Village opts for new DPW garage to rise from ashes

KINDERHOOK–The Village Board has voted unanimously not to dissolve the Department of Public Works. At a special meeting Monday, September 21, the board made plans to move forward with rebuilding the DPW garage off of Route 9 and replace equipment lost when the old building burned down in a fire last May and almost all of the equipment was destroyed.

The Village Board had created a committee over the summer with Town of Kinderhook board members to discuss the possibility of contracting with the town for DPW services instead of rebuilding the village own department. The Village of Valatie dissolved its DPW several years ago and pays the town about $82,000 a year for those services, according the Valatie village clerk.

At the regular Village Board meeting September 9 Mayor Carol Weaver said that the town offered to take over the village’s DPW services, including mowing, snow removal, leaf pickup, and street and sidewalk repair, for $234,250 a year. She pointed out at that meeting and in an interview last week with The Columbia Paper that the village DPW budget was $235,301 per year. Village budgets run from June to May.

“The savings was minimal,” the mayor said three days after the board voted at the special meeting not accept the town’s proposal.

She also said that the board had looked at a possible shared services grant with the state but that the deadline for this year had already passed and there was no guarantee the village and town would receive the highly competitive grant.

Most of the DPW equipment and the new building, which the village has already had an architect design, will be paid for by insurance from the fire. The board has already salvaged the village pickup trucks and has replaced some smaller equipment. Mayor Weaver said that the village is talking to the county about plowing two of the major streets in the village this winter.

A petition had circulated in the village asking the board to look seriously into sharing services with the town. Chuck Rothermel, a village resident involved in circulating the petition, also sat on the village-town committee formed to look into sharing services. He was the only non-board member on the committee, which included village and town board members and town Supervisor Pat Grattan.

The mayor stressed that the board carefully reviewed the proposal from the town and the village DPW budget.

“We looked at all the figures…and listen to everybody,” she said.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .

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