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The floor’s the limit at shared town/village hall

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VALATIE–The Martin H. Glynn Building committee, made up of town and village officials, met last Thursday to discuss the many applications that have received from community groups wishing to use the gym and former classrooms in the building.

Valatie officials announced at the April 25 meeting that the village was planning to move in on Friday, April 26. Town Supervisor Pat Grattan said the town would move its office to the former school building in early May. Both municipalities will use the Glynn School building on Church Street in the village to house town offices and will sell their vacated headquarters–the town hall in Niverville and the village hall on Main Street. Money from the sale of the two halls will be placed in separate capital project accounts for repairs to the Glynn School building.

The town court, which also handles village cases, is also moving into the building. A Sheriff’s Office substation has already relocated at the former school.

The school district closed the 85-year-old school building two years ago due to declining enrollment. District voters agreed to sell former school to the village and the town for $1.

Since taking ownership of the building, the town and village have let certain groups use the gym for basketball and they have let the boy scouts use the building for events. They plan to give the scouts two rooms to use for regular weekly meetings.

No group has as yet been asked to pay for using the space, but the committee decided in February that groups requesting to use the space should apply to Town Clerk Kim Pinkowski and that both the village and town boards would approve the applications at their regular board meetings. The Kinderhook Town Board meets the second Monday of the month and the Valatie Village Board meets the second Tuesday.

The recently elected village mayor, Diane Argyle, asked about cleaning the building. Mr. Grattan said the town and village would each be in charge of cleaning the parts of the building they use, and groups using the space must clean-up after themselves.

He also told the mayor that after an application is approved, one person from the group receives a key to the building to use until the group is finished using the space for the authorized time.

Peter Bujanow, an original committee member and a former member of the Town Board, asked if the municipalities had a policy regarding for-profit organizations that want to use the building.

“We don’t have a policy, we are sort of feeling our way through,” said Mr. Grattan.

Town Board member Pasty Leader said that the first major issue the boards need to deal with is to “get in the door.”

Ms. Leader and board member Deb Simonsmeier stressed that the third floor of the building is not being used by either municipality. The school district originally asked to use two classrooms on the first floor for storage and possible office space, but Ms. Simonsmeier said she negotiated with Ichabod Crane Superintendent George Zini to have the district move its materials to the third floor and let the Boy Scouts use the first-floor rooms allocated to the town.

Ms. Simonsmeier said that having the groups use the space, for free, was something the town could do for the community, saying the space “is to be utilized by our community and our kids.”

Village Board members had some practical questions about garbage disposal, parking and maintenance. The two municipalities will look for the lowest bid for a dumpster. Employees–primarily the town and village clerks, will park at the back of the school, and the town will take care of outside maintenance while the village will cover water and sewer costs.

Mr. Grattan said he did not foresee any construction projects or major upgrades needed in the building. “I think we are going to be fine for a while,” he said, adding, “I’m looking forward to working with everyone on this.”

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale eteasdale@columbiapaper.com.

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