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Kinderhook wonders, if we build it, will they pay?


KINDERHOOK–The Village Board convened March 13 for the regular meeting with Mayor Carol Weaver attending by video conference from Florida. The board discussed the wastewater treatment plant project, and archeological digs just completed around the village that had to be done before the project could move forward.

Village Code Enforcement Officer Glen Smith reported that the building at 6 Board Street finally came down last week. The building and the one next to it, both owned by developer Paul Calcagno, were destroyed by fire last November. Mr. Smith had been discussing the safety of the building with the board over the last several months, saying that what remained of the gutted structure was not safe. The other building, 8 Board Street, was demolished right after the fire.

The two buildings were part of the 39 units in the village business district scheduled to be connected to the Valatie sewer treatment plant. The sewer connection project, primarily funded by state and federal grants, will also be paid for by village property owners and by voluntary donations promised by some business owners, Mr. Calcagno being one of them.

Mayor Weaver said that Mr. Calcagno’s two buildings, which no longer exist, were considered one unit since they were empty at the time the project was proposed. Units in the business district will have to pay a sewer fee and a sewer rates once they are connected to the plant.

When the mayor returns from Florida, she plans to meet with Mr. Calcagno and Al Roberts, the owner of the Dutch Inn, which is next door to the now vacant lot on Board Street, to discuss the money they promised the village for the project.

Mr. Calcagno told the village he would donate $10,000 and Mr. Roberts said he would give $50,000 for the wastewater project. Another business owner, Barry Herbold, already gave the village $10,000 to be held in a village in trust until the project is complete. Kinderhook officials have included the promised funds in their calculations of how much the village will have to borrow to pay its share of the sewer project.

The board has discussed the donations pledged by Mr. Calcagno and Mr. Roberts at previous meetings. The mayor said then that the men wanted their money held by their lawyer and not in the village trust.

“I can’t force them to pay me, the village, that money,” said Mayor Weaver at the meeting Wednesday. She and other board members expressed their hopes that Mr. Calcagno would rebuild on the site.

In a related matter the board approved a survey written by the Kinderhook Economic Development Committee that go to residents in the village with their next water bill. Renee Shur, a committee member who attended the village meeting, said that villagers could use the survey as a way to let the board know what they want in that vacant space. “That is a vehicle through which the community can express their opinions,” she said.

Ms. Shur also talked about the farmers market that takes place in the village during warmer weather. She said that this year there will be events for kids, more venders, events and music. The market opens May 4 and runs on Saturdays until October.

The board also discussed the upgrades to the Village Hall. Trustee Bob Puckett, who is working on a request for proposal for the building, said that the power lines running above the village hall where 53 inches from the roof and they should be 10 feet from it. “Fifty-three inches is pretty close,” he told the board.

It would be expensive to remedy the problem, costing the village as much as $30,000. Mr. Puckett said he would continue to talk to National Grid about moving the power lines, especially once construction starts on the roof. “We’ve told them we can’t do any repairs,” he said.

The next village meeting will be Wednesday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m.

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



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