VALATIE–The Kinderhook Town Board heard a proposal last week from residents Tom Barber and Peter Bujanow about offering the YMCA land for a facility at Volunteer Park. At the November 18 meeting Mr. Barber said he had approached the executive director of the East Greenbush YMCA and was told she and her board were very interested in the site.
Mr. Barber said, “The East Greenbush Y is busting at its seams” and the organization either had to expand at its current location or build at a new site. Mr. Bujanow said that he and Mr. Barber were told that almost 25% of the East Greenbush YMCA’s members come from the Kinderhook area.
Mr. Bujanow, who was a town board member and ran for town supervisor this year, said that at forums he held recently he heard from residents interested in having a pool or aquatic center in the area. From his time on the board, he said he knew that using land at the town’s Volunteer Park needs to get approval from the state.
Mr. Bujanow was defeated in the race for supervisor by current Town Board member Patsy Leader, who will take office as supervisor in January.
Town Attorney Andy Howard has explained at meetings in the past that the town bought the land for Volunteer Park from the state and that the sale included a “reverter clause” saying the state could take back the property if the town did not use the land as a park.
At the November 18 meeting, Mr. Howard said that leasing land at the park to the YMCA is “probably in keeping with that usage” but the board would have to contact the state for approval.
He said it would be helpful if the YMCA could present the board with a “clear expression of intent.”
Mr. Bujanow said that he and Mr. Barber “wanted to take the lead on it” and would ask the YMCA about making a presentation.
Mr. Barber said the YMCA would have to raise the money to build a facility in the park but he said the Y would organize and run the capital campaign. And Mr. Bujanow pointed out that if the YMCA builds a site in the town the YMCA would run the facility. “It would be manged by them,” he said.
Mr. Bujanow also stressed that this is very early in the process and they do not know how much space the YMCA would need. The board agreed to have the YMCA come give a presentation about the land use.
Also at the meeting:
• The board approved waiving the marriage license fee for active duty members of the military
• The board named the Bank of Greene County the town’s bank. Supervisor Pat Grattan said that the bank had offered to collect town taxes at no charge, which would save the town about $6,400
• The board approved becoming a Purple Heart Community “honoring American heroes.” The request for the town to pass the resolution came from state Senator Daphne Jordan (R-43rd)
• The board authorized a 5-year contract with the Valatie Rescue Squad which includes a $120,000 increase for next year and another $100,000 increase in two years and again in 2022. The rate will stay flat at about $504,000 until 2024
• The board discussed with Valatie Mayor Diane Argyle expanding the Valatie village offices in the Martin H. Glynn Building. The town and village government share the building and the village offices are right next to the meeting room. The mayor would like to expand the village offices into the meeting room. The mayor said they changed the layout of the meeting room to see if it would still work for all the boards that use it. She said they would not move forward with any expansion for two months, when all the boards using the room have had an opportunity to comment on the layout.
The Town Board approved moving the next regular meeting to Monday, December 16 at 7 p.m.
To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email