K’hook’s Wildflower paving plan awaits further hearing

KINDERHOOK–The Town Board held a public hearing this week on a resolution to pave Wildflower Road, a private lane off of Mason Road. The resolution would start the process to have the road become a town road with the town taking over the responsibility for maintaining it once it is paved.

The resolution would have the Town Board seek bids for the paving at a cost of no more than $300,000, with residents on the road paying for the work.

But the board ended up adjourning the January 9 hearing and will hold a special meeting in March with the town engineer and attorney to review project.

Several residents of Wildflower Road attended the public hearing with questions and concerns about the cost to pave the road and where the cost estimate came from.

Town Attorney Andrew Howard pointed out several times during the hearing that the residents of Wildflower Road, which has about 15 properties on it, petitioned the town to take over the maintenance of the private road. He also stressed that town law says the road must be paved before it can be taken over by the town.

“There is a petition that you guys brought to the board pursuant to a (town) law,” he said of the process.

Mr. Howard said that after the residents’ petition asking for town to take over the maintenance of the road was submitted to the board, the town’s engineer reviewed the scope of work with construction company A. Colarusso and Sons and they estimated it would cost about $179,000 for the paving. But Mr. Howard said there would need to be title search to find out who owns the road and a survey, as well as other work. He advised the board to cap the project at $300,000 in the resolution in hopes that it would come in under that amount.

He stressed to the residents at the meeting that competitive bids for the project would be sought by the town. “It’s not the town’s attention to spend up to the cap,” he said of the $300,000 amount.

Property owners on Wildflower Road would have to split the cost of the work. At a previous meeting Mr. Howard said that amount each homeowner would pay would be based on the assessed value of their property. There was talk at Monday’s meeting of using a 10-year bond to pay for the work.

Town Supervisor Pat Grattan suggested the board and the residents meet on a Saturday, since some of the homeowners on the road are only in the county on the weekends. Mr. Grattan said that Town Engineer Pat Prendergast would attend the meeting along with Mr. Howard to answer residents’ questions.

The board can decide to pass the motion to move forward with the project after hearing from residents. They plan to reopen the public hearing Saturday, March 4 at 9 a.m.

Mr. Howard said that if enough residents are not happy with the board’s decision to take over the road, it can go to permissive referendum, which would mean a special election with only Wildflower Road residents eligible to vote.

Also at that evening:

• The board held its 2017 organizational meeting, appointing the heads of the town Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals and as well as other committee members. They appointed Mr. Howard town attorney at an annual fee of $19,956 plus hourly rate of $180 for litigation. The board also appointed Mr. Prendergast town engineer at an annual salary of $6,652 and an hourly rate that was not stated in the minutes, for projects

Regina Rose was appointed to a full term on the ZBA, Dale Berlin to a full term on the Planning Board and Matthew Nelson to a full term on Board of Assessment Review

The Town Board changed its monthly meetings to the first Monday of the month at 7 p.m.

• Philip Bickerton was sworn in as a Town Board member. Mr. Bickerton was elected last November

• The board opened bids from two companies offering to design and host a new town website. Peter Bujanow, who helped the board create the specs for the new website, said he would process that bids and present them to the board for review.

The next Town Board meeting will be Monday, February 6 at 7 p.m. in the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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