Valatie set to put muscle behind ticket law

VALATIE–The Village Board moved closer last week to creating village parking tickets.

The meeting Tuesday, August 11 also saw the approval of more projects at the village’s Waste Water Treatment Plant, which officials hope will mean the end of the major upgrades that have been going on at the plant for several years.

Village Attorney Rob Fitzsimmons told the board that he’d reviewed the proposed traffic laws for the village along with the fines charged for tickets. He also said that he found law supporting the claim by the village that Valatie is entitled to receive the money from parking tickets even though the village does not have its own court. Village cases go through the Town of Kinderhook Court.

Mr. Fitzsimmons told the board that according the state law, if the village issues a under village local law, “you’re entitled to the fine.”

The board will need to review the parking laws and hold a public hearing on any new laws and fines before the village can order tickets that law enforcement can use. Trustee Frank Bevens said he would talk to the state troopers about the issuing the tickets. The county Sheriff’s Office deputies would also use the tickets in the village.

The board is hoping to hold the public hearing this fall on the parking laws. For years Mayor Diane Argyle and other board members have discussed having parking laws in the village code books without a way to enforce the laws. When asked by a village resident at the meeting about reinstating the village court to deal with the tickets, Mr. Bevens said the board was looking into the costs.

The village dissolved the court in 2010, saving about $20,000 in costs and salaries. Trustee Bevens said the current board is looking expenses that would be needed to start a village court again, which not only includes salaries for judges and clerks but a court computer system.

At the beginning of the meeting the board heard from Dan Rourke from Delaware Engineering, the company managing projects at the sewer plant. One of the final projects on the major upgrades at the plant involved adding a screen to the sewer treatment process and creating a process to control odors. Mr. Rourke said that the dimensions for the screen were inaccurate so that more work remains to be done. He also said the odor control was not part of the original contract bid so the village would need to approve about $5,000 more to complete that project.

“I always thought the odor control was part of it,” Mayor Argyle said of the total $450,000 screen project the board approved last December.

Trustees Bevens and Dave Williams expressed their displeasure with Delaware Engineering for not dealing with these issues earlier in the process.

“We weren’t 100% right on this one,” said Mr. Rourke of the project, but he did say the village would still have money left in the 0% interest state loan Valatie received for the project, even with these changes.

Also at the meeting:

  • The board is looking into obtaining copyright protection for a series of photos of Valatie made in the early 1900s. The glass plate photos were found by Guy Gemello and donated to the county Historical Society. Prints from the glass plates have been on display at the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building. The village hopes to copyright the images in the prints for its own use
  • The village will pay $100 to the town to help with a program to catch stray cats and have them neutered and released. Two town residents have been catching the cats and taking them to the Columbia-Greene Humane Society to be neutered for $75 per cat. With added money from the village and $650 from the town, 10 cats can be neutered this year
  • The board approved a sign on Spring Street that will direct drivers to “Slow down, children at play” in the hopes of dealing with speeding on the street.

The next board meeting is Tuesday, September 15 at 7 the Martin H. Glynn Building.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .

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