NIVERVILLE–The Kinderhook Town Board held its annual organization meeting this week, appointing committee members and agreeing to salaries and hourly rates for town employees. That meeting was followed by the board’s regular monthly meeting, which included further discussion of truck traffic on Bishop Nelson Road and a resolution to review the town’s emergency plan.
At the organization meeting January 14 the board appointed Patrick Prendergast town engineer at an annual salary of $6,652. Last year the board discussed putting out a request for proposals for the position, though Mr. Prendergast had already served as the town engineer for several years at the time and will now continue in that capacity.
Also re-appointed was Town Attorney Andrew Howard at an annual fee of $19,956 and an hourly rate of $180 per hour for litigation. Mr. Howard was also appointed land use attorney to advise the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals, also at $19,956 with the same rate for litigation.
Dorothy Spain will continue in her positions as part-time bookkeeper, budget director and supervisor’s secretary, at a total salary of $40,000 according the salary list given out at the meeting. Town Clerk Kimberly Pinkowski will receive a salary of $33,190. Highway super John Ruchel makes $52,530.
Each Town Board member receives $3,893.25 for his or her services, except Deputy Supervisor Patsy Leader, who is paid $4,393.25 annually. Supervisor Pat Grattan receives $14,610.
The board once again appointed a Trails Committee, with Mike Kipp and Ed Hamilton as the co-chairs. Mr. Grattan said at the regular meeting that work on a portion of trails in the town would be paid for by a Greenway grant of $10,000, but the town would need to pay for the work up front and would be reimbursed from the grant.
The board appointed an Emergency Services Committee and heard a short presentation from Kinderhook resident and state Department of Health employee Dana Jonas about the town’s emergency planning. “It was very limited,” he said of the plan. He told the board he would review the plan and come back with suggestions, adding, “I’d like to offer my services to the town free of charge.”
The board then discussed an issue brought to their attention last month about truck weight limits on Bishop Nelson Road and how that was affecting the deliveries to a local farm called Holly Rock Farms.
There is an exception in the law for overweight agricultural vehicles, but Sheriff’s Deputy Louis Bray, who attended the meeting, said when the police pull over the trucks, “It’s a case-by-case basis.” He said the milk trucks are commercial vehicles, not farm vehicles.
“I think we have to look at this a little more,” said Ms. Leader, adding that it might be a question for the state Department of Agriculture and Markets.
Councilman Tim Ooms said that the board will try to clear up the issue.
As for tickets issued to truck drivers on the road, Supervisor Grattan, a lawyer, said, “It’s up to the judge.”
The next town board meeting will be Monday, February 11 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall in Niverville.