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Legal moves abound in Dutch Inn sale dispute


KINDERHOOK–Village Economic Development Director Renee Shur updated the Village Board recently on the status of the Dutch Inn property, which is at the center of a legal dispute working its way through the courts. The outcome will determine who owns the three-story structure on Broad Street.

Paul Calgano, CEO of PCJ Development, owns several properties in the village. He has a written purchase offer and deposit receipt signed by Mr. Roberts for a down payment Mr. Calgano made on the inn and a nearby property also owned by Mr. Roberts.

But in 2014, just two weeks before the deal was set to close, Mr. Roberts said he was canceling the agreement to sell the properties. According to court documents, Mr. Roberts attempted to return Mr. Calcagno’s down payment.

Mr. Calgano refused the refund.

The purchase agreement calls for Mr. Calcagno to pay $900,000 for the two properties in the heart of the village. And after Mr. Roberts declined to make the sale Mr. Calcagno went to court in an effort to enforce the deal.

Mr. Roberts countered by asking acting state Supreme Court Judge Richard Koweek to dismiss Mr. Calcagno’s suit. When the judge denied that request, Mr. Roberts appealed. Last year a state Supreme Court Appellate Division panel upheld Judge Koweek’s decision and indicated in the decision that Mr. Calcagno has a valid contract to purchase the properties. The appellate court decision called Mr. Roberts’ argument “unpersuasive.”

So the case is back before Judge Koweek and Mr. Roberts has now asked for a summary judgment in the matter, which could end the case without a trial.

Ms. Shur, who spoke to the board at its November 9 regular meeting, she said she did not know when Judge Koweek would consider the case again. She told the board to talk to the village attorney about the meaning of summary judgment.

Mr. Calgano’s lawyer will have a chance to respond to the summary judgment request from Mr. Roberts. In the meantime, the building will remain closed as it has been for some time.

The building, at 8 Board Street, was built in 1856. According to village records, it has been in a shoe store, a meeting hall for the Masons, an inn and for many years it was a bar and restaurant. In 2001, the county Department of Health wrote a letter to then building owner Marion Guerriero saying there was an issue with the sewage systems. The letter says, “Our records indicate that during the fall of 1999 this department documented that the sewage disposal system serving the Olde Dutch Inn was malfunctioning.”

The building has not been open for business since then. According to Village Mayor Jim Dunham, the inn has never been open since Mr. Roberts bought it.

The Dutch Inn did played a big part in the village project to connect to the Valatie sewer system. Mr. Roberts told the board that he would open the inn if the village connected to the sewer and he donated $50,000 toward the sewer construction project. The sewer was completed last year. Mr. Dunham told the Columbia Paper this week that a sewer line was put in at the building but it has yet to be connected since the building is closed.

Also at the meeting, the board discussed with Ms. Shur the prospect of naming the second floor of the Village Hall. The board agreed to have a naming contest for the space, which has hosted concerts, parties, the local Boy Scouts, yoga classes and ballroom dancing, among other things.

Mayor Jim Dunham said at the meeting that he would appoint representatives from the Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals, as well as a Village Board member and some members of the village committees to judge the contest.

The board also discussed the fee structure for those who wish to use the space. They decided that for not-for-profit organizations it would be free to use the space if they were not charging money. If money changed, it would cost $25 for two hours, $50 for three to four hours and $100 for five hours and up. The price would be the same for business. The space will be still be free for village residents who want to use it for a party, though the board did discuss a $100 deposit. Anyone using the second floor needs to get board approval and insurance.

The next board meeting will be Wednesday, December 14 at 7:30 p.m.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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