CHATHAM–At a special meeting this week the Village Board discussed creating a formal agreement with the town about the services village police will provide during the summer camp at Crellin Park. Village Police Chief Pete Volkmann said village police will respond to emergencies at the park even though most of the park is in the town and under the jurisdiction of the county sheriff and state troopers.
“I think it’s really important to have an agreement in place just so everybody is on the same page,” Chief Volkmann told the board at the June 26 meeting.
Village Clerk Barbara Henry said the village attorney “suggested formalizing something that’s been informal for a long time.”
This year the summer camp will host children from the Town of Kinderhook recreation program in the afternoon for swimming. Mayor Tom Curran said it was important to have an agreement now with the larger number of kids that will be using the park.
Chief Volkmann wants to meet with the town and the other emergency agencies to talk about how they would handle worst-case scenarios. He told the board he has been talking to the Town of Chatham Recreation Director Sheri Franks.
Mayor Curran said he would speak to the Town Board about the agreement.
The board also discussed employee issues at the meeting and approved buying new software to handle paychecks for village employees. At the board’s regular meeting on June 12, Ms. Henry suggested switching from Paychex, the company that currently handles the village payroll, to new software that the village would own. The new software, which comes with technical support for three years, will cost the village $5,200.
At last week’s meeting, Ms. Henry told the board, “We pay $5,200 to Paychex and have nothing to show for it.” Employees will log on to accounts to log hours and managers will submit those timesheets through the software.
The board is waiting to hear whether the union representing employees of the Police and Public Works departments will change. Ms. Henry said the board should know by August. But right now the board must decide whether or not to hire a full-time or part-time employee for the Water and Sewer departments.
Ms. Henry said the village has three applicants for the part-time position, but DPW Forman Mike Losa said that there is more than enough work for a full-time employee between the water and sewer needs in the village and the DPW.
Trustee Jay Rippel agreed, saying, “The guys are stressed as it is now.” He also said that the state may soon require the village to hire another worker, though Ms. Henry said the village attorney looked into that issue and said that the village just needs one full-time operator, which it has, and a back-up person the board still needs to hire.
Mayor Curran said they would interview the candidates for the part-time job and continue discussing the issue whether or not to hire a full-time employee.
The meeting began with a presentation from representatives of the Harlem Valley Rail Trail, who presented designs for a portion of the trail which will run through the village along Route 66, also called Hudson Avenue. The trail will near the Kinderhook Bank, which was once the main railroad station in the village. Images show the asphalt bike path the Rail Trail would construct along the old rail beds. On Hudson Avenue after the Chatham Plaza they hope to add a path next to the existing sidewalk.
The group emphasized that building the trails is a very long process. Right now the Rail Trail is waiting for topographical maps and approvals. Members plan to hold more public meetings on the trail.
“I see this as a community building issue,” Mayor Curran said.
The next Village Board meeting will be Thursday, July 10 at 7 p.m. in the Tracy Memorial.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .