Valatie awaits court action to free up old factory

VALATIE—The Village Board is trying to sell a former mill building on River Street that once housed a company called Energy-Onyx. Though they have already had over 20 showings of the building and have received three bids since early summer, board members were told in September by their attorney, Rob Fitzsimmons, that they have to wait for the state courts to transfer the title to the village due to issues with the Valatie Local Development Corporation (LDC).

At a Village Board meeting on October 13, Mr. Fitzsimmons said he would discuss the issue in executive session because it was “ongoing litigation.”

The village LDC owns the former trolley depot and the U.S. Hotel on Main Street, and managed a state and federal loan that the village received for what was the Energy-Onyx building. At a meeting last month, Mr. Fitzsimmons said the LDC has started the process in state court to transfer titles of the properties the organization owns. The LDC can then petition to dissolve as an organization.

The Village Board thought it would be possible to move forward with selling the Energy-Onyx site after village officials went through a foreclosure process. But at the Village Board meeting on September 8, Mr. Fitzsimmons said they had to wait until the state resolves the title issues. So for now, the building is off the market again.

Several years ago, the village received state and federal Community Development Block Grant for the mill building on River Street. The funds were loaned to Energy-Onix and administered by the LDC to put in a workshop to manufacture transmitters. But by 2014 Energy-Onix had moved out of the building and around that time Mayor Diane Argyle said that the state audited the village looking for paperwork on the loan. In 2016, she told her board that the paperwork had finally been concluded and the village could start the process of foreclosing on the property.

The board put the building on the market this summer for $225,000. It was listed with Gilcrest Properties. At the August 11 Village Board meeting, representatives from the Valatie Rescue Squad (VRS) discussed their bid to buy the building with the board.

Also at the October 13 meeting:

• Mayor Argyle said that milling work on Main Street will start this week but that the paving will not start until next week

• The board has received some completed surveys about the trees on Main Street. The surveys were sent out with the village water and sewer bills. 16 residents asked that the trees be trimmed, 13 wanted the trees removed and 2 said the trees should be replaced

• The board also approved purchasing new playground equipment for Callan Park and replacing the flagpole at the intersection of Route 9 and Main Street. The mayor said the state had given the village $500 for that area.

The next Village Board meeting is November 10 at 7 p.m. The board meets at the Valatie Senior Center on Williams Street.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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