Kinderhook to village motorists: Calm down!

KINDERHOOK–The Village Board is moving forward with a traffic calming study at a cost of $10,000. Board members approved the study along with discussing other street and sidewalk issues in the village at the regular meeting Wednesday, September 21.

The board also discussed late taxes and water bills at their meeting, with Village Clerk Nicole Heeder reporting that in this fiscal year the village is owed $11,342 in taxes and about $4,600 in late water bills. The board talked about a policy of shutting off water at properties that are overdue. Mayor Jim Dunham said that the county Board of Health would have to be notified if the village does plan to shut off water to a property. The board also has the authority to add overdue water charges onto the owner’s village property tax bill. Ms. Heeder said the village has never done that.

As for back taxes, Ms. Heeder said they are up to $29,560 total in unpaid village taxes going back several years. She said when a property sells under foreclosure, the village is often the last municipality in line to recover back taxes, behind the county and the town. The board discussed putting tax liens on properties. Ms. Heeder said that if the village did take that legal action it would be eligible to receive funds collected when the property is sold.

But she did have one word of caution about that approach, saying, “I’d have to find out about the attorney fees.”

Several properties in the village business district recently connected to the Valatie Sewer System, a decision that generates village water and sewer bills for those property owners.

The village currently needs a new meter at the pump station installed as part of the sewer hook-up project. The new meter will cost $2,161, but Mayor Jim Dunham said the board hopes to be reimbursed for the broken meter that currently measures the amount of sewage passing through the system.

As for the traffic calming study, the board approved hiring WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff. The company will monitor certain roads and intersections in the village and recommend changes at a public meeting. Mayor Dunham said he hoped to have the public meeting in December.

Department of Public Works Superintendent Dave Booth said that he and representatives from the county DPW did a survey of traffic signs in the village. He said the village signs are “too small, way too low” and need to be on breakaway polls. He said that the cost of upgrading the signs would be paid by the village. He hopes the report on from the traffic calming study will gave him an idea of where to start with changing the signs.

Also at the meeting:

• The board decided not to apply for federal and state funds to put in a sidewalk along Route 9 from Gaffney Lane to the village line. Mayor Dunham said the grant is funded 80% by state and federal funds but that the village would have to pay about $70,000 for the project and the application is due at the end of October.

The board discussed the issue but decided there were other projects in the village that needed funding and attention. The board did discuss work to replace the water main and repave William Street

• Economic Development Director Renee Shur reported to the board that she is looking into having Kinderhook Creek recognized by the state Department of State for grants to help with access to the creek

• Leaf pickup starts October 17; hydrants will be flushed October 12, 13 and 14.

The board moved the next regular meeting Wednesday, October 19.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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