Williams tapped as Valatie trustee, Barnwell plans to grow

VALATIE–Mayor Diane Argyle has appointed David Williams to fill the empty seat on the Board of Trustees. The mayor made the announcement at the Village Board meeting Tuesday evening, August 13.

Mr. Williams was serving on the village Planning Board until his appointment as a trustee. He is taking the seat vacated by Trustee Amy Freinberg-Trufas, who resigned in July. The seat expires in March 2014. If Mr. Williams wants to continue serving on the board he would have to run for election to the position at that time.

Mr. Williams got right down to work at the board meeting Tuesday, joining the rest of the board in voting to approve the purchase of new cameras to be installed along Main Street and monitored by county sheriff’s deputies and the state troopers.

Three cameras will cost about $15,000.

 

The Village Board purchased an initial set of cameras for Main Street several years ago, and in 2011 a Sheriff’s Office substation with monitoring equipment for the cameras was opened at the American Legion Hall on Main Street. The substation has now been moved to the Martin H. Glynn Building on Church Street, which also houses the offices of town and village offices and the town court.

The older cameras can still be used, said board member Frank Bevens, who did the research on the new cameras. The board will move the older cameras to a new location. Mr. Bevens said moving the cameras would cost the village about $3,000.

“I think this is going to be around for a long time,” he said of the digital camera technology that village will purchase. The board approved borrowing the money for the new cameras through a bond anticipation note.

“The businesses down on Main Street have asked for it, as has the sheriff,” Mayor Argyle said of the cameras.

The board will also use $1,893 from the sewer budget to pay for adding a camera at the sewer plant and for running the two cameras already there. The mayor said there had been issues with stolen equipment at the plant.

The board also plans to mail out water-shut off notices to people who have not paid their water bills for the two quarters before the last bill. Mayor Argyle said the outstanding bills add up to about $23,000. She showed the board the list of 17 people who will receive letters, though she did say one resident came into the village hall that day to discuss the issue with her.

The letter says the property owner must contact the village within 10 days of receiving the letter or the water to the property will be shut off.

“Contact us, we have payment plans,” Mayor Argyle said at the meeting.

The meeting started with a presentation from Mary Beth Bianconi, a senior project manager for Delaware Engineering about the water and sewer issues in the village. The sewer plant has had major issue with the pH levels of the effluent. Ms. Bianconi said that other communities deal with this problem by manually adding chemicals and potash to the outflow, but the company will “look at installing something from the pump station.”

Concerns about water supply are a major issue for new construction projects in the village. The mayor announced that Barnwell Nursing and Rehabilitation Center has bought property on Mechanic Street to expand by 40%, adding 100 units of housing for seniors. She said Barnwell would formally come to the board with a proposal in September and address the proposal at the village Planning Board in October.

The county has said it will not issue approvals for new development projects in the village that connect to the village water supply until the board has a plan to deal with the influence of  surface water on village wells. Ms. Bianconi said her company was running tests on a new well that was dug last year and on the existing wells. She suggested doing pump repairs and cleaning one well, while sending a camera into another well to see how it is faring. Those repairs and video inspections would cost around $30,000.

She suggested doing the repairs, cleaning and camera inspection work before adding a filtration system for the village’s water. “If you build a filtration system, you want to know what quality your water is,” she told the board.

The board did not make any decisions about the wells at the meeting but the mayor said that water would be a topic of discussion at future meetings.

The next board meeting will be September 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Martin H. Glynn Building.

 

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .

 

 

 

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