K’hook’s got cash but no disaster shelter

KINDERHOOK—The Town Board is using some of the federal ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds they have received to pay for a generator recently installed at the highway garage. They approved spending the funds at their regular meeting November 7.

According to the U.S. Treasury Department, the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program, a part of the ARPA, delivered $350 billion to state, local and Tribal governments across the country to support their response to and recovery from the Covid-19 public health emergency. Municipalities have been using the funds for different projects, like improvements to the internet availability in Ghent, and work on housing issues in the county.

Towns received funding last year, with Kinderhook, the largest town in the county by population, receiving a total of $531,690.71.

The two villages within the town, Kinderhook and Valatie, also received ARPA funding.

The new generator for the garage cost $37,095. At the meeting, Kinderhook Supervisor Tim Ooms said it was the first generator the garage had had.

Melissa Miller, the town’s newly appointed Climate Smart Community Task Force coordinator, asked the board whether there was a generator for the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building. The building houses the town offices as well as the Town Court and Village of Valatie offices. She noted that one of the actions that can be taken as part of the state Climate Smart Communities program is to have an emergency shelter. But she said the town highway superintendent advised against using the garage to shelter people because trucks come in and out.

Ms. Miller said she also talked to the Ichabod Crane School District superintendent, who said the district buildings were not the official shelters but could be used on a need basis.

The board has no plans to get a generator for the municipal building but Councilman Phil Bickerton said he was meeting with representatives of a company to talk about upgrading the heating system in the building. He said the plan is to get work specs for a mini split heat pump system and then go out to bid. He said there are grants for upgrading these systems.

“The furnace in here is aging out,” said Supervisor Ooms, referring to the former school building’s current heating system. The town and village purchased the building for $1 from the Ichabod Crane School District in 2013.

Also at the meeting:

•The board accepted the resignation of Timothy Stever from the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). The board is seeking letters of interest for volunteers to sit on the ZBA, the Planning Board and the Board of Assessment Review (BAR). Supervisor Ooms stressed that the need for members on the ZBA, saying they are “very short” on board members

•The board appointed Jim Waterhouse to the BAR

•The board reviewed the state environmental review form for a proposed project to replace the water line on Route 9 near the Ocean State Plaza and the school district. The board is also hoping to put a new water line in on State Farm Road to replace the water tower. The project has not gone out to bid yet but they did declare that it would have no environmental impact.

The next Town Board meeting will be December 5 at 6:30 p.m. in the Martin H. Glynn Municipal Building.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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