K’hook seeks state advice on best ways to gather rays

KINDERHOOK–The Village Board has approved using the state’s Unified Solar Permit as part of an effort to regulate solar panels in the village.

At the Wednesday, January 11 meeting, Village Board members said that approving the unified permit might also lead to a grant from the NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority). Village Code Enforcement Officer Glen Smith called the state form “guidelines for permits.”

According the NYSERDA’s website the Unified Solar Permit was developed by Sustainable CUNY with support from Pace Law School’s Land Use Law Center and the NY Solar Smart Planning and Zoning Working Group. “This document is designed to assist communities in New York State adopt zoning provisions that promote solar energy systems while protecting community character and the environment,” the site says.

Mayor Jim Dunham pointed out that in the wording of the permit there is mention that a historical review should be conducted as needed, which was something one board member was concerned about. Mr. Smith and Mr. Dunham both said approving the state permit would be useful for the village. For one reason it will streamline the process for contractors because they can follow the state guidelines for village solar projects.

“We’ve had several solar panels put up in the village,” said Mr. Dunham.

He also said that if the board fills out a report, the village could receive a $2,500 grant from NYSERDA.

The motion passed unanimously.

The board also discussed naming the second floor of the Village Hall. Village Economic Development Director Renee Shur said she would create an email to send to residents asking for ideas for names. The Village Board would make the final decision.

Ms. Shur also hopes to petition the community’s state representatives about ride sharing services for destinations in the county. And she is hoping the state legislature will soon designate Kinderhook Creek a state waterway.

Also at the meeting:

• A village committee met last week to discuss the results of a traffic study of village streets. Mayor Dunham said there would be a public meeting on the results soon. The study did not include Route 9 because, though it runs through the center of the village and has the traffic light in the village, Route 9 is state route. But Mr. Dunham said he would contact to state Department of Transportation about results of a study on the highway conducted recently by the department

• The ice skating rink is open at Rothermel Park. Board members said that if a green flag is flying at the rink, it is frozen enough to skate on. A red flag means no skating

• Mayor Dunham suggested the board hold workshop meetings to discuss future capital improvement projects. The first meeting will be January 25 at 7:30 p.m. at the Village Hall

• The mayor said that the board would send a letter to the Village of Valatie about a review by the Valatie Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals of a proposal for a carwash at the site of the former Valkin restaurant on Route 9. The site is at the border of the two villages and Mr. Dunham said that his board has some concerns about runoff from a carwash getting into the Village of Kinderhook water system.

The next regular Village Board meeting will be February 8 at 7:30 p.m.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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