VALATIE –The Village Board agreed this week to a new lease on the section of the American Legion Hall on Main Street used by the Sheriff’s Office as a substation. The Legion has asked that the substation move this winter to the old Martin H. Glynn School building, which the village and town will soon own.
The board made an agreement in 2010 for the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office to put a substation at the American Legion Hall with equipment to monitor surveillance cameras installed on the street. Last month the board discussed moving the substation the school building, but at the October meeting the board approved a one-year lease on the substation section of the Legion Hall. Both the village and town plan to move their offices and the court to the old school after the purchase is finalized and some renovations are made.
The village was paying $3,000 a year for the space at the hall, but at the board’s regular meeting Tuesday, November 13, that agreement was changed to a month-to-month lease for $500 a month. Though it would mean paying much more a year, the board agreed that the sheriff’s substation would remain there only a few more months before it moves to the school building.
There is no closing date set for the purchase of the school, said Mayor Gary Strevell, but he is hoping the transfer from the school district to the village and town will be completed soon and the village hall will relocate to the school building in January or February.
When asked why the Legion Hall wanted the substation to move, Mayor Strevell said, “They didn’t think $3,000 a year was enough.” He also said that at the monthly price of $500, the village could not afford to keep the station in the hall. “There was a value to keeping a (sheriff) on Main Street,” he said of the substation.
Also at this week’s meeting the board heard a proposal from the representatives from the Northern Columbia Little League (NCLL) about taking over the maintenance of Callan Park. The NCLL does not want to own the park, which was given to the village by the Callan family for children of the village to use, according to Trustee Amy Freinberg-Trufas. The Little League, which does not own any of the municipal ball fields in Valatie, or in the Town and Village of Kinderhook, would cut back the trees in the park and add fields and a concession stand.
Brad Walsh, who is on the board of the NCLL, said that league officials talked to the National Guard about doing the tree clearing as a free service project, though he did say he wasn’t sure whether that would still be possible in the aftermath of Super Storm Sandy.
Mayor Strevell said the upkeep at the park had always been an issue for the board. He has met with the NCLL twice and said he talked to the village attorney about “essentially paying them to maintain the park.” Ms. Freinberg-Trufas asked about the maintenance of the playground, parking issues and the league concessions taking away from the firehouse concession stand. Though she and other board members said they supported the idea, they plan to discuss it again at the next meeting before any decisions are made.
Also at the meeting:
•The board approved the construction of the sidewalk link project to go out to bid. The sidewalk will run along Route 9 connecting the Villages of Valatie and Kinderhook. The project, which is almost completely funded by federal and state grants, has been in the planning phase since 2006.
•The Valatie Community Theatre is holding a Flapjack Fundraiser at Applebee’s on Fairview Avenue in Hudson December 1 from 8 to 10 a.m. Tickets are $6. The theater is also planning a kids’ holiday movie event on December 15 from 2 to 4 p.m. There will be babysitting at the theater parents can shop at local stores while the kids watch the movies. The mayor and Ms. Freinberg-Trufas are applying for a state grant for the heating and air conditioning for the entrance way in the theater.
•The Valatie Fire Company sent two different crews to Long Island to assist with storm clean-up. The ladder truck and 10 firefighters when to Long Beach last week to help, and the week before two firefighters assisted in the cleanup.
•VERA is hosting Winter Walk Saturday, December 8. There will be parade from 5 to 6 p.m. down Main Street, and events will be held at stores and buildings in the village until 9 p.m.
The next village meeting will be Monday, December 10 at 7 p.m. at the village hall.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .