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This wall came tumbling down, the roof too

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VALATIE—In early August one section of an old mill building, the former home of Energy-Onyx on River Street, collapsed. The building is owned by the Local Development Corporation (LDC) and not by the village. According to Village Attorney Rob Fitzsimmons, at a Village Board meeting on September 20, former LCD President Jason Nastke is filing missing audit reports with the state, and then the board will move forward with taking ownership of the building so the village can finally sell it to buyers who, according to Mr. Fitzsimmons, are still interested in purchasing the site but not interested in preserving the building.

Mr. Fitzsimmons stressed to the board that courts are backed up at this point. Valatie Mayor Frank Bevens said that the village was looking at spring before anything could be done with the building. The village put up barriers around the site and “keep out” signs.

The Village Board put the former mill building up for sale in 2020 and received several bids. But they couldn’t finalize any sale of the building, which also has a parking lot across the street, because they had to wait for the state courts to transfer the title to the village.

The roof and wall on the Gimp Mill building on River Street in Valatie, pictured above in late September, collapsed in August after being empty and falling apart for several years. According to the historic marker sign in front of the mill, this “was the smallest of Valatie’s eight textile mills.” Built around 1836 and running until 1995, it was “the last built and the last closed.” Photo by Emilia Teasdale

The LDC owned the mill as well as the former trolley depot and the U.S. Hotel on Main Street. Those buildings were sold in March of 2021. At a meeting in 2020, Mr. Fitzsimmons said the LDC has started the process in state court to transfer titles of the properties to the village. The LDC can then petition to dissolve as an organization.

The Village Board thought it would be possible to move forward with selling the mill site after village officials went through a foreclosure process, but they found out they had to wait until the state resolves the title issues.

Also at the village meeting on September 20:

•The mayor stressed that there is a leash law for dogs in the village. He said he is asking people to abide by the law and to pick up after their dogs when on village property. He said village property includes River Street Park and Pachaquack Preserve

•The board heard a report from Climate Smart Community Coordinator Meg Todisco about the process the village is making towards being designated by the state as a Climate Smart Community.

The next board meeting will be Tuesday, October 11 in the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building at 7 p.m.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email eteasdale@columbiapaper.com

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