Village wants burned building knocked down

KINDERHOOK — The Village Board and Code Enforcement Officer Glenn Smith discussed the future of 6 Broad Street last week. The building in the business district suffered major damage in a fire late last month.

The fire also destroyed the building next door, 8 Board Street. Both buildings are owned by Paul Calcagno, a local developer, and 8 Board Street was torn down the day after the fire. But No. 6 was still standing as of the Wednesday December 12 regular board meeting.

Mr. Calcagno applied for a demolition permit for the site, but Mr. Smith said he denied the permit because he didn’t have proof of workers compensation coverage and asbestos remediation paperwork. Mr. Smith told the board that it could cost $25,000 to $30,000 to take down building if the village has to pay to demolish the gutted building.

“The encumbrance should be on his shoulders,” said Mr. Smith, referring to Mr. Calcagno. On the night of the fire Mr. Calcagno said he would “do what needs to be done, quote, unquote,” said Mr. Smith.

He said investigators have not yet determined the cause of the November 25 fire.

Village Trustee Rich Phillips worried about safety, saying the board was responsible for removal of the building if it is danger to the residents of the village. “Do the right thing for the community,” he said of spending the money to take the building down if it needs to be done soon.

According to Mayor Carol Weaver, the engineer who looked at the structure the building reported that it is not in immediate danger of collapsing.

Trustee Brain Murphy said the report gave the owner two choices: either take it down or shore it up.

“The whole building has moved,” said Mr. Smith. He said the building shifted due to the water pressure used to put out the fire. “My personal opinion is it’s in peril.”

Mr. Murphy said the board was told the building was coming down December 10 but officials have heard nothing since.

Mayor Weaver asked Mr. Smith to talk to the village attorney and come back to the board to discuss the issue.

Mr. Calcagno was also one of the property owners in the village who promised the board $10,000 to support the sewer project. Thirty-five properties in the business district, which would have included the ones destroyed by the fire, will be connected to the Valatie sewer plant.

Al Roberts, the owner of the Dutch Inn, promised $50,000 to the village for the sewer project. Both men want their funds for the sewer project to be held by their lawyer. Mayor Weaver is asking that the funds be put in a trust account that may only be used for the project. Barry Herbold, another property owner in the village who promised $10,000, has already put his money in the trust.

The mayor said the board used the $70,000 in promised donations in all their calculations for the sewer project and the board needs to know if the village will receive the money when the board borrows the rest of the funds to pay for the project.

“I talk to Rob daily about this,” said Mayor Weaver of her discussions with Village Attorney Rob Fitzsimmons.

The board plans to meet with representatives of Clark Engineer about the project later this month. Project manager Jim Dunham said Clark will have “well developed plans to share” with board now that surveying work has taken place.

The board is already dealing with paying some of its bills for the project. The grants received will not cover archeological work needed. “Since it’s not covered it will be our part to pay,” said Mayor Weaver. Mr. Dunham said it could cost $20,000.

Also at the meeting:

*Trustee Phillips reported that the Planning Board has set some restrictions on use of the Martin Van Buren School, which is being bought by gallery owner Jack Shainman to be used as storage and gallery. Mr. Phillips said the board limited delivery hours and the amount of events he could have during the year. “It’s all set for the guy,” said Mr. Phillips of the approvals Mr. Shainman needs to move into the building

*The statue of President Martin Van Buren is now illuminated by its own lights. The Kinderhook Economic Development Committee designed and set up the lights with help from local professionals

*The board approved the fire company applying for a Homeland Security grant for equipment.

The next Village Board meeting will be Wednesday, January 9 at 7:30 p.m.

Contact reporter Emilia Teasdale at .

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