KINDERHOOK–Following a hearing that drew few members of the community and no public comment, the Village Board adopted a $1-million budget at its regular meeting Wednesday, April 11. The budget keeps the tax levy increase at 2.61%, the maximum amount allowed under the state tax levy cap.
Board members also discussed the sewer project and the future of the Martin Van Buren School at the meeting.
Mayor Carol Weaver said she had spoken with Valatie Mayor Gary Strevell recently about the intermunicpal agreement that will allow the 35 properties in Kinderhook’s business district to hook-up to the Valatie sewer. “Gary didn’t find there were any insurmountable issues,” she said of the agreement.
The two mayors and the lawyers for the municipalities will meet to finalize the agreement soon, Mayor Weaver said.
The board is also meeting with a bond attorney about borrowing money for the project. The village has about $500,000 in grant money and private donations to use for the sewer connection project, which is projected to cost around $700,000.
Board members were split on the decision of whether to meet with the bond attorney when they voted to borrow the money for the project at a meeting last month. Board member Brian Murphy said the board may have schedule a special election to get the approval for the bonding. If the board does not have a super-majority to approving the borrowing they would need to hold a referendum, allowing voters to decide, he said. Two members of the five-member board voted against bonding.
But any delay in the sewer hook-up project would affect the sidewalk link project designed to connect the sidewalks on Route 9 between Valatie and Kinderhook. The sewer lines will go under the sidewalk and plans are being worked on now to include them.
Project manager Jim Dunham said the sidewalk project is on schedule right now. “If everything goes on schedule, we start in July,” he said of the project, which also has state grant money attached to it.
Code Enforcement Officer Glenn Smith said he talked with the Coldwell Banker, the realtor that is selling the now-vacant Martin Van Buren School in the village. The school district closed the school last year due to declining enrollment and budget issues.
Mr. Smith said there had been a great deal of interest in the building. The school is in a residential zone but has a special use permit as a school for 18 months, so there has been interest from The Christian Leadership Academy. Mr. Smith said he reached out to the Culinary Institute of American about using the space.
He assured the residents at the meeting that the mothballed school would not become a commercial or industrial space or a homeless shelter, which one resident said “was on everyone’s radar.” Board member Dale Leiser said when the board met with the school district about the building earlier this year administrators said they wanted the school sold by June.
The next Village Board meeting is Wednesday May 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the village hall on Route 9.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email email@example.com.