KINDERHOOK–The Town Board discussed speed limits, political signs and the Dewey Loeffel Superfund Site at this week’s regular meeting.
Also at the Monday, September 14 meeting Town Supervisor Pat Grattan scheduled a town budget meeting for September 30 at 6:30 p.m. and a Codes Committee Meeting for October 7 at 6:30 p.m.
The Codes Committee, which includes the Town Board and the chairs of the Planning and Zoning boards, will discuss the town’s zoning laws on digital signs. Mr. Grattan said the committee tried to hold a meeting September 1 but did not have a quorum; no one from the public attended.
Town resident Matt Nelson, who is running on the Democratic line for supervisor in the November election, addressed the board during public comment saying there was no information on the website about the Codes Committee meeting except the date and time, and that the bulletin board in the town hall announcing meetings was out of date.
“You can’t expect the public to show up for a meeting they know nothing about,” he told the board.
Mr. Nelson also said that the speed limit on Route 9 above the traffic circle has been reduced from 55 to 50 mph but the town was not informed of the change. “It was done without any notice to the public,” he said.
Mr. Grattan said the issue of lower the speed limit on that stretch of the state route had been an issue in the town for several years, with residents of streets near Route 9 coming to the board to request a lower speed limit. In April of last year the board adopted a resolution to request the state reduce the speed limit on Route 9 between the intersection with county Route 28 and the traffic circle.
“The state grudgingly reduced it by five miles,” said Mr. Grattan. He said that the town had not been notified of the change. The board was told that the state might change the speed limit “in the spring,” the supervisor said.
The state posted new speed limit signs along that section of the highway when the change was made.
As for the concern about signs supporting candidates running for public office, town resident Marcia Anderson, who is running on the Democratic line for a seat on the Town Board, said she sent a letter to town Building Inspector Wayne Voss as well as Code Enforcement Officer Donald Kirsch regarding code violations on the placement and size of political signs. She wrote in her letter and repeated at the meeting that there are signs in the town that are larger than the code allows and that lawn signs may not go up until 30 days before the election, unless there is a primary that includes the candidate named on the signs. She specifically mentioned a large sign on Route 203 and a sign at the town’s transfer station.
Primaries were held last Thursday and the general election will be November 3, which means that any political candidate signs in the town are there in volition of the 30-day rule.
Building Inspector Voss said that he had investigated her complaint and issued a violation notice to the property owner of the sign that exceeded the size set out the code. He also said that some of the signs had been taken down.
Addressing another item on the agenda, the board issued a formal request that treated water from the Dewey Loeffel Landfill not be released into the Valatie Kill due to the chemical 1-4 dioxane having been detected in the water. Councilwoman Deb Simonsmeier made the motion after discussing concerns with residents about the levels of the chemical in the water. Ms. Simonsmeier said in the motion that the board was asking the federal Environmental Protection Agency to hold the release of “contaminated water” into the Valatie Kill, a stream that flows into Kinderhook Lake. She said the community needed to say “It’s not escapable.”
The EPA periodically releases the test results of the water being pumped out of the former industrial chemical waste dump near the Village of Nassau in neighboring Rensselaer County. As of September 2, the EPA reported no detectable level of 1-4 dioxane in the water, but earlier had detected some small amounts of the hazardous compound, which the EPA describes as a possible carcinogen. In an earlier press releases, the EPA attributed slight raises in the levels of 1-4 dioxane to an problems with special carbon filters; as of late August both of the filters had been replaced.
Also at the meeting:
- The board reappointed Cathy Knott as Assessor’s Clerk until January and appointed Royce Noblin Jr. to fill retired assessor Tom Griffins’ term, which expires September 30, 2019
- Local Law #1 establishing Best Value Bidding received approval of the board. The new law means that bids for equipment made by one municipal can be honored by another municipality
- Board members agreed to hold a public hearing before their next meeting in October on tax exemptions that apply to the property of deceased volunteer firefighters.
The next board meeting will be Monday, October 19 at 7 p.m. in the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .