K’hook is latest town pressing state for road repairs

VALATIE–Road work on Route 203 was part of the discussion at the Kinderhook Town Board meeting Monday night. Councilwoman Patsy Leader said she is putting together a petition with Barbara Schneider, a member of the town Highway Committee, to send to the state requesting repairs to the highway from the Village of Valatie to Niverville.

At the June 3 meeting, Ms. Leader said she met with representatives from the state Department of Transportation (DOT) recently. She said they drove the road, walked along sections and spoke to area residents. “We talked a lot about it,” she said.

The state plans to mill and patch the road but there is no funding for the more extensive work that needs to be done on that section of the state highway. The town website says that crews will be out working on June 6 and 7. The DOT did some work before the Memorial Day weekend as well.

“It’s going to be better,” said Ms. Leader of the road but she said the repairs will only “last about a year.”

She pointed out that the county received less than $200,000 from the state for road maintenance. Town Supervisor Pat Grattan said that it can cost $130,000 to repair and pave a mile of road.

Councilwoman Leader said the DOT representatives she spoke with recommended the town create the petition so they “can hear the people.” She said she and Ms. Schneider were still working on the wording of the petition but that they would circulate it to residents and businesses.

One resident, Meg Tadisco, pointed out at the meeting that people have had their cars damaged by the poor condition of the road. Mr. Grattan said the car owners needed to file claims if that happened. Ms. Tadisco said that if more people did take legal action against the state for the property damage, “That might speak volumes.”

Another resident asked why the state couldn’t repair the Valatie to Niverville section of Route 203 in a way similar to the repairs made on the highway from the Village of Chatham to the Village of Valatie last year.

Councilman Tim Ooms said it cost the state less to do that work than it would for the repairs needed in Valatie-to-Niverville section. He and Ms. Leader pointed out that the state has not done repairs to that section in years. Ms. Leader said the state had left the work for too long and now the road needs major repairs.

Also at the June 3 meeting:

• The board honored former town historian Ruth Piwonka. Mr. Grattan presented Ms. Piwonka with a plaque and thanked her for her services, saying that when he was mayor of the Village of Valatie many years ago he had put signs with the wrong date for the founding of the village. He said Ms. Piwonka contact the village saying, “someone in the village looks very foolish.”

Mr. Grattan thanked her for the corrections.

Ms. Piwonka said that serving as historian “has been an honor,” and that she has not retired from researching history. The new town historian is Kate Johnson. She can be reached at or 518 729-1954

• Councilwoman Leader said the CAG (a community advisory group) was meeting that night in Nassau about the newest clean-up efforts from the Dewey Loeffel Superfund Site and another dumping site found on the Loeffel family property. She said that she sent representatives from the Kinderhook Lake Corporation, a non-profit that owns and maintains the lake, to the meeting. She said CAG and the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are looking at where water is possibly affected by chemicals from the new site. Supervisor Grattan said that he had talked to the county Health Department about getting test kits to test water for contamination

• The Town Board is still looking for a new member of the Zoning Board of Appeals. Residents interested in serving on the volunteer board can contact the Town Clerk.

The next Town Board meeting is Monday, June 1 at the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building at 7 p.m.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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