K’hook eyes more photo ops in town park

KINDERHOOK—The town held an in-person meeting Monday at the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building before an audience of about 8 people. The board discussed purchasing cameras for the Volunteer Park and a state grant of $30,000 the board received for lighting.

Also at the meeting on September 14, the board set the dates for town budget workshops. The board will meet on October 14 and 21 at 6:30 p.m. to look at what Supervisor Patsy Leader called a “tough budget” for 2021. She pointed out that there are “no revenues coming into the town.” Town budgets need to be approved by the board and sent to the state by November. The town’s fiscal year starts in January.

Supervisor Leader also talked about vandalism at Volunteer Park and said she and Highway Superintendent John Ruchel were looking at purchasing security cameras. Mr. Ruchel said the town doesn’t have access to the feed from cameras that are currently at the park. Supervisor Leader said she talked to representatives from the Village of Valatie about the cameras they use on Main Street and in the Callan Park.

Mr. Ruchel said his crews have been picking up a lot of garbage at Volunteer Park and he also warned the board that there had been issues with people going into the two closed buildings on the site. The town owns the buildings, which were built in 1912 as a women’s prison. The board closed the buildings several years ago but the electricity has to remain on, Supervisor Leader said.

Currently only the playground and pavilion are closed at Volunteer Park. Supervisor Leader said the basketball court is being used, as well as the baseball fields. The board approved a contract for use of the park for fall Little League with the Northern Columbia Little League and Chaos Softball. The town’s dog park, run by a volunteer group, is now open after being shut down due to the pandemic.

Supervisor Leader said the only playground the town has opened is the one next to the Glynn Building.

When asked by Councilwoman Sally Hogan about opening the playground at the town park, Ms. Leader said, “I have minimal money and help.”

Later in the meeting when a resident asked about having volunteers maintain the park, Ms. Leader said she’d have to look into the liability risk that might come with having volunteers working at the park. Supervisor Leader also expressed concern over opening the playground during the pandemic, saying she didn’t want to be responsible for anyone getting sick.

The board also sent letters to all the organizations who use the rooms inside of the Glynn Building for activities. Use of the municipal building is free, but groups need to apply and be approved by the Town and Village Boards. But groups have not been using the building during the pandemic. Supervisor Leader said she would go over the responses from organizations who want to continue to use the building with the Mayor of Valatie, since the two municipalities share the building.

Also at the meeting:

• Councilman Phil Bickerton announced that the town had received a $30,000 grant from NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority) for lighting at the Highway Garage and the traffic circle. Mr. Bickerton said that town would be putting out a request for proposals on the work and there may be other incentives for saving on the cost of lighting

• The board accepted the resignation of Cruz Rivera as the custodian at the Glynn Building. They appointed Norman Schull as a replacement

• The board appointed Carrie O’Hare town court clerk. Ms. O’Hare is town justice in Stuyvesant and was recently awarded the 2020 Magistrate of the Year award (see page 4 for more information)

• The board approved the Sleepy Hollow Riding Club’s request to use a section of Volunteer Park for horse show October 11

The next town board meeting will be Monday, October 5 at 6:30 p.m.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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