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Lowest bidder buys hall

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Village of Valatie has moved and doesn’t need former home

VALATIE – The Village Board has accepted a bid of $11,552 for the former Village Hall on Main Street. The offer was the only bid the board received on the building after rejecting two lower bids last month.

The bid was submitted by Nick Becker, who owns the property behind the old Village Hall and most of the parking for the building. Mr. Becker submitted a $10,000 bid to the board at last month’s meeting, saying he wanted to the building to protect his property line. He also said that he might use the building as an outreach center for his church. Mr. Becker was not at the December 10 meeting where his new bid was accepted.

The board was hoping to get $25,000 for the building, but since Mr. Becker was the sole bidder, board members agreed to accept an offer of less than half the asking price.

“The access belongs to him,” said Mayor Diane Argyle of the parking spaces connected to the building.

Village Attorney Rob Fitzsimmons said that Mr. Becker will need will need to get in touch with him to set a closing date for the building.

Village government moved out of the Village Hall last year and into the Martin H. Glynn Building, sharing the space with the Town of Kinderhook and the Town Court. The two municipalities bought the Glynn Building, formerly a school, from the Ichabod Crane School District for $1. Money from the sale of the former Village Hall will go into a capital fund for improvements to the Glynn Building.

The board will also see some revenue from a new contract with AT&T for cell phone tower use on the water tower. The cell phone contract will yield about $31,000 a year for the village. Mayor Argyle said the village currently has contracts with Verizon and Sprint for use of towers. “Between the three of these we bring in $66,000” annually, she said.

The was additional good news this week for the village on health insurance costs, with Valatie expecting to save about $2,500 in health insurance for village employees.

Mr. Fitzsimmons said the Village Board has completed contract negotiations with the union. Three village employees who get health insurance are now moving to a higher deductible plan with CDPHP since the healthcare programs have changed. The new plan requires that the board set aside $7,500 to pay for the employees’ annual deductible expenses. The plan costs about $10,000 less than the village was previously paying for health coverage and once the board allocates the deductible account, the village will save $2,500.

Mr. Fitzsimmons said whatever is left in the deductable account at the end of the year will roll over to the next year, which could lead to additional savings for the village.

The board approved signing the contract with the union, including the health insurance provision. “It’s the best plan, for everybody,” said board member Angelo Nero.

Also this week the board discussed finishing repairs on Well #2 at a cost of $8,720. The well has been in need of repair for some time, said Mayor Argyle. The village has been dealing with well issues for several months due to the possible influence of surface water. After a year of testing, Delaware Engineering, a firm hired by the village, has sent a report on one of the wells that may be affected by surface water to state and county health officials.

“I would like to repair Well #2 before we get into any more trouble,” Mayor Argyle said at the meeting.

The next regular board meeting is Tuesday, January 14 at 7 p.m. in the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building.

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

 

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