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With frugal highway chief, Chatham gets chipper quicker


CHATHAM–The Town Board approved the purchase of a new brush chipper for $54,520 at the regular meeting Thursday, September 18. Supervisor Jesse DeGroodt said the town will not have to borrow to buy the piece of equipment, since the Highway Department has put off buying other items not needed this year.

Highway Supervisor Joe Rickert told the board at the meeting that the purchase of the chipper was something the department was going to postpone until next year but that it was a “smart purchase to do right now.”

Mr. Rickert also told the board that a report from the town engineer said the board could do nothing about the flooding on the property of residents on Hoose Road in Malden Bridge.
In April, Hoose Road resident Deborah Gestwicki brought videos, photographs and cardboard model showing the effect of runoff on her property, saying the water floods her basement and land. Other residents on the street came to that meeting in the spring to say that they have experienced extreme flooding because of culvert pipes releasing more water on their properties.

The board agreed last spring to have the town engineer look into the issue to see whether the culvert was something the town could deal with. At this month’s meeting Town Attorney Tal Rappleyea said that the engineer’s report found that the problems are on private property.

Mr. Rickert said he would send the report to the residents.

Also at the meeting the board:
•Heard from a resident of East Chatham who asked about progress toward remedying visibility problems associated with the new Albany Turnpike Bridge. The board is having a survey done on the roads around the bridge. The crossing has raised concerns ever since the bridge reopened after the span was rebuilt by CSX Transportation. The railroad company owns the tracks below the bridge
•Received two letters about the Kinder Morgan company’s plan to add a new, larger natural gas pipeline to its existing lines along a route that run through properties in town. Both letters asked that the board oppose the pipeline.
The next board meeting will be Thursday, October 16 at 7 p.m.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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