K’hook forges ahead with roof above, sewer below

KINDERHOOK–The Village Board has a lot on its plate right now.

Last week board members approved borrowing up to $450,000 to repair the Village Hall roof. At the same special meeting May 21 the board also passed a motion to send out a request for proposals (RFP) on the project, which the RFP says could cost up to $600,000.

The village has money set aside in this year’s budget to cover some of the costs of the roof and related repair work.

But the main purpose of the special meeting was to review the proposed new sewer law for the village, which will make it possible for properties in the business district to connect to the Valatie sewer plant by the end of the month. The board met with Village Attorney Rob Fitzsimmons, who is also village attorney for Valatie, to look at changes they made to Valatie’s sewer laws to cover Kinderhook’s usage.

Thirty-five properties on Route 9, Albany Avenue and Hudson Street in the village will be connected to sewer line, a project which is currently under construction with a June completion date. The construction is mostly being paid for by federal grants, with the village borrowing about $230,000 to cover the balance.

Other buildings in the village along the new sewer lines can hook up once the construction is finished but they will have to pay an out-of-village hookup fee to Valatie, which is currently $1,500, and a fee to Kinderhook for maintenance on their system of $500.

The Vanderpoel House and St. Paul’s church plan to connect to the line. Samascott’s Garden Market is also located on the line as is the Stewart’s Shop. There is a small section of the village along Route 9 roughly between Village Hall and Stewart’s that cannot connect to the sewer lines that run under the sidewalk for 20 years. The reason is because the board did not conduct an income survey of that section of the village to determine whether it qualified for the federal grant money.

Mr. Fitzsimmons recommended the board not include the 20 year moratorium, which is life of the bond for the sewer project, in the new village sewer law, saying that the federal government might change the regulations on that.

Mayor Carol Weaver stressed at the meeting that the fees for hookup and maintenance could change, so the law does not include amounts. She also said that village residents using the sewer would pay a $5 fee quarterly to cover maintenance of the sewer lines and the grinder stations that are part of to the village project. She said the board added the fee, which totals $20 a year, to the sewer bills because the board does not know what the costs of maintaining the lines will be and the board will need to generate some savings.

“Before we start the billing process I’m not sure we have enough,” the mayor said of having money to cover administrative costs and maintenance.

“You can always reduce it,” she said, referring to the fee.

Residents who get a sewer bill will also have a unit charge from Valatie, which Valatie residents also pay. That money helps pay down the debt service on the Valatie sewer plant.

All residents in the Village of Kinderhook will share the cost of paying off the debt service, which will be added as a small increase to their property taxes based on assessed value.

Also as part of the proposed new law, the Kinderhook Board will have to hire a superintendent to help with maintaining the sewer lines and grinder stations. Mayor Weaver said that the village might hire Valatie’s sewer plant operator but the board will have to look into that once the construction is finished.

The Village Board will hold a public hearing on the law before the June 11 meeting at 7 p.m. Copies of the law will be available for residents to review starting May 28.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email eteasdale@columbiapaper.


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