Better parking, cleaner cars planned for Valatie

VALATIE–The Village Board is moving forward with an agreement to lease the municipal parking lot on Main Street to Tierra Farm for $1 a year for 5 years. The board discussed the lease at the regular meeting on March 10.

Tierra Farm, a food and beverage service and distribution company, owns the building next to the parking lot, has agreed in the pending lease to upgrade the parking lot and maintain it. The company also agrees to keep all but two parking spaces in the lot open for public use. Village Attorney Rob Fitzsimmons said that he would review the agreement and discuss it with Tierra Farm’s lawyer, but the board did review the short form of the state Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) at the meeting on Tuesday.

Tierra Farm, which is opening a clothing store in the building next to the parking lot, told the board that upgrades on the parking lot could cost between $9,500 to $15,000.

Also at the meeting, Benjamin “BJ” Cantele asked the board about his plans to buy the Val Kin Restaurant on Route 9 and turn it into a self-serve carwash. Mr. Cantele said he has not yet purchased the building and wants to know whether the board has any objections to him moving forward with the plan.

Mr. Fitzsimmons said that since the Val Kin was an existing commercial site there would be no problems with Mr. Cantele hooking up to the water and sewer. His site plans will have to be reviewed by the Village Planning Board.

Mr. Cantele said he hopes to make the business, “a little more Kinderhook-ish.” He stressed that there was a need for a carwash in the area, though board members pointed out that there is presently a carwash across the street from the Val Kin.

Mr. Cantele attended the meeting with Brandy Nelson from the engineering firm Crawford and Associates. He did not present any plans to the board at the meeting.

There were no objections from board members about Mr. Cantele moving forward with the purchase of the building. Mayor Diane Argyle asked that during the sale he make sure the village receives back taxes and water and sewer bills for the property. “They have to be made good,” Mr. Cantele said of the debts.

Also at the meeting:

  • Mayor Argyle said the County Health Department sent a letter to the village saying that testing done on one of the wells for the possible influence of service water was not adequate. “They suggested we use a different firm for the testing,” she told the board
  • Property owner Zvi Cohen attended the meeting to discuss a bill for $260 he received from the village for clearing snow from the sidewalk in front of his building on Main Street twice this winter. Mr. Cohen said that he was surprised at the amount and questioned why the board did not inform him after the first time the snow needed to be cleared. “I think it’s a little harsh,” he said of the fine. The mayor agreed to reduce the amount by $50, though she did point out that the village had cleared Mr. Cohen’s sidewalk four times that winter
  • The board will hold a budget workshop meeting on Tuesday, March 31 at 6 p.m. in the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building.

The next regular meeting is April 14 at 7 p.m. in the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .

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