VALATIE – Kinderhook Town Supervisor Pat Grattan says the town has a buyer for the former Town Hall in Niverville. But before the sale can move forward the state legislature must give its approval for the sale of the 2,000-square-foot building and the 4.57 acres of parkland next to it.
The Town Board held a special meeting Monday, June 1 to review a resolution drafted by the Town Attorney Andrew Howard, asking the state Assembly and Senate to pass legislation allowing the town to sell the park. Reading form the resolution, Mr. Howard said, “The legislature has looked at it and decided the town has created park land elsewhere.” He said state officials hope to adopt the legislation next week.
The building was given to the town by the Ichabod Crane School District over 30 years ago to be used as a town hall; the acreage next to the building was for a town park and was designated as parkland.
Language in the board’s resolution on the sale mentions the complaints the town has received from neighbors of the park about noise and vandalism. The resolution says the Town Board can sell the property with the state’s authorization.
Councilmember Pasty Leader, who lives in Niverville, said residents of the hamlet “would love it to be sold.” She said that it can’t be used a park now, since the playground equipment has been vandalized. “Nobody’s going to bring their kids there,” said Councilmember Tim Ooms.
The Town Board, which moved out in 2013 and now meets at the former Martin H. Glynn School building in Valatie, has tried since relocating to sell the old hall. But Mr. Grattan said that task was made more difficult because Niverville has “very limited use” zoning. He said the person who was buying the building and property for $100,000, plans to use it as his residence.
“This buyer has been very patient,” Mr. Grattan said of the sale, which has taken about eight months to get this far. Money from the sale will go in to a capital fund to help with the maintenance of the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building, which serves as both the town hall and Valatie Village Hall.
A small group of Kinderhook residents showed up at this week’s meeting to ask the board about preserving the park for the people of Niverville.
“We are in need of parkland in the town,” said resident Marsha Anderson. She asked the board why the town couldn’t have spilt the land from the sale of the building and kept the park.
Mr. Grattan said he was sympathetic to the residents’ concerns about keeping parkland. “It’s a very costly thing to maintain the building,” he said of the former town hall. As for the park, he pointed to the town park on State Farm Road, which the town maintains. He also said that the town helps the village maintain the park next to the Municipal Building.
The next regular board meeting will be Monday, June 8 at 7 p.m. at the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building.
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