Mayor Weaver said that now the village is waiting for the agreements with Valatie and a contract from the state. Also there is some question about whether or not the village can use Clark Engineering, which did initial plans for the project, because of the requirement to follow state procurement rules.

At the meeting the board also heard from representatives from Northern Columbia Little League, which uses village fields in Rothermel Park. The group, which has over 450 kids in the league in the fall, wants to change one of the three baseball fields to a smaller field for the kids to use.

The mayor said the board would have to think over the proposal.

Board member Rich Phillips said that “the fields are the village’s fields” and the diamonds are used by groups other than Little League.

The next regular village meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 11 at 7:30 p.m. in Village Hall.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email eteasdale@columbiapaper.com.

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