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What happens in 2033? Market developer wants to know


CHATHAM–The Village Board adjourned to an executive session during the board’s regular meeting last week to discuss the question of having the proposed Price Chopper supermarket building connect to the village water and sewer system.

Peter Lynch, a lawyer for Price Chopper and the developers for the project, Schuyler Companies, laid out his clients’ argument to the board and the public at the November 8 meeting before the board went into it closed-door discussions with the board’s attorney in this matter. The executive session did not include Price Chopper representatives.

“We have narrowed it down to a very, very fine issue,” said Mr. Lynch. Price Chopper and Schuyler want to build a new 45,000-square-foot supermarket on Route 66. Most of the land they plan to use is in the Town of Ghent, but a small portion in the village. The Ghent Planning Board has already approved t­he company’s site plan and the project is now being considered by the Village Planning Board, which meets again Monday, November 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Tracy Memorial on Main Street.

Mr. Lynch said that his clients are happy with an agreement from several years ago authorized by the previous mayor and board, which called for the company to pay a $50,000 connection charge plus $20,000 a year for 20 years for the water and sewer. He said the issue under negotiation now is what happens after 20 years.

“This is a major investment for him,” Mr. Lynch said of the owner of the Schuyler Companies. He said that after so many years of paying into the system the company should get water and sewer service as a right. He also said that because part of the site for the new market lies in the village the market would automatically have the right to water and sewer services.

Mr. Lynch said he has had discussions with Ted Gutterman, the lawyer for the Town of Ghent about creating a water district in that town.

When the Village Board returned to open session last Thursday, board members did not comment on their discussions and did not take any actions related to the proposed project.

Also at the meeting the board:

–Heard that village firefighters have been going to a suburb of Queens to help with the recovery efforts following Super Storm Sandy. Fire Chief Paul Pratt said the village sent its brush truck to Meadowmere, which had no power, no gas and no public water last week. He said in his report to the board, “Columbia County as deployed three times with multiple fire departments responding to various locations especially on Long Island. We will continue to send further resources as this tragedy unfolds.”

–Heard that the fire company is starting its monthly breakfasts at the firehouse on Hoffman Street the second Sunday of each month at a cost of $8 for “all you can eat.”

–Reported that the board has advertised the village administrator position on several state websites. The board is looking for a part-time administrator to work with board and the different village departments. The funds from the position will come from an unfilled superintendent budget line.

–Heard that a board committee is working updating the village website. Trustee Joanne DelRossi said the committee had narrowed down the choice of a consultant to assist with the project to four–two local designers and two from out of the area–and will interview them.

–Heard that Trustee Lenore Packet is holding a holiday decorating weekend around the village starting Friday, November 23. Interested residents can show up to help. Santa arrives in the village November 30 with the special mailbox for letters to the North Pole, which will be set in front of the Tracy Memorial.

The next regular village meeting will be Thursday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m.

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

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