Something is rotten in Austerlitz

AUSTERLITZ–A frustrating item faced the Town Board at its June 21 meeting: the unforeseen rot discovered in the steeple of the recently dedicated Town Hall.

No inspection had anticipated the problem, which was found when painters started to sand and the wood simply crumbled. The estimated cost of reconstruction and repair is $15,000 to $18,000, but the board appears to have built in sufficient contingency funding to address the foibles of an old building.

Also at the meeting, David Vitti from Business Automation Services, Inc. (BAS), an IT company based in Clifton Park that specializes in IT equipment and support services for local government, spoke to the board about a proposed service contract. BAS currently has service contracts with 19 municipalities in the region, including Stuyvesant. Among services and equipment included are: an exchange server with offsite monitoring, Microsoft 365 software, Barracuda to reduce spam, daily preventive maintenance, smart phone and tablet integration.

Reports from town departments noted that the cleanup after the bicentennial celebration went smoothly. Three of the five historic markers have been installed. Power is now on in the new Town Hall.

The board also learned that a residential property with a new home has been discovered and is not listed on tax rolls; it has no certificate of occupancy and has paid no property taxes. The town plans to pursue payment of current and back taxes from the homeowner.

Projects for the Town Hall and surrounding property were discussed and funding approved, including:

• Office furniture and equipment from Tech Valley Office Interiors in Albany at a cost of $28,475, unless the supervisor cuts out a couple of smaller items

• East Hill Road bridge replacement with precast culverts for $91,680

• Town Hall curbing and paving for $95,317

• Pest control with an initial payment of $296 and $26 per month supplied by Thomas Pest Control Service

• Removal and replacement of a blue spruce with a guarantee, preferably fall planting, $650.

The board expressed pleasure with progress on the transition to new quarters and the professionalization of town services and facilities.

In other business St. Peter’s Church received permission for use of the green for its “Tea on the Green” festivities this summer.

The next meeting is scheduled for July 19 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

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