Van Buren hometown to host burgemeester of Buren

KINDERHOOK–The Village of Kinderhook will be hosting a visit from the mayor of a Town of Buren in the Netherlands next month. Buren is now a “sister city” of the village. The Village Board talked a little about the visit at their regular meeting on June 13.

“It should be interesting,” said Mayor Jim Dunham. He said the village is planning several dinners while Buren Mayor Jan de Boer is in area. There will also be a dedication of a “friendship” tree at the grave site of President Martin Van Buren in the Dutch Reformed Church Cemetery on Albany Avenue. At the meeting the board approved planting the oak tree at the site.

The board has been discussing this sister city relationship for several months with village Economic Development Director Renee Shur. According to press release from Ms. Shur, the Village of Kinderhook contacted the town of Buren in the Netherlands about the possibility of establishing the relationship. “Buren is the ancestral home of native son and eighth president of the U.S., Martin Van Buren,” the release reads. President Van Buren was born in Kinderhook and lived at Lindenwald, now a National Park Service Historic site.

The memorandum of understanding that was signed by the Village of Kinderhook mayor Dunham and Mayor of Buren in the Netherlands. Image contributed

That municipalities’ relationship was formalized with a memorandum of understanding that was signed by Mayor Dunham and Mayor de Boer.

The mayor, or burgemeester, of Buren, and Buren’s event planner, Mark Hofman, will be visiting the village from July 30 to August 4. According to the press release, Burgemeester de Boer currently is writing a biography of Cornelis Maessen (born c. 1648), the 3rd great grandfather of Martin Van Buren and native of Buren, who settled in New Netherland. While visiting, Burgemeester de Boer will be assisted with his research by village historian Ruth Piwonka.

Ms. Shur is also inviting local organizations and particularly youth organizations that may have an interest in reaching out to establish cultural, social, or educational exchanges with the town of Buren to contact her at .

Also at the meeting:

• Mayor Dunham mentioned the issue with speeding on Rothermel Lane, especially during the Little League season. Trustee Rich Phillips said, “I’d like to see us put up some portable speed bumps.” Mr. Phillips said the speed bumps could be removed once the sports season is over and maybe moved to another street in the village where speeding is an issue. Other board members agreed that the speed bumps might help. The board plans to look at costs

• The village received a NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) grant to put in an electric car charging station. Bill Mancini from the village Climate Smart Communities Task Force told the board at the meeting the committee is looking estimates and screening designs

• Trustee Dale Leiser said that water shut-off letters will be going out to property owners who have not paid overdue water bills.

The next Village Board meeting will be Wednesday, July 11 at 7:30 p.m.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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