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K’hook readies plan to pave Wildflower


VALATIE–The Kinderhook Town Board reviewed plans for paving Wildflower Road at this week’s meeting Monday night. Town Engineer Pat Prendergast told the board that he just has “to finish putting the bid specs together” to find a contractor to pave the dirt road. Once Wildflower is paved, a project that will paid for by the property owners along the private road, the town will take ownership of the road and maintain it.

Wildflower residents came to the board in 2016 asking for the town Highway Department to take over maintenance of the road, which off of Mason Road. According to Town Attorney Andy Howard, state law required the residents to sign a petition asking the town to pave the road.

The residents did sign the petition and the town then authorized Mr. Prendergast and surveyors to come up with a plan for paving the road. Even though the town will hire the contractor, the residents must pay for the paving. The board has held several workshop meetings with the residents of the road over the last two years. Many of the meetings were on Saturdays so that weekend homeowners could attend.

At the March 5 meeting, Mr. Prendergast said that he would walk the road with any contractor interested in doing the work, since the project is “not as straightforward” as it may seem. There is work required in leveling the road surface and a plan to replace all the culverts as part of the project.

The board also heard from another group of residents who live on a cul-de-sac in another part of town about a neighbor’s dogs. Several residents of Norris Drive, a street off of Fordham Road with about nine houses on it, came to the board to complain about their neighbor’s five dogs. Norris Drive resident Tom Barber said the dogs are kept in the yard by an invisible fence but when the power goes or the when the batteries fail on dogs’ collars, the dogs can go beyond the yard. He also said the dogs came very close to the property line and he asked the town to revisit the invisible fence laws.

Councilwoman Sally Hogan said when she was campaigning last fall on that street the dogs followed her.

“It’s just so scary,” said Mr. Barber.

Mr. Howard said that we would look into the complainants from the residents. “I’ve heard everything you’ve said,” he told them. He said it would be an issue for the town’s animal control officer. The board recently hired a new animal control officer after accepting the resignation of Diane Ryan last month.

Town Supervisor Pat Grattan said that after Mr. Howard had reviewed the complaints the board would hold a special workshop meeting with the Norris Drive residents to discuss the issue further.

The board also heard from Barbara Schnieder, a member of the town Highway Safety Committee. She said that she was in contact with representatives from the state Department of Transportation (DOT) about road safety. Ms. Schnieder said she was told that the state would make a decision about lowering the speed limit on state Route 203 by this summer. She also said the road will be paved by the state this year from the Village of Chatham to the Village of Valatie.

Ms. Schnieder said she asked Adam Levine from DOT to consider removing the passing zones on the Route 203 between the two villages. “He did say he would consider it,” she told board.

She also said that county Sheriff’s Office deputies have been patrolling the road and McCagg Road, which is off of Route 203. “Hats off to them,” she said.

Ms. Schnieder said Mr. Levine pointed out that trees had been cleared from Birch Road, a street off of state Route 9. At a public meeting in January attended by Mr. Levine and several town residents, a Birch Road resident and the Ichabod Crane School District’s head of transportation mentioned that the intersection at Route 9 and Birch was dangerous.

“At least we have an open door,” said Ms. Schnieder of the communication between the town’s Highway Safety Committee and the state.

Also at the meeting:

• Councilwoman Patsy Leader announced that KISS shredding program for seniors will be back March 19 to 29. Seniors can put paperwork they want to have shredded in the locked containers outside of Valatie Village office in the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building. The paperwork will be shredded. The program is sponsored by the county clerk’s office

• David Moonie was appointed an alternate on the Planning Board

• The board passed a motion to ask the county to reduce the speed limit on county Route 21 from Best Farm Road to Old Post Road. The board received a letter for Kinderhook Village Mayor Jim Dunham requesting the change.

The next board meeting will be Monday, April 2 at 7 p.m.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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