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Valatie takes aim at derelict factory, aging hotel


VALATIE–Village Mayor Diane Argyle updated her board on two building in the village in need of attention at last week’s meeting. One is the mill building on River Street that once housed Energy-Onix, and the other is the US Hotel on Main Street, which is owned by the Valatie Local Development Corporation (LDC).

The village received a state and federal Community Development Block Grant for $516,000 several years ago for the building on River Street. The funds were loaned to Energy-Onix to put a workshop to manufacture transmitters in the building. In 2014, Mayor Argyle, who was not mayor when the original loan was granted, said that the state audited the village looking for paperwork on the loan.

At the July 12 meeting of this year, she said the paperwork issue has finally been resolved, and now that the state is satisfied, the village can start the process of foreclosing on the property.

Energy-Onix moved out the building and the owner has since died, so the property is in probate, according to the mayor. The village has hired a lawyer to research what steps the village must take now to foreclose on the property. The mayor said that she had parties interested in buying the property but nothing could be done until the courts are through with the probate process.

The mayor also said that village building inspector would inspect all the apartments in the US Hotel. She said she had called the state about the building, which some residents believe is not complying with the village zoning law. She said that she also spoke with the town assessor, who does the assessments for the village as well, about the building’s tax exempt status and that the assessor will be reviewing all tax exempt buildings to make sure their paperwork is filed correctly and up to date.

“Every exempt building in the town is going to get zinged this year,” said the mayor.

The US Hotel is tax exempt because it is owned by the LDC, a not-for-profit, quasi-governmental organization. The old hotel, which has been converted to an apartment house, was purchased by the LDC in 2012. But Gunther Fishgold, who owns several businesses near the building, raised concerns about the dilapidated state of the property and the safety of the apartments. Mr. Fishgold brought his lawyer to last month’s village meeting to ask that the Village Board review the tax exempt status of the US Hotel, as well as possible zoning code violations in the building.

The US Hotel is currently for sale. Former Mayor Jason Nastke is LDC board president and runs the organization. He has to grant the building inspector permission to enter the apartments, according to Rob Fitzsimmons, the village attorney. Mr. Fitzsimmons also said that Mr. Nastke told him he has scheduled two showings of the building for potential buyers.

In other business at the July12 the meeting:

• Members of Valatie Now attended the meeting to announce an ice cream social Friday, August 5 on Main Street. Jackie Hennessy, a resident and business owner in the village, read the board the Valatie Now mission statement, saying the new group was formed “to support businesses, residents, the Village of Valatie and surrounding areas by stimulating the local economy and nurturing positive community growth.”

She said the group feels those things those things have been “lacking a little bit so we’re going to go forward with it,” she said. Valatie Now is applying for tax exempt status

•The board is ordering new trash receptacles for Main Street. The old cans are in bad shape so the board looked new options and plans to order one to see if it would be a good replacement before committing to a total of five

• VERA is hosting the Village Wide Tag Sale July 23 and the fire company is hosting a boot drop fundraiser that day to raise money for a thermal imaging camera. They fire house will be open that day for tours.

The next board meeting is August 9 at 7 p.m. in the Martin H. Glynn

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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