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Valatie floats idea of sharing water operator


VALATIE–The Village Board resolved this week to apply for a grant with the county and three towns to look into a hiring a licensed water operator whose services the municipalities would share. Currently the village contracts out for the water and sewer operator. Under the new approach, Valatie would apply to share the operator with the towns of Stockport, Greenport and Claverack.

The board’s meeting Tuesday, March 12 was the first to be held in the Martin H. Glynn School Building on Church Street in the village. Before the 7:30 p.m. village meeting, the board met with the Kinderhook Town Board, which will be sharing the building with the village government, the town court and a county Sheriff’s Office substation.

The Town and Village boards discussed the form organizations wishing to use space at the old school building will have to complete. The application form will be available at the town clerk’s office. Neither municipality has as yet officially moved into the building, but the gyms have been used by the CYO Basket Ball league. There was some talk among the boards about having sensor lights for the outside of the building for evening events.

Once the village meeting got started, the board heard a report from Delaware Engineering, the firm the Village Board hired to manage the $3-million sewer upgrade. Mary Beth Bianconi, a senior project manager for Delaware Engineering, said the project is “very much on budget and on time.” She thanked Mayor Gary Strevell for his time helping secure grants and a 0% interest loan to pay off the project.

Ms. Bianconi said the village will be paying $40,000 a year for 30 years to retire the debt for the project, which officials expect will be completed in July.

She did say there would be a little bit of money left over to work on smaller projects, like replacing the windows at the older buildings at the plant. “It’s your money, go get it and use it for your village,” she said of funds she assumes will be left over at the end of the project.

As for the shared services grant, board members said they would have to pay 10% matching funds for the $50,000 study to look into sharing the service. “It’s worth $1,000 to look into,” said Trustee Freinberg-Trufas.

The board will also spend $1,495 switch to new water and sewer billing software called Water Works. “With the village the size it is, Quickbooks and this program are all we need,” said Clerk Melissa Martino-Morin of the accounting software she uses.

The board observed a moment of silence for former village Clerk and Trustee Nancy Bryant, who died in February. Ms. Bryant had decided not to run again for her seat on the board due to declining health. Her seat will remain vacant only until the village elections March 19 at the current village hall, on Main and Spring streets. Polls are open from noon to 9 p.m.

Mr. Strevell is seeking reelection will share the ballot with Lisa Hill, who is running for trustee on the Valatie Experience line. Diane Argyle, the village parks director, is running against Mr. Strevell. Philip Bickerton is running for reelection to his seat on the board along with Fire Company President and 1st Assistant Chief Frank Bevens, both on the Residents Party line.

The next village board meeting will be Tuesday, April 9 at the Martin H. Glynn Building. Official village business, like paying water bills will still be done at the old village hall until further notice.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email


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