Budget in place, Valatie eyes grants to get greener

VALATIE–The Village Board approved a $1.7-million village budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year at the regular meeting Tuesday, April 11. There will be no change in the tax rate from the current year’s budget.

Village budget years run from June 1 to May 31. The board will hold an end of the year review of the 2016-17 budget May 31 at 6:30 p.m.

There were no comments during the public hearing on the budget from residents. Trustee Larry Eleby said of the budget, “I have no comment, but I like it.”

One item in the budget that Mayor Diane Argyle pointed out during the meeting was that the village pays $100,000 in debt repayment on three Water Department loans. The board is looking at some more repairs needed on village wells and a filtration system in the coming year. The mayor said the village cannot take on any more debt.

She also said the board is looking at state and federal money to help with the filtration system for the municipal well. The village will have to upgrade a pump at one of wells soon, according to the mayor. But well #4, which has been off-line, needs to be tested to keep the village in compliance with the required “ten state standard” for wells.

The county Health Department and the state have told the village that well #3 is under the influence of water from the Kinderhook Creek, so the board needs to move forward with the filtration system, the mayor said.

During the meeting, the board heard from Robyn Reynolds of the Capital District Regional Planning Commission about becoming a Clean Energy Community, which comes with some grants from the state and may make the village eligible to apply for funds for energy saving programs.

The board would need to complete four out of ten “high impact actions” to become a Clean Energy Community, according to the information Ms. Reynolds gave out. She has worked with several local communities on the state’s Climate Smart Community program. She said so far the Village of Kinderhook has worked on implementing Clean Energy actions. As part of the program the towns of Ghent and Chatham are looking at putting electric car charging stations in the Village of Chatham paid for by a state grant.

Ms. Reynolds said that if the village adopts the state’s Unified Solar Permits, looks into LED street lights and reviews energy use at municipal buildings, the village could move toward achieving Clean Energy Community status and could be eligible for a $100,000 grant from the state. She said that 14 municipals similar in size to Valatie could be awarded the grant. “It’s first come, first served,” she said of the funds.

The mayor and Trustee Dave Williams talked about upgrading the power sources at the Waste Water Plant. The mayor said that the village pays $4,000 a month in electricity at the plant. Ms. Reynolds said that could be something the village could pay for with the grant.

Mayor Argyle said she is working with Kinderhook Village Mayor Jim Dunham on energy efficient lighting for both villages.

Also at the April 11 meeting:

• The board expressed support for a weekly farmers’ market to move to Main Street. The market, organized by Tierra Farms, will set up in front of willing businesses and in the green space on Main Street owned by the village, called Santa Claus Park. The market will start on Sunday, May 21 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and there will be tables stretching from The Valatie Bar and Grill to Great Finds. Trustee Angelo Nero had a concern about parking in the village during the market but Mayor Argyle assured him there was plenty of parking in the village. “I think it will bring in more business,” she said of having the market on Main Street

• Village Clark Barbara Fischer said that the KISS program, a free document shredding service for seniors offered by the county, will return to Village Hall in June. And that there will be a prescription drug drop off day at the county Sheriff’s Office in Hudson and the Chatham Village Police Department April 29

• Village-wide cleanup day is May 13. Residents who sign up at the Village Hall, in the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building on Church Street, can leave certain household garbage curbside for pick-up. There is a list of items not allowed available at the Village Hall. Curbside brush pickup has also started again and will continue on Mondays until Memorial Day.

The next Village Board meeting will be Tuesday, May 9 at 7 p.m. at the Village Hall.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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