GNH Lumber-Outdoor Living-JUNE 2024

Village hopes to uncover history before seizing cemetery

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KINDERHOOK–The Village Board is moving forward with sewer project
after receiving approval from village residents to connect 35
properties to the sewer plant in neighboring Valatie. Using grant
money the board plans to pay for engineering work to begin the
project, Mayor Carol Weaver announced at the board’s regular meeting
September 5.
The board also discussed the ownership of cemetery ground in Rothermel
Park. Mayor Weaver said that the village has been maintaining the
gravestones at what was said to be a “slave cemetery” on land once
owned by the Rothermel family. When the mayor asked the village clerk
and Zoning Enforcement Office Glen Smith to do more research into the
property they found that the land was not owned by anyone. The village plans to look into claiming the property under the legal
doctrine of adverse possession. “Nobody’s paid taxes on the strip in
60 years,” said Mayor Weaver. Village officials want to put a small
fence around the gravestones but will wait to know more about the
property.
The board also received a donation of $2,500 from Marilyn Mieske, a
Rothermel descendant, for two new trees and plantings at the park. Any
funds left over can be used for the recreation program at the park,
according to board members.
The board appointed Glen Smith the Fair Housing Officer as requested
by the Office of Community Renewal (OCR), which awarded the village a
$280,000 grant for the sewer project. Mayor Weaver also said that when
the board needs the money from that grant it will bill OCR as the
project goes along.
She also said the board would use the Shared Municipal Services
Incentive grant funds awarded to both Kinderhook and Valatie to start
the engineering work on the sewer. Starting next week an engineer from
Clark Engineering will be going into the backyards of the properties
that will be connected to the sewer line, said the mayor. Clark
Engineering told Mayor Weaver that technical preparations should take
up to six months.
The shared grant of around $400,000 will all go to Kinderhook to help
pay for connecting the properties to the Valatie sewer. Valatie will
then charge those property owners the same sewer rates and unit
charges paid by Valatie residents.
Mayor Weaver congratulated the Valatie board on receiving a $2-million
grant from the state to offset the cost of the $3.5-million sewer
upgrade project. She said the money should reduce the unit charge paid
by property owners in Kinderhook connected to the Valatie system.
“Everything seems to be working out well,” Mayor Weaver said of the
sewer project.
The Kinderhook Board’s next regular meeting will be Wednesday October
10 at 7:30 p.m. in the village hall.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email etasdale@columbiapaper.com.

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