K’hook kids will swim in Chatham next summer

KINDERHOOK – The Town Board met twice last week, on Monday for a regular meeting and at a special budget meeting Thursday. At the budget meeting, the board decided to move the town recreation program swimming lessons from Knickerbocker Lake to the pond at Crellin Park in Chatham, a change expected to save the town about $20,000 a year.

The budget meeting also saw a discussion of hiring a recreation director and setting aside about $13,000 in the 2014 budget for a maintenance person to work in the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building.

At the regular meeting October 18 the board decided to keep open the public hearing for the changes to the Comprehensive Plan. Board members Pasty Leader and Deb Simonsmeier said they had concerns about language in the plan the deals with curb cuts, among other things. Town Attorney Andy Howard suggested that the board meet with members of the Comprehensive Plan Committee to work out the issues. The draft of the Comprehensive Plan is available on the town website, www.kinderhook-ny.gov.

When the board met again two days later it was to talk about the budget, which members plan to adopt November 7 following a budget hearing. The board has scheduled another budget meeting Wednesday, October 30. Town Supervisor Pat Grattan did not have a final budget at last Thursday’s meeting but he said the board has reduced taxes in the town every year for the last three years.

As for the savings in the recreation program, during the summer the town sponsors a program at Volunteers Park, which includes busing kids to Knickerbocker Lake on Route 9. The board also offers swimming lesson at the lake. The town pays about $12,000 in rent for the use of the lake, which is on private property. There are also payments to the Highway Department to maintain the site as well as salaries for lifeguards and instructors.

Residents pay a small fee for the swimming lessons and for the playground program, but the fee does not cover the total cost of the program, which is also open to residents from Stuyvesant. “We are negative $53,000 on letting our kids play,” said Ms. Simonsmeier. The board makes shortfalls of about $30,000 for the playground program and $24,000 for swimming lessons.

Moving to Chatham will cost the town $75 per child from Kinderhook for six weeks of lessons. Parents will still have to transport their children to the swimming lessons. The town will transport the children in the Playground Program to Crellin in the afternoon for the free-swim program. Chatham is charging a fee for the afternoon swim as well. Mr. Grattan said he plans to budget about $9,000 to pay Chatham. “We’ll be paying roughly $20,000,” said Ms. Leader.

Mark Leinung, from the town Recreation Committee, said his board would not have a problem with switch. The money saved in the program may be used to hire a recreation director for the town. Programs are currently run through the supervisor’s office, with secretary and bookkeeper Dee Spain doing sign-ups. “If you can afford it, you can put it in the budget,” said Mr. Leinung.

The board also heard from Village of Valatie Mayor Diane Argyle about the town Highway Department contract to maintain village streets. Ms. Leader said she and the mayor had discussed raising the fee the village pays for the service to $82,000 to be paid to the town in quarterly installments based on the village budget schedule, which runs from June to May. Mr. Grattan said he had to check with the town attorney on the timing of the payments.

Earlier that day the board opened bids for the former Town Hall in Niverville. The highest bid was $55,000, though the board set the lowest bid at $160,000.

“We’ll look into doing it again,” said Mr. Grattan. He said that money from that sale will go into a capital fund for maintenance the Glynn Building, the current town hall.

The next meeting will be the November 7 budget hearing at 6 p.m. in the Glynn Building. The next regular meeting will be Monday, November 18 at 7 p.m.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .



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