New budget year and old funds are not forgotten

CHATHAM – The Village Board met over the Webex internet platform last week to pass several resolutions moving funds between accounts, some from the 2019-20 budget to the new 2020-21 spending plan, which started June 1.

The board ended up passing 19 resolutions at the June 8 meeting that dealt with moving funds from one budget line to another in amounts ranging from $3.34 (from Building Equipment to Safety Inspector Equipment) to $11,000 (from Transmission District Salary to Source Salary at the Department of Public Works).

Mayor John Howe said the board needed to “zero out” the previous fiscal year village budget as the new budget takes effect. “This is what should have been done for many years,” the mayor said.

The board also discussed more tables for public seating in the village with Tom Crowell, co-owner of Chatham Brewing and the president CABA (Chatham Area Business and Arts), and Dominic Giuliano, the chef at the Blue Plate restaurant. As the state reopens after the pause due to the pandemic, restaurants can now offer outdoor seating.

Mayor Howe said the board could discuss suspending open container laws in the village, but he also said that the issues with having people eat outside included not enough tables and more garbage.

“We’d definitely need more garbage cans,” said Phil Genovese from the village DPW, referring to the municipal bins along Main Street.

Mr. Giuliano suggested he could find funding for more picnic tables in the village, and said the Grunberg Foundation would be willing to make a donation or set up matching grants. Judy Grunberg, who died last year, owned the Blue Plate and was involved with many village causes.

‘This is what should have been done for many years.’

Mayor John Howe

Village of Chatham

Fire Chief Eric Barnes, who was at the Webex meeting, mentioned that there were tables at the county fairgrounds that are not being used. Mr. Barnes is on the board of directors of the county Agricultural Society, which owes the fairgrounds. He said he could make some calls.

Board member Jaimee Boehme asked where the tables would go. Trustee Melony Spock said there will not be a farmers market this summer, so there would be space near the gazebo.

Mayor Howe asked Ms. Spock, the vice president of CABA, to work with the organization to come up with a plan.

“If we all work together we can make it work,” he said, telling Mr. Crowell and Mr. Giuliano that, with the village’s restaurants, “How you guys go, the village goes.”

The board also accepted the bid from County Waste to continue garbage pick-up in the village for two years. The bid came in at $84,000 a year, which is $4000 over what the board had budgeted for. Mayor Howe said the board would find the money for the contract somewhere in the budget. The other bid the village received for garbage pick-up was about $101,000.

He said there was an option from County Waste for the village to pay $70,000 a year, but village residents would all have to use the company’s bins for both garbage and recycling. He said the Village of Valatie has a system like that where residents pay a quarterly fee for a sticker on their garbage bins.

Board members worried about how the bins would be stored for the apartments on Main Street and other parts of the village. Board member Pete Minahan mentioned that some residents might have trouble moving the large bins out to the sidewalk.

The board decided to stay with the service the village currently has. Mayor Howe did say that the village had had a “bumpy road” with County Waste but that it had improved.

Also at the meeting:

• Mayor Howe announced the resignation of Village Judge Walt Simonsmeier. “We want to thank him for his service,” said Village Police Chief Peter Volkmann

• Chief Volkmann said the Chatham Police assisted the State Police in a DWI checkpoint. He also told the board that the number of calls to the Police Department is going up and the department is “starting to get back to normal” with officers’ hours

• Mayor Howe thanked the Fire Company for their work extricating a driver from a truck that rolled over on Route 203. He said the work was “brutal” but the driver had minor injuries. He also announced that Chief Paul Ridout was stepping down after six years as chief. Mr. Ridout will continue in the Fire Department as 2nd Assistant Chief. “I can’t thank him enough,” Mayor Howe said.

The next village meeting will be July 13 at 7 p.m. There will be information about that meeting at

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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