Chatham plans for snow, more water use and sewer repairs

CHATHAM — The Village Board convened Thursday December 9 for its only scheduled meeting of the month, with Mayor Paul Boehme wishing villagers a merry Christmas, happy New Year and a happy Hanukah.

Though there hadn’t yet been any major accumulation in the village, the mayor talked about snow, reminding constituents that “snow removal is the responsibly of the property owner.” He said property owners who don’t remove the snow from sidewalks in front of their buildings will be fined. The mayor advised homeowners not to shovel snow into the street, where it will just get pushed back up onto the sidewalk by the snowplows but to shovel it onto their lawns.

On Main Street, where almost no property has a lawn, Trustee David Chapman said shop owners and residents should shovel the snow into the street. “Put it out where the people park and [the Department of Public Works] will clean it up,” he said.

The board also discussed the water and sewer issues last week. The village water and sewer commissioner, Trustee George Grant, said that the new Camphill Ghent independent living facility being built along Route 66 south of the village line is now hooked up to the village water line. The facility, a project of Camphill Village in Copake, will install its own septic system.

“It’s going to be a big bump,” he said of the water use by the new housing facility, which anticipates having 71 units by 2012.

Mr. Grant also reported that a large rotor that stirs and breaks down the sludge has a bad bearing. Replacing the bearing will cost approximately $5,000, he said. The part was last replaced in 1982. “Although expensive, they don’t go often,” he told the board.

The mayor gave an update on the parking lot the village plans to build behind Main Street, between the back of the buildings that house the shops and businesses and the railroad tracks. The board, which is leasing the land for the lot from the CSX railroad company, has accepted bids for leveling and paving the site, but officials do not expect any of that work to start before spring. They do plan to put in the posts for fencing and to mark the spaces. There will also be signs to alert people to prohibition on overnight parking. The entrance for the new parking lot will be at the clock tower and the exit at the municipal parking lot next to the Tracy Memorial.

In other business, Mayor Boehme said he was he was still researching other municipalities that share assessor services. The board was recently asked by members of the public to look into the issue of the assessor’s office, and the mayor said he’s been checking how other villages that, like Chatham, are in two different towns, handle their assessments. The question before the board is whether the village needs its own assessor when the towns of Chatham and Ghent also employ assessors.

The mayor thanked Mike Graves, Lucas Christensen, Samantha McShane, Abby Brownell and Sharon Matuszek from the Chatham School District Music Department, for their help with the village tree lighting December 3. “I’d like to send the school [and] each one of these members a thank-you for their time,” said Mr. Boehme. He also thanked the Chatham Fire Department for giving Santa a ride to the festivities, which were held this year in the new gazebo on the village green.

The next board meeting will be Thursday, January 13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Tracy Memorial.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .

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