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Valatie hopes lot is worth more the 2nd time around


VALATIE–The Village Board heard a proposal last week from another solar company offering to use the company’s off-site panels to meet municipal power needs.

After New York Renewable Energy, Engineering and Recycling Group (NYREER) presented its plan at the board’s regular meeting December 9, Mayor Diane Argyle said she would send that proposal, along with proposals made previously by Viridian Energy and Monolith Solar to the village engineer for review.

The board also approved giving façade improvement grants to four businesses in the village at the meeting pending receipt of bills from the contractors and approval of the plans by the village building inspector. In October Tierra Farms gave the village $20,000 to give out as grants of up to $3,000 to businesses on Main Street for upgrades to their buildings and facades. The money was presented to the board by Tierra Farm owner Gunther Fishgold and CEO Darren Grout, who also own the Valatie Bar and Grill on Main Street.

Mr. Grout attended the meeting in December as the board discussed giving the grants to Great Finds, Shooters, Mark’s Pizza and a commercial building on the corner of Main Street and Purcell Lane that the owner is hoping to rent. The proposals range from painting to new windows to a closed-in porch.

The Great Finds building project has already started but Mr. Grout told the board that he favors giving the business one of the grants.

Mayor Argyle said she is expecting an application from the village Local Development Corporation for funding to tear down a garage on the US Hotel property so that that space can be used for public parking.

The December meeting opened with public hearing to discuss a parking lot on Main Street owned by the village. The lot is next to the American Legion Hall, which Tierra Farm is purchasing and plans to make into a clothing store. Last month the board put the parking lot up for and Mr. Fishgold was the only bidder at the November meeting. Board members decided that instead of accepting his bid they would hold a public hearing in December, a decision that led Mr. Fishgold to withdraw his bid. At this month’s meeting the board decided to put the parking lot back out to bid.

Lisa Hill was the only resident who spoke at the public hearing, saying, “I still think there are a lot of residents who need to park on Main Street.”

The mayor pointed out that there were over 150 parking spaces on and near Main Street, including on-street parking, a public lot on Main and Church streets, and parking at the Senior Center on Luther Street. She also said that repairs needed on the former American Legion parking lot would cost the village $39,000.

“There are a lot of issues with that lot that just don’t justify keeping it,” said village Trustee Dave Williams. They board agreed to seek bids again with the starting bid set at $7,500.

Also at the meeting:

  • The board accepted a $450,000 bid for the screen project at the sewer plant, which is part of major upgrades at the plant. The work is being funded under a 0% interest loan from the state
  • The board approved shutting off water service to Energy Onyx on River Street and the Val Kin on Route 9. Both businesses have closed and the mayor was worried about pipes freezing while the buildings are empty. The mayor said the village attorney is dealing with the issue of state grant money the village awarded to Energy Onyx. The mayor said that the village may have to foreclose on the property in an effort to recover the funding
  • The public hearing was closed on updated sewer laws, which the mayor said included bringing the laws up to state code and adding the properties in the Village of Kinderhook that use the sewer plant.

The next regular board meeting will be Tuesday, January 13 at 7 p.m.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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