Valatie cracks down on trash can abuse, late water bills

VALATIE–The Village Board approved a new law about what can go in village trash cans. Adopted at the Tuesday, February 13 meeting, Local Law #1 of 2018 prohibits household and commercial trash in public trash cans in the village and comes with a fine of $250 if the violator is identified.

The law, as read by Village Attorney Rob Fitzsimmons, stresses that the municipal trash cans should only be used for litter.

“This should give you enough teeth,” Mr. Fitzsimmons said of the law, which allows the village to go after people using the cans on Main Street and in the village parks for household waste. There are public trash cans on Main Street and in Callan Park, one in River Street Park and some in Pachaquack Preserve.

Trustee Frank Bevens said the board would put signs on the trash cans to notify people of the new law. The wording, he said, would be like the signs in Hudson, which also has a law about what can be placed in the public trash cans.

“It’s people throwing away stuff from their apartments,” Mr. Bevens said.

The board also passed a motion at the meeting to publish a request for bids to repair the Valatie Firehouse floor. Mr. Bevens said the work should start in mid-April. The Fire Department’s ladder truck is going to be in the shop for service while the floor is being repaired.

Fist Assistant Chief Rustin Dolan told the board at the meeting that he was in contact with the Village of Chatham Fire Department and that Chatham would respond to calls that need a ladder truck. But he said he would need to coordinate with Chatham when the floor repair work gets started and when the village truck goes out of service for that time.

Mr. Dolan also said that the new village fire truck, purchased late last year, went into service last week. He said having the new truck was “huge asset to the village.”

The Fire Department is hosting its annual spaghetti dinner, a fundraiser, on March 3. Mr. Dolan said that company members are selling tickets.

Also at last week’s meeting the board had a long discussion about shutting off the water to properties where the owners have not paid their water and sewer bills. Mayor Diane Argyle said the village Water Department had not shut off the water to any properties this month due to the cold weather but the board would be reviewing a list of residences where bills are at least six months late to have the water shut off. Letters are sent to those properties with a 60-day warning. Property owners must pay the bill in full to avoid having the water shut off.

Mr. Fitzsimmons recommended to the board that if someone comes in saying he or she will pay an overdue bill before the water is shut off, the village should have that person sign a contract with village with dates for when the overdue bill will be paid.

Mr. Bevens suggested the clerk’s office have a standardized form that residents can sign. Mr. Fitzsimmons said he would put together some language for the board to review for a general water bill payment from.

Mayor Argyle said the village does not “give a break on the penalties,” which amount to 10% each month a property owner doesn’t pay the bill. The mayor said that 10% penalty was the standard.

The next will meeting will be March 13 at 7 p.m. in the Martian H. Glynn Municipal Building.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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