Village eyes benefits of exporting more water

CHATHAM–The Village Board has agreed to split the cost of extending the water main in the hamlet of Ghent with the developers of the Bartlett House. The developers want access to the Chatham water supply so they can open a café in the historic brick building.

At last Thursdays Chatham Village Board meeting, the board agreed to the contract, pending a review from the village attorney, to pay $10,600 for a project that would add 8-inch water pipes along Route 66 to lengthen the water supply line that already serves parts of the Ghent hamlet. The Bartlett House developers would pay the rest of the cost for the pipe–about another $21,000. The village would also waive the $5,500 connection fee.

“It would be hard to get this much pipe put in for $10,000,” said Mayor Tom Curran at the March 10 meeting. He said he liked this plan, which could mean more homes in the Ghent would connect to village water, meaning more rate-payers using the system. In addition the Bartlett House, the plan calls for extending water lines three neighboring houses.

Mayor Curran said he had talked to Chatham’s water superintendent who told him, “It would be a great thing.”

“I look forward to the Bartlett House coming alive,” the mayor said of the new business. The building has been vacant for many years and is currently undergoing major renovations. The sign on the front says a cafe and bakery will open there this year.

The board also agreed to spend up to $50,000 for new water main on Woodbridge Avenue in the Village of Chatham. Mayor Curran said the village would buy the pipe with funds from this year’s budget, which runs until May, but not replace the pipes until next year. New sidewalks were recently completed along Woodbridge Avenue, paid for with a state grant, and the village plans to repave the road. But Mayor Curran said that before paving the surface the old water main has to be replaced. “It’s probably 100 years old,” he said of the pipe there now.

Also part of the discussion at the March 10 meeting was that one of the older fire trucks used by the Chatham Fire Department is out of service. The Fire Department is currently researching the options for buying a new truck and is keeping the Village Board updated on that work.

The mayor said he told former Fire Chief John Howe, who is helping with the new truck research, to get the board some numbers on a new truck.

Mr. Howe also said that fire truck 58-2 was in bad shape. The reason the department took the truck out of commission, he said, was, “We were one bolt away from having a catastrophic incident.”

Also at the meeting:

•The county will host a prescription drug take-back program April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Residents can bring their unused prescriptions drugs to the Tracy Memorial Village Hall to be disposed of by the Sheriff’s Office. Village Police Chief Peter Volkman said at the meeting the drugs are put in a locked box and there are “no questions asked” of the people surrendering them.

•The board plans to ask the state Parole Office to stop using the Tracy Memorial. The parole officer meets with county parolees in the Tracy monthly on Mondays. According the Village Clerk Barbara Henry there has been no formal contract with the state about using the space.

Mayor Curran, who said that the Tracy “was not ideal” for the parole officer, has contacted the state about moving the parolee meetings from the space.

Trustee Gunnar Wordon worried that the parole office wouldn’t have anywhere else to go. Mayor Curran said that the parolees are coming from all over the county and suggested there might be a more central location for the visits, possibly the county Court House in Hudson

•The board has issued requests for bids for a lift in the Tracy Memorial to make the building compliant with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

The next board meeting is a workshop session Thursday, March 24.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email .

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