VALATIE–The Village Board heard this week from representatives of Barnwell Nursing Home about that facility’s planned expansion.
The owners of Barnwell have purchased adjacent property on Mechanic Street and plan to build an assisted living center with 100 beds, a project they say will create 50 to 60 new jobs. Though the building would be attached to the Barnwell Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Church Street, it will have a separate entrance and staff. The assisted living center is for residents who do not need the higher level of care provided by a nursing home.
Brandee Nelson, from the engineering firm Crawford and Associates in Hudson, brought very preliminary plans for the new building to the board’s regular monthly meeting Tuesday, September 10. She stressed that Barnwell is in the “early planning stages” and wants to discuss water use with the village. Ms. Nelson said that currently Barnwell is the single largest user of water in the village, and the new assisted living facility will increase its usage.
The state has placed a moratorium on connections to the village water system until plans are made to deal with possible surface water influence on village wells. Mayor Diane Argyle said that the village may need a new filtration system but officials are awaiting test results from a new well that will be available in October. Once a plan is in place the mayor hopes that the state will allow new hook-ups. Mayor Argyle said there would be no problem with the connection to the sewer plant.
“Obviously this isn’t going to be built tomorrow,” said Ms. Nelson, “This is a multi-year plan we are undertaking.”
Members of the public who attended the meeting asked about issues with drainage from Mechanic Street and about traffic resulting from the added employees.
“It’s good to get these issues early,” said Ms. Nelson. Representatives from Barnwell and Crawford and Associates will have to meet with the village Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals in the coming year.
In a related matter, Mayor Argyle announced that the village has collected about half of the overdue water bills and that residents who had several months of outstanding bills had their water shut off on Monday. “We got that whittled down to a very few people,” said Mayor Argyle of the overdue bills.
Tuesday’s meeting started with a board discussion of using the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building, which houses the offices of the village, the Town of Kinderhook offices and the town court, as a polling site. Tuesday was also primary day and voting continued in the old gymnasium as the board met. County Board of Elections Commissioners Jason Nastke (R) and Virginia Martin (D) attended the board meeting to apologize for not informing the board that primary voting would take place in the building.
Mr. Nastke said they went to the Town Board to discuss the plan, but he also said that the Board of Elections does not have ask the municipalities to use taxpayer funded buildings as polling sites.
“We apologize to the Village of Valatie. This is the first time we’ve used a building owned by two people,” he said to the Village Board.
Mayor Argyle and other board members voiced concerns about the limited parking for voters at the building and having village staff on to help with the elections. “I had to pay an employee overtime yesterday and today,” she said.
Ms. Martin said that this move, which combined Voting Districts 3, 4 and 5 at one location, was good, but she and Mr. Nastke said they reevaluate all polling places after every election.
Also at the meeting the board:
•Discussed reducing the hours the village office is open to 24 hours a week and adding a drop-box to the door. Mayor Argyle said the clerk has not had people come to the window on Monday nights when the village office stays open late, and that the clerk could be made available by appointment if needed. The board agreed that starting in October the office hours will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday
•Announced that starting in October there will be curbside brush pick-up Mondays in the village. There will also be a village cleanup day Saturday, October 12 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. The village will have a dumpster on River Street where residents may bring their garbage. Senior citizens in the village can register at the Glynn Building town hall to have garbage picked up curbside that day
•Heard teacher Jayne Ferguson and several parents of students from the Church Street Preschool who attended the meeting talk about the new one-way street designation for William Street. Ms. Ferguson said that parents are confused at drop-off time and drive the wrong way on the street. The mayor said she would look at the traffic patterns, but since the road has been narrowed it can no longer legally be two-way
•Heard the mayor thank everyone involved in the Valatie Community Day, held Saturday, September 7. “I really do appreciate all the effort everybody put into it,” she said.
The next Village Board meeting will be Tuesday, October 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building on Church Street.