Valatie charges for no water

VALATIE–Developer Tim Holk attended the June 9 Village Board meeting to ask for forgiveness on penalties for late water and sewer bills for property he owns on upper Main Street. He also discussed the possibility of the village annexing land from the Town of Kinderhook, a plan he brought to the community several years ago.

Mr. Holk plans to build houses and a farm on land on upper Main Street in a development called Kinderkill. Part of his land is in the village, the rest is in the town. Mr. Holk said that his development was approved by the village several years ago, but right after receiving the approvals the state Department of Health (DOH) placed a moratorium on new construction in the village until the board addressed possible surface water influence on one village well.

He has yet to build anything on the property but he still has to pay unit charges for maintenance and debt service on the village water and sewer plants, a charge that all village residents pay whether or not they receive municipal water and sewer service. Mr. Holk said he let the bills lapse, saying, “I paid water and sewer right up to the time we were denied” being able to hook-up to the water and sewer systems.

“It just seems unfair,” he told the board of paying the bills on a system he can’t use. Board member Angelo Nero said that other residents had come to the board asking for forgiveness on late bills but the board had not given them relief.

Board member Phil Bickerton said he would have been more willing to forgive some of the fees if Mr. Holk had come to the board earlier to resolve the issue.

“I frankly thought it wasn’t going to be an issue,” Mr. Holk said.

The board finally agreed to lower the bill of over $8,000 to around $6,100, removing some of the penalties, but not all. Board member Dave Williams pointed out that many residents did get a first time forgiveness on penalties so that they could get up to date on their bills.

Mr. Holk then brought up the issue of annexing some of his land, which is in town, to the village so that once he can start construction of homes on the property he can connect to the village water and sewer.

The annexation process would require Mr. Holk to formally request the transfer of jurisdiction over the land from town and then there would need to be a public hearing.

“The only way to keep costs down is to expand the water and sewer districts,” said Mayor Diane Argyle. The village is still under the DOH moratorium that prohibits new water hook-ups. State officials have conducted testing on wells and discussed adding an expensive water filtration system.

“We have to address the water issue,” said Mayor Argyle.

Also at the meeting:

  • The board agreed to pay to have an outdoor bathroom at the farmer’s market held in Glynn Square every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • The village will host an Electronics Recycling Day Saturday, June 27 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building. Residents must sign up before dropping off their old electronic items
  • The mayor thanked the volunteers who helped with the cleanup at Callan Park. She especially wanted to thank Jacob Mooney, Terry Argyle and the work release laborers arranged for through the county sheriff’s office.

The next village meeting is Tuesday, July 14 at 7 p.m. in the Municipal Building on Church Street.

 To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .

 

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