K’hook faces mold cleanup in abandoned home

KINDERHOOK – The Village Board has approved paying for cleaning up an empty house on Church Street.

At the regular meeting June 11 board members agreed the village would pay for the cleanup and bill the owner of No. 3 Church Street. But the bigger issue is black mold in the abandoned house, said Code Enforcement Officer Glenn Smith, who described the house as having major structural weaknesses. He said he has gotten no response from his attempts to contact the owner.

“I legally cannot go within the building,” Mr. Smith told the board. He said he’s sent violation notices to the owner and to Chase Bank, which was maintaining the house. Mr. Smith said the bank has now relinquished all responsibilities related to the structure, and even when Chase was taking responsibility for maintaining it, they were doing the “bare, bare minimum.”

“We have to take assertive action and it might cost us money,” Mr. Smith, basing his statement on what it would cost the village to maintain the property. And he said that this is not only house in the village that has been abandoned or is not being maintained. To address the issue he asked the board about setting up a fund separate from the Code Enforcement Office budget line to deal with these buildings.

“My concern right now is the overgrown lawn,” said Mayor Carol Weaver.

Mr. Smith said that he has reached out to the county Health Department about mold issue.

Board Member Bob Puckett said he didn’t think the board had been aggressive enough with owners who abandon their homes.

By Saturday, June 14, the lawn at the house had been mowed.

In other business, the board discussed repainting the flag pole on the village green. The mayor said the board received a quote for $6,000, with about $2,000 of that cost going toward renting a lift to reach the top of the pole. “We’re open to ideas but the flag pole needs paint,” she said at the meeting. The board plans to do more research before accepting the bid.

The board also plans to open bids for the major roof repair project on the village hall at their next meeting in July. The mayor said that water leaking from the roof ruined the electoral system for the hall’s air conditioning, which will cost $2,000 to replace.

During the public comment section, residents of Board Street/Route 9 asked the board about extending the sidewalks in front of their homes up to the village line. The mayor said there was no money in this year’s budget but that the board would write a letter to the state Department of Transportation about funding sidewalks.

Next village meeting will be July 9 at 7:30 p.m. Prior to the meeting the board will open bids for the Village Hall roof project at 7:15 p.m. The bids will not be awarded until later in July.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .

 

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