Valatie board taps Eleby for open seat

VALATIE–Village Mayor Diane Argyle plans to appoint Larry Eleby to the Board of Trustees in January. She announced the choice at a board meeting on Tuesday. Mr. Eleby will serve the rest of Trustee Philip Bickerton’s seat, which ends in March 2017. Mr. Bickerton was elected to the Kinderhook Town Board earlier this month and cannot serve on both the town and village boards.

Mr. Eleby is a resident of Holly Hills who recently retired and is now a substitute teacher in the Ichabod Crane and Chatham school districts. He told The Columbia Paper that he served on village Planning Board about a decade ago.

“Thank you for coming and participating,” said Mayor Argyle told him at meeting.

The board also appointed Rustin Dolan to the Village Planning Board at the November 15 meeting. Mr. Dolan, who is an assistant chief in the Valatie Fire Department, will start on the Planning Board in December.

The board discussed Fire Department funding and the increase in the amount the town is charging for Highway Department services for the village. Mayor Argyle pointed out that in the newly approved Kinderhook town budget, the fire company is getting a 2.5% increase but the amount the village pays for the town’s Highway Department services is up about 30%.

The village currently pays $84,000 a year to use the town’s Highway Department. In the town’s 2017 budget, the amount is going up to $107,400 and Mayor Argyle said this will be a one-year contract instead of the normal two-year agreement.

Mayor Argyle and Trustee Frank Bevens negotiated with a town committee for the new contract. She said that starting in December the town will be keeping track of the work done in the village by the town Highway Department.

The Village Board approved the increase at the meeting. “I don’t know what choice we have,” said Trustee Dave Williams about the amount. But he pointed out that since the contract is only a year, it “gives us a change to look around and look at other options” for highway services.

On the increase in the fire company funding paid to the village by the town, Mayor Argyle said, “I have expressed my displeasure with the fire company amount.”

The town will pay $12,900 of the Valatie Fire Department’s 2017 budget. It gives the Village of Kinderhook Fire Department $70,393. Mr. Bevens said the amount is based on assessed value of property.

Mayor Argyle said she hoped that when Mr. Bickerton, a village resident and Fire Department member, serves on the Town Board he will look into the Fire Department funding.

Also at the meeting:

• The board approved moving forward with work to find a new well. They hired Smith Well to drill at River Street Park in search of a new water source. The mayor hopes that finding a new well will resolve issues with the county Health Department over water capacity. There is currently a limit on new water hook-ups in the village

• The village and VERA (Valatie Economic Redevelopment Association) will host Shop Small Saturday on November 26. There will be a ceremony at 10 a.m. on Main Street

• Village Attorney Rob Fitzsimmons announced that changes to the village Senior Housing laws, which include listing who can live in senior housing and requiring quarter-acre lots for new construction, are being reviewed by the county Planning Board. After the county reviews and approves the changes, the village will hold a public hearing to pass a local law to make the changes official

• The mayor announced the village has hired an attorney to look into foreclosure procedures on the Energy-Onix building on River Street. The village received a state and federal grant several years ago for the building. The funds were loaned to a company for a workshop to manufacture transmitters in the building. The company has since left the building and the current owner has died, so the village is waiting to hear back from the attorney about probate laws and foreclosure.

The next village meeting will be December 13 at 7 p.m. at the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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