Experts will study Chatham’s venerable village hall

CHATHAM–The Village Board has hired John G. Waite Associates to prepare a building study on the Tracy Memorial Village Hall. The architecture firm, which has offices in New York City and Albany, was one of four firms to respond to the request for proposals issued by the board. The village will pay the firm $15,600 for the study.

“They were just passionate about this building,” Mayor Tom Curran said of Waite Associates during the September 11 board meeting. Board members and members of the board that oversees the Tracy interviewed Waite Associates for the job. Mayor Curran said there was “overwhelming support” for the firm.

The building was given to village by the Tracy family in 1913 and the Tracy board was set up to maintain the building and collect rent from any tenants other than the village offices. The Town Court has been renting the upstairs for many years and other groups have also paid to use the building for events. The Village Board officially owns the two-story brick building and earlier this year came to an agreement with the Tracy board to take over the maintenance of the building and collect the rent. At a Village Board meeting in January the Tracy board transferred to the village $129,000 that the Tracy board had collected in rent over the years.

Village Board members subsequently decided that because they are now responsible for the upkeep of the building they wanted an architectural evaluation of building the. Barbara Henry thanked Trustee Jay Rippel for suggesting Waite Associates.

Mr. Rippel said of the architects, “They did a wonderful job on the Kinderhook Reformed Church.”

At last week’s meeting the board also scheduled a workshop meeting September 25 to discuss the structure of village fees and fines. “The fees and fines are so outdated, we want to bring [them] up to speed,” the mayor said. He said the board will review fees for planning and zoning permits, as well as water and sewer fines, hook-up fees and peddler’s permits, among others.

That meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the Tracy Memorial Village Hall.

Also at the meeting the board:

  • Heard a report from Sgt. Alessi, who commended Officers Callahna, Moon and Lovett for their extra hours of service during the county fair over Labor Day holiday, as well as Officer Huyck and McMahon for their initiative in parking vehicles on Hudson Avenue during the event. The mayor thanked the Police Department and Fire Company for their work during the fair
  • Heard from Clerk/Treasurer Barbara Henry that after water shut-off notices were sent out recently, all but two property owners contacted the village to pay their late water bills
  • Announced that there will be a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) drug take-back date at the Tracy Memorial September 27 at which residents can bring in unused prescription drugs to have them disposed of safely. Information on the program will be on the village website,

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .

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