K’hook funds fire gear, access and new waste watcher

KINDERHOOK–The Village Board held a special meeting last week to approve several projects, including an upgrade to the Village Hall bathroom so that it complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a new meter for the sewer line that goes to the Valatie Sewer Plant and new equipment for village firefighters.

At the May 25 meeting the board agreed to move forward with plans to make the two bathrooms at Village Hall into a unisex bathroom. The village received a state grant of $22,500 through the court for the bathroom upgrade to make the room ADA compliant.

Mayor Jim Dunham pointed out that the money from the grant has to be spent by July 26. “I just hope they are going to be available to get it done quickly,” he said of construction companies bidding for the work. The board plans to reach out to construction firms with the design plans and expects the project will cost about $25,000.

The next major expense approved was funding for new air packs and masks for the firefighters at a cost of about $102,000. The village plans to borrow the money for the equipment. At the regular board meeting early in May, firefighters discussed the new equipment, which will help them breathe longer while fighting fires and communicate better with each other.

Addressing the need for the new masks and packs at a meeting earlier this month Fire Chief Larry Eisen told the board, “It all revolves around the safety of the firefighters.”

At that earlier meeting on May 11 Village Board member Rich Phillips, who is also the village’s fire commissioner, said that money for the equipment was “not a significant increase for the taxpayers and [it’s] safety for these guys.”

At the May 25 workshop meeting the board also discussed a possible increase in the sewer maintenance charge and agreed to purchase a new meter to measure sewage going from the village to the Valatie Sewer Plant. The village installed a meter during the construction project that connected buildings in the village business district to the Valatie Sewer Plant, but that original device has produced inaccurate readings, which has raised issues about village sewer bills. Kinderhook charges the 27 property owners hooked up to the sewer system and then pays Valatie for use of its sewage treatment plant. The Valatie Village Board gave the Kinderhook board until this fall to correct its metering.

The board plans to stop using the broken meter at the village line on Route 9 and put in a new cartridge meter at the pump station at the fire house.

Mayor Dunham said the materials for the new meter would cost about $6,000 and the insulation need might cost as much as an additional $1,000. But he said he was “optimistic” that the village would be reimbursed for the broken meter.

Mayor Dunham said that he wanted the board to discuss increasing the maintenance fee paid by sewer users from $5 a quarter to $10, making it $40 a year. “We’ll have to increase the maintenance fee,” he said.

The board agreed to discuss the proposed increase is at the next regular meeting Wednesday, June 8 at 7:30 p.m.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

Comments are closed.