Mayor urges support for school/park proposition

VALATIE–Mayor Gary Strevell said this week that he hoped district residents vote to support the propositions on the May 15 ballot at the Ichabod Crane School District elections. The propositions would hand over the leases to the Martin H. Glynn School in the village and the park across the street to the Town of Kinderhook and the village.

Speaking at the regular Village Board meeting Tuesday, May 8, the mayor said, “I would not want to see that building deteriorate,” referring to the now-vacant school. The district closed the school last summer due to declining enrollment and budget issues. District administrators and the local governments have been in negotiations for several months over a lease for the building.

If the proposition on the school passes, the town and the village will take over the lease and maintenance of the building for $1. The plan is to move the offices of the municipalities into the building, leaving the gym and playground for community use and the school district could use two classrooms in the building if they need them. The school administrators have said handing the school over to the local governments would save $30,000 a year in maintenance costs.

Handing over the park across the street from the school, known as Glynn Square, to the village is also on the ballot as a separate proposition. The village has been leasing the park for $800 a year. The lease is up in 2013, and if this proposition passes, the school district would hand the lease over to the village for a final payment of $800.

Mayor Strevell called Glynn Square, “The center of the village.” And said of the $800, they would just be making the last payment on the lease early. If the proposition passes, the village will own the property.

Village residents can vote on the proposed $34-million school budget and the propositions, as well as four open board seats, May 15 at the high school gym from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Also at the meeting:

*The village fire company ladder truck is going in for repairs that could cost $28,000. Fire Company President Frank Beven said that the amount was an estimate from the insurance company, and that the repairs may cost more. He said it will take five to six weeks to make the repairs

*Philip Bickerton was named Firefighter of the Year. There will be a barbecue chicken dinner fundraiser for the fire company June 7

*The board will meet May 22 at 8 p.m. to open bids for the $2-million sewer upgrade project. Mayor Strevell said that the engineers working with the village on the project report they have had at least 30 requests for information packets on the job. “We should get really competitive bids on this,” he told the board

*Trustee Amy Freinberg-Trufas reported on upgrades at the Valatie Community Theatre. The board budgeted $7,000 for upgrades in the current budget, and Ms. Freinberg-Trufas said there are plans to add a railing on the entrance to the theater, bury the oil tank, move the storage trailer behind the theater and do upgrades to the front of the building on Main Street. The village owns the theater and leases it to the theater group. The village has allocated $9,000 for the theater in the 2012-13 budget, which takes effect at the beginning of June. The theater group is planning a fundraiser June 2 with Albany Pro Musica

*The village has been drilling test well in a search for a new well site. Mayor Strevell said they have three very good candidates for new wells now that they have found the sites.

*Village clean-up day is Saturday, May 12. For information about what to put out for pick-up, go to the village website at

The next meeting will be Tuesday, June 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Village Hall.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .


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