Valatie handles campers, seeks help with feral cats

VALATIE–The Village Board held an end-of-year meeting May 29. Village budgets run from June through May, with the new budget starting June 1. The board passed a motion at the meeting to authorize the bookkeeper and mayor to adjust the budget’s final fund balance for the end of the fiscal year 2018-19 as needed.

The board also discussed funding for the Town of Kinderhook summer recreation program this year. The board pays for children of village residents to attended the summer day program at Volunteer Park, which is run and funded by the town. Since the village does not have a recreation program of its own, the Village Board sets aside about $1,000 annually to cover the cost of villagers who want to attend the camp. Trustee Frank Bevens pointed out at the meeting that the village Santa Claus Club donated $500 to the board to help cover the cost for village children who are going to the summer program.

Mayor Diane Argyle said that village residents must fill out the camp form from the town and return it to the village clerk’s office, which checks the residency requirement. Parents must live in the village.

The town camp program, known as “Val-Kin Playground,” runs from July 8 to August 16, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Children in kindergarten through 6th grade can attend. The cost for the program is $30 a week or $100 for all 6 weeks. The town also allows children from the Town of Stuyvesant to attend the camp and the Kinderhook Town Board contracts with the Town of Chatham for swimming during the camp program at Chatham’s Crellin Park.

The town is still looking for a recreation director. At the regular Town Board meeting Monday, June 3, Kinderhook Town Supervisor Pat Grattan said that Dee Voss, the secretary to the supervisor, is currently the acting director until they find someone to hire. Camp will go on as usual whether or not they find a director, according to Mr. Grattan.

Also at the Village Board meeting, the board discussed the issue of feral cats in the village. Mayor Argyle said that she was asked by a representative from Ichabod Crane High School about community projects for students and she suggested they help with feeding the feral cats.

The board has in the past budgeted money to pay Columbia-Greene Humane Society to spay and neuter the cats, but someone has to catch the cats and take them to the humane society in Hudson. After they are spayed or neutered, the cats are set free again in the village and the mayor said the humane society told her to keep feeding them. Because they are feral they can’t be adopted or taken in by the humane society.

“Right now we have about 25,” said resident Carol Williams, who lives on Route 9/Kinderhook Street. She said that she and other residents pay to keep the cats fed.

“We need to find a solution,” Mayor Argyle said of the feral cat population.

She did not say whether the school will take up the cause.

The next regular Valatie Village Board meeting will be Tuesday, June 11 at 7 p.m. in the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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