CHATHAM – The village is moving forward with plans to lease land from CSX, the railroad company, to create parking spaces and an access road behind the buildings on the east side of Main Street.
Mayor Paul Bohme discussed the plan with the board of trustees at the January 14 village meeting, saying he met with local shop owners and residents on Main Street before the meeting to go over the plan. He said he told the group at the hour-long meeting, “We’ve sent [CSX] the necessary funds for the lease.”
The mayor told the board that the plan was to pave the strip of land between the buildings and the tracks, creating enough room for each building to have parking for tenants and a road for delivery trucks. Residents will have to buy parking passes from the village to park in the new spaces.
One stipulation from the railroad company was no overnight parking. Mr. Bohme said the issue now was to find nighttime parking for the people living in the apartments over the shops. The board discussed giving people passes to park in the community parking lot at the end of Main Street, next to the building that was previously occupied by a series of markets including the Dollar General store, and is now broken into smaller shops. “If it doesn’t work, the railroad will shut it down,” said the mayor of adherence to the overnight parking rules.
Mr. Bohme said that the residents he talked to about the lease were also concerned about current time limits on Main Street parking. They asked that the two-hour limit be strictly enforced. The mayor passed the message along to Police Chief Kevin Bohme at Thursday’s night meeting. “This is what they want, and this is the law,” said the mayor.
Trustee David Chapman reported that the village Department of Public Works was picking up Christmas trees to stockpile and shred in the spring. He also reminded residents that “they have an obligation to clear their sidewalks of ice and snow.” Mr. Chapman said, “There are some people that have not shoveled their walks, and it’s going to cost them.” He was referring to the fines the village can include in a homeowner’s tax bill if the DPW finds the walk not cleared.
There was some discussion among trustees about the new sidewalks along Hudson Avenue (Route 66) that were created during the major state road and drainage project. Mr. Bohme said he would call the state about those spots this week.
The mayor also told the board he had no word on the proposal from the developer, the Schuyler Companies, to build a new Price Chopper supermarket along Route 66 south of the existing store. Mr. Bohme did say that the village attorney was talking to representatives from the Schuyler Companies.
Trustee Lael Locke announced that she will sit on a special Ghent planning group to deal with issues that affect what she called “the gateway between Ghent and Chatham.”
The Price Chopper is still in the very early planning stages, and as proposed would be built mostly on land in the Town of Ghent. But the company has asked for permission to use Chatham Village water and sewer systems.
The next village meeting will be Thursday, January 21, at 7:30 p.m. at the Tracy Memorial.